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“Stanford” and “forward thinking” are nearly synonymous. From discoveries about the nature of cancer and new methods of treating particular types of cancer, to entrepreneurial ventures that have resulted in such companies as Hewlett-Packard, Google, Netflix and Nike, to technologies enabling digital sound sequencing, e-mail security, personalized medicine, the Internet and more, Stanford people consistently take their work into new frontiers.

Medical Breakthroughs

At Stanford University Medical Center, physicians and scientists—working at the intersection of basic research and clinical medicine—devise groundbreaking technologies and treatments. Their accomplishments include the following:

  • First successful human combined heart/lung transplant in the world
  • First adult human heart transplant in the United States
  • First use in Western hemisphere of linear accelerator to treat cancer
  • Development of the first sleep apnea monitor for newborn infants
  • First synthesis of biologically active DNA in test tube
  • Discovery of link between exercise and increased “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels
  • Discovery that mutations in a single gene are responsible for the most common form of skin cancer in humans
  • Discovery of a genetic mutation that causes narcolepsy, a disabling sleep disorder affecting humans and animals

Entrepreneurial Inception

Stanford helped kick off the high-tech revolution—and Silicon Valley itself—by creating key university-industry partnerships. From Google and Hewlett-Packard to Netflix and eBay, more than 5,000 companies have directly resulted from the ingenuity of Stanford faculty and alumni. Among them:

  • Atheros Communications
  • BEA Systems
  • Charles Schwab & Company
  • Cisco Systems
  • Cypress Semiconductor
  • DNAX Research Institute
  • Dolby Laboratories
  • eBay
  • E*Trade
  • Electronic Arts
  • Exponent
  • Gap
  • Google
  • Hewlett-Packard Company
  • IDEO
  • Intuit
  • Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
  • Kiva
  • LinkedIn
  • Logitech
  • Mathworks
  • McCaw Cellular Communications
  • MIPS Technologies
  • Nanosolar, Inc.
  • Netflix
  • Nike
  • Odwalla
  • Orbitz
  • Rambus
  • Rational Software
  • Silicon Graphics
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Sun Power Corp.
  • Taiwan Superconductor
  • Tandem Computers
  • Tensilica
  • Tesla Motors
  • Trilogy
  • Varian Associates
  • VMware
  • Whole Earth Catalog
  • Windham Hill Records
  • Yahoo!
  • Zillow

Technological Innovation

Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) evaluates more than 400 inventions—all created at Stanford—each year. It brings the best to market, where they begin to influence the way we live. Among OTL-licensed inventions:

  • Digital sound synthesis (led to the music synthesizer)
  • Disease management programs (for people with chronic health problems, including arthritis and HIV/AIDS)
  • DSL (transmission of high-speed data through traditional phone lines)
  • E-mail security (identity-based encryption)
  • Functional antibodies to treat disease (led to the development of valuable medical products)
  • Genome sequencing (CHEF electrophoresis and Genscan software both assist in sequencing DNA)
  • Optical fiber amplifier (paved the way for the Internet)
  • Page-rank algorithm (led to creation of Google search engine)
  • Personalized medicine (spotted microarray technology led to gene chip, which enabled creation of genetic profiles of patients and diseases)
  • Recombinant drug production (recombinant DNA technology laid groundwork for modern genetic engineering)