Photo Essay: The Next Great Discovery

vanagtmael stanford final 003 At her lab bench, postdoctoral fellow Pascale Guiton sets up a polymerase chain reaction to generate copies of Toxoplasma gondii DNA. T. gondii is one of the most common parasites, with an estimated one third of the global population infected. Peter van Agtmael/Magnum Photos

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Basic science aims to advance knowledge, not only develop new drugs or cure disease. Yet today's biomedical innovations are only possible because of fundamental research conducted decades ago. As national funding priorities shift toward applied research, young basic scientists face the most challenging funding landscape in 50 years, diverting many of them to new careers altogether. Though impossible to divine where the experiments of Stanford investigators and researchers will lead them, investing in their work — and in basic science in general — is crucial to keeping the next great discovery alive.

In this multimedia photo essay, Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael and FSI digital media associate Kylie Gordon, shine light on the interdisciplinary medical and scientific research being conducted at Stanford — which could lead to the #NextGreatDiscovery.