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News Release

CONTACT:
Jenni Garrison, 561-655-9669
jgarrison@myflorida.com

2009 WAS YEAR OF ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR SCRIPPS FLORIDA; CONTINUED FUNDING APPROVED FOR UPCOMING YEAR

The Scripps Florida Funding Corporation (SFFC) is pleased to announce that as Scripps Florida ends its sixth year of operation, the organization is ahead of schedule with its hiring goals and has excelled with other performance goal dates.

"Plans call for Scripps Florida to create at least 545 scientific and administrative staff positions by 2014, and, as we close this year, Scripps Florida reports there are 340 jobs as of December 31, 2009, which is 16 more than this year's target," said David Gury, Chairman of the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation. "Additionally, Scripps has secured over $143 million in grants and funding outside of the State of Florida funds. This outside support, coupled with the ahead-of-target job numbers, shows that Scripps will be able to reach its goal of self-sustainability by 2014."

The SFFC reports that 149 Florida residents are employed in a full-time capacity at Scripps Florida. On March 5, 2010, the SFFC met and voted to continue funding for the seventh grant year for Scripps Florida. The Jupiter campus of the La Jolla, California-based Scripps Research Institute will receive $22,365,000 plus interest earned over the next 12 months.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS AND MILESTONES

  • More than 80 patent applications have been filed by Scripps Florida and over 45 license agreements have been entered into, as of September 30, 2009.
  • The SFFC disbursed $258,450,265.62 to Scripps Florida since 2004 through the end of 2009. Of that amount, $235,083,000 is the principal amount and $23,367,265.62 is interest earned, minus SFFC's annual operating budget. The annual disbursement for the next four years ranges from $32.7 million, winding down to $5 million in the final year (2013).
  • Economic impact * of the Scripps Florida project on the State of Florida between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009: Scripps assisted in sustaining an estimate 809 jobs statewide; total personal income impact of Scripps was $58,275,600; Scripps added $112,355,750 to Florida's GDP and the estimated fiscal revenues to the state and local governments was $4,548,634.
  • The official opening of the Scripps Florida campus in Jupiter on February 26-28, 2009 was a highlight of the past year. The Scripps Research Institute's leaders were joined by Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Palm Beach County commissioners and other dignitaries on February 26, 2009, to cut the ribbon officially opening Scripps Florida, the institute's 350,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art biomedical research facility in Jupiter.
  • In April 2009, the Scripps Research Cancer Biology Department was awarded more than $8.4 million in multiple grants by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Defense. The grants will be used to study topics ranging from prostate cancer to the production of T lymphocytes, the cells that provide immune surveillance for cancer.
  • Business leader and philanthropist Chris T. Sullivan, chairman of OSI Restaurant Partners, Inc., which includes the Outback Steakhouse chain, and editor, publisher, and educator Leanna Landsmann were named co-chairs of the newly formed Scripps Florida Council in July 2009. As co-chairs, they will help to recruit and lead a group of prominent individuals from various sectors who will assist the biomedical research facility in Jupiter seek support from others throughout the state and nation.
  • Six new graduate students have chosen the Scripps Florida campus as the place to pursue their doctoral degrees. Of the six new students (who include three transferring to Scripps Florida with their advisors), two have strong Florida connections. There were 19 students enrolled in the graduate program in 2008-09. There are now four students who have completed doctorate degrees at Scripps Florida.
  • Scripps Florida has established many partnerships with small businesses throughout the State of Florida. There are over 70 small businesses with which Scripps Florida is currently partnering. Additionally, a report from the Palm Beach County Office of Small Business Assistance said that more than 18% of the contract dollars from construction of the Scripps Florida campus went to small businesses. Scripps Florida exceeded its 15% goal by giving $33.7 million in contracts to small business enterprises, beginning in 2006 and ending in March 2009.
  • In the summer of 2009, fourteen Palm Beach County juniors and seniors participated in the Scripps Florida's High School Summer Internship Program, an increase from eleven students a year ago. For the first time, Scripps Florida accepted two program alumni back to campus as undergraduate interns. To date, forty-three teachers and students from the Palm Beach County School District have participated in the high school internship program, representing fifteen of twenty-three public high schools.

SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Scripps Florida Scientist Awarded $1.4 Million in Federal Stimulus Funds to Study Drug Targets in Alzheimer's, Alcoholism – A scientist from The Scripps Research Institute's Florida campus was awarded a pair of research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling just over $1.4 million to pursue drug discovery work in both Alzheimer's disease and alcoholism.
  • Scripps Florida Scientists Find Blocking a Receptor Significantly Decreases Nicotine Addiction – Scientists at Scripps Florida, in a paper published in November 2008, reported that they have found that blocking the receptor for a specific neuropeptide––short chains of amino acids found in nerve tissue––significantly decreases the desire for nicotine in animal models.
  • Scripps Research Team Identifies Key Molecules that Inhibit Viral Production – A team from Scripps Florida has found a way to inhibit viral production of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The advance has the potential to accelerate future research on the virus life cycle and to aid in the development of novel HVC drugs.
  • Scripps Florida Scientists Uncover Potential New Target for Schizophrenia Treatment – In January 2009, scientists from Scripps Florida and colleagues for the first time linked a specific microRNA to behavioral problems frequently associated with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. The finding presents new opportunities in the development of potential treatments.
  • Thomas P. Burris, Noted Nuclear Receptor Expert, Appointed to Scripps Florida Molecular Therapeutics Faculty – Burris's research focus is nuclear receptors, protein molecules that mediate hormone activity inside the cell, and are implicated in the progress of a number of cancers, including prostate, breast, and colon cancers. Before arriving at Scripps Florida, Burris was professor and head of the Nuclear Receptor Biology Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (Baton Rouge, LA).
  • In April 2009, The Scripps Research Institute named two new faculty members to the Department of Metabolism and Aging on the Scripps Florida campus. The two new faculty members are Associate Professor Andrew A. Butler, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Shuji Kishi, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Claes Wahlestedt and Tom Bannister Win NIAAA Grant – Scripps Florida's Claes Wahlestedt, professor, and Tom Bannister, associate scientific director of medicinal chemistry at the Translational Research Institute, won a two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in July. In the project, titled "Discovery and development of nociceptin receptor ligands in alcohol dependence," the researcher team will study new agents intended to curb alcohol craving by a novel, previously untried mechanism.

* Economic impact information provided from an analysis by the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County.

The Scripps Research Institute, headquartered in La Jolla, California, is one of the world's largest, independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations. Scripps Florida is the first major private science institute to expand to Florida to help develop the biotechnology and life science cluster. The organization will create 6,500 new jobs during the next 15 years and is predicted to generate about $1.6 billion in additional income for Floridians and boost the state's Gross Domestic Product by $3.2 billion during the same time frame. For more information, visit www.scripps.edu/florida.

The Scripps Florida Funding Corporation is a non-profit entity comprised of a nine-member Board of Directors and one ex-officio member. The Corporation's purpose is to oversee the investment and spending of the State's dollars invested in Scripps Florida. 



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