Harry Orf Named Scripps Florida Vice President of Scientific
Scripps Research Institute President Richard A. Lerner and
Florida Governor Jeb Bush have announced the appointment of
Harry W. Orf of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard
Medical School as vice president of scientific operations
for Scripps Florida, the institute's new facilities in Palm
Orf will oversee the administration and management of the
scientific services that will support Scripps Florida's biomedical
research, drug discovery, and technology development operations,
first in an existing facility on the Florida Atlantic University
campus in Boca Raton, then in newly built laboratories on
the FAU Jupiter campus, and finally in the 364,000-square-foot,
state-of-the-art biomedical research complex to be constructed
in northwest Palm Beach County, scheduled to open in late
"In establishing new operations, I believe you go for the
best qualified person, who then attracts other exceptionally
capable people," Lerner said. "Harry brings both a depth of
scientific knowledge and top-level management skills to Scripps
Florida. I am convinced he will lead his team to great accomplishments
for the institute and for the state."
"Harry's exceptional qualifications make him the perfect
choice to head up the Scripps Florida facilities and services,"
said Governor Bush. "His diverse background and training in
molecular biology as well as his leadership in the U.S. military
will be instrumental in leading a team that will propel Scripps
Florida to the forefront of life-saving medical breakthroughs."
Orf, 54, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, holds a B.S. in
chemistry, summa cum laude, from the University of Missouri-St.
Louis and master's and doctoral degrees in chemistry from
Harvard University, where he was also a research fellow in
chemistry. He is also a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Army's Command
and General Staff College.
Orf has served for the past 21 years as director of the
Molecular Biology Laboratories at Massachusetts General Hospital,
in Boston, the largest research and teaching hospital affiliated
with Harvard Medical School. He is also a principal associate
in genetics at the medical school. From 1977 to 1980, he was
dean of Mather House, Harvard College, and from 1978 to 1983,
lecturer in chemistry and biochemistry at the university
His executive management and administrative experience includes
past memberships on the boards of directors of several biotechnology
companies, including Gallia, Inc., and Cambridge Molecular
Structures, Inc. He is a founder and principal of Cambridge
Laboratory Consultants, Inc., and Nexus Cambridge Lexington
LLC, and co-founder and board member of The Science Hotel
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a biotechnology incubator development.
"The vision of Scripps Florida is to bring world-class science,
science education, and science-based economic development
to Palm Beach County and Florida, while contributing to the
quality of human health worldwide," Orf said. "I am delighted
and honored to be a part of this extraordinary undertaking,
and to help bring this vision to realization."
Orf also has a distinguished career in the U.S. Army Reserves,
where he currently holds the rank of colonel with the 804th
Medical Brigade. He spent the past year on active duty in
Kuwait and Iraq with his unit and, upon returning home in
February, was awarded the Bronze Star medal for distinguished
In addition to several academic honors, Orf has served his
community in the areas of education, health, and safety. In
1996, he was awarded the Partnership Award for Outstanding
Contribution to Education by the Massachusetts General Hospital-Timilty
Middle School Partnership, and the following year received
the American Hero Award from the U.S. Department of Education
and City of Boston for his work with the Boston public schools.
For the past 16 years, he has been chairman of the Biosafety
Committee in Lexington, where he resides. He has also served
as special consultant to the Boards of Health of other Massachusetts
towns where biotechnology companies operate.
Orf is scheduled to begin his new position this summer.
Scripps Florida, a 364,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art
biomedical research facility, will be built on 100 acres of
undeveloped land west of I-95 off of PGA Boulevard and bordered
by Seminole/Pratt Whitney Road. The facility will focus on
basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development.
Palm Beach County is providing an economic package that includes
the land, $137 million toward construction of the permanent
facility and related costs, and costs for temporary facilities
for Scripps Florida scientists. Planning, development, and
construction of the new campus are scheduled to begin as soon
as contracts are finalized. The campus is expected to open
in late 2006 and will ultimately employ more than 500 people.
The start-up costs of Scripps Florida, a division of The
Scripps Research Institute headquartered in La Jolla, California,
are supported by a one-time $310 million appropriation of
federal economic development funds made by the State of Florida
at the request of Governor Jeb Bush. Scripps Florida is expected
to attract other research facilities, biotechnology and pharmaceutical
firms, and residential, commercial, recreational, educational,
and cultural development to the surrounding area.
Scripps Florida will first operate out of 8,000 square-foot
lab facilities on the Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton
campus. It will move in early 2005 to a 41,000-square-foot
facility now being built by FAU on its Jupiter campus.
Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu
"I am delighted and honored to be a
part of this extraordinary undertaking," says Harry Orf, who
will be Scripps Florida vice president of scientific operations.