Mentor & Keynote Speaker: Kevin Grimes, Stanford University

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Mentor Name

Kevin Grimes, MD, MBA

Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine

Co-Director, SPARK Program, Stanford University School of Medicine


Kevin Grimes is a Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and the Co-director of the SPARK Program in Translational Research at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He received his MD from Brown University and completed his residency in internal medicine at Stanford University. He became a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford, where his primary duties included the teaching and practice of internal medicine. Grimes received a Hartford Foundation Fellowship to study health economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and obtained an MBA. He was subsequently selected as a White House Fellow and assigned to the Department of Defense, where he served as Special Assistant to the Secretary. He spent fifteen years in industry, working in the medical device, life science consulting, and biotechnology sectors prior to returning to Stanford to co-direct SPARK. In addition to SPARK, Grimes teaches graduate student courses on drug discovery and development and continues to teach and practice internal medicine. He has received the David Rytand Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching and the Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching.

SPARK's two-fold mission is to advance promising research discoveries into the clinic as new therapeutics and diagnostics, and to educate faculty, post-doctoral fellows and students regarding the translational process. SPARK participants receive modest funding, education regarding translational research, and targeted mentorship on their specific projects. Over one hundred volunteers from the local biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and health care investment community serve as advisors and mentors. SPARK is now in its twelfth year. Approximately 60% of projects completing the program have been licensed and/or advanced to clinical trials.