Paul Allen Gives $100 Million for New Institute for Cell Science with Major Focus on Stem Cells

For the worlds of biology and cell biology including the stem cell field more specifically, the holidays came early with some fantastic news. Philanthropist and Microsoft co-Founder Paul Allen will give $100 million to form a new institute focused on cell biology in Seattle.
The Allen Institute for Cell Science has an ambitious mission dedicated to making transformative discovers about cells and stem cells will be a major area of focus. The Director of the Allen Institute is Dr. Rick Horwitz, who was formerly at the University of Virginia where he did cutting edge working on cell biology including cell migration. Horwitz described the new Institute as being akin to a “Manhattan Project for cells”.
The Institute will reportedly launch with an inaugural project called the “Allen Cell Observatory” to create detailed visual models of cells, focusing at least in part on human induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC). This observatory has been described as developing into a “Google Maps for cells”.
It makes me think of an astronomical observatory probing the stars with telescopes, but instead in this case turning to microscopes and turning inward to probe the workings of cells.