To accelerate the growth & development of biomedical technologies to make clinical impacts and improve lives.

  • Educate faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students in drug and diagnostic discovery and development
  • Advance promising research discoveries to the clinic as drugs, diagnostics, or medical devices
  • Promote efficient, cost-effective, innovative approaches to discovery and development


Established in 2006 by Stanford University, the SPARK program was created out of a need to accelerate scientific discoveries into the clinic to be used to the benefit of patients. The SPARK program focuses on technologies addressing unmet clinical needs to bridge the “translational gap” between the lab bench and the patient. By providing a community of industry advisors, investors, and biotechnology researchers, SPARK has been able to successfully advance scores of new diagnostics and drugs to the clinic and commercial sectors from hundreds of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students.

12 years later, the SPARK program has been wildly successful. Nearly 60% of all technologies either make it into the clinic or become licensed to a larger organization. In fact, the program has been so successful that there are now 12 active branches in 9 countries with another 16 branches currently being developed. 

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is proud to announce the establishment of a SPARK Program at the AMC and is very much looking forward to being a part of such a rich and active international community of scientific progress.

Watch Dr. Craig Garner 

discuss his novel therapy for Down syndrome using a GABAA Receptor Antagonist, which he and his team developed through SPARK at Stanford.