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Esther B. O'Keeffe Foundation Gives $2 Million to The Scripps Research Institute

JUPITER, FL, May 30, 2012 – The Esther B. O’Keeffe Charitable Foundation has made a $2 million donation to The Scripps Research Institute to fund biomedical research and education on the Florida campus. In recognition of the gift, the Founders Room and the adjoining board room at Scripps Florida have been named the Esther B. O’Keeffe Founders Suite.

“I know I speak for the entire Scripps community when I wholeheartedly thank the Esther B. O'Keeffe Charitable Foundation,” said Scripps Research President and CEO Michael A. Marletta. “Gifts of this magnitude are transformative and will go directly towards the next generation of discoveries to understand, cure, and treat human disease."  

“We are delighted to contribute to The Scripps Research Institute’s important scientific and educational work,” said Clare O’Keeffe, executive trustee of the foundation. “These efforts are tremendously exciting and we are proud to be part of them.”

The Esther B. O’Keeffe Charitable Foundation was established in 1990 by the late philanthropist Esther B. O’Keeffe, wife of respected surgeon and philanthropist Dr. Arthur O’Keeffe. Their children now carry on the family tradition by serving as trustees of the foundation, which supports a variety of health and medical research causes, as well as a broad spectrum of arts and cultural programs.

Over the years, the foundation has supported innovative non-embryonic stem cell research at Scripps Research, helping to advance breakthroughs in the development of new treatments for conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, hearing loss, and spinal cord damage.

The new unrestricted gift will be used to fund special initiatives on the Florida campus. In the past, unrestricted funds have provided state-of-the-art scientific infrastructure, funded “out of the box” research projects, provided crucial “bridge funding” for scientists between grants, and enabled graduate students to study in the institute’s top-ranked PhD program.

With this gift, the foundation and its trustees become Scripps Florida Founders, a designation that honors donors who have made lifetime contributions of $2 million or more to the Jupiter campus.

The O’Keeffe family’s generosity is reflected in the names of many Palm Beach area facilities and programs, including the Esther B. O’Keeffe Art Gallery and Speakers Series at The Society of the Four Arts, pavilions at the Good Samaritan and St. Mary’s medical centers, a wing at the Norton Museum of Art, and the American Heart Association’s West Palm Beach headquarters. In addition, the Esther B. O’Keeffe Charitable Foundation has supported the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Massachusetts General Hospital, Cape Cod Hospital, and many other charities.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is one of the world's largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. TSRI is internationally recognized for its contributions to science and health, including its role in laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. An institution that evolved from the Scripps Metabolic Clinic founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1924, the institute now employs about 3,000 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including three Nobel laureates—work toward their next discoveries. The institute's graduate program, which awards PhD degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation. For more information, see www.scripps.edu.

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This family photo shows the late Dr. Arthur O’Keeffe (center) with his children (left to right), Daniel, Arthur, Clare, and Brian.
– For a high-resolution image see: http://www.scripps.edu/news/press/
images/okeeffe_family/okeeffe_family.jpg