Vol 8. Issue 2 / January 21, 2008

Phillip and Patricia Frost Give $1 Million to Scripps Florida

Florida physician, businessman and philanthropist Phillip Frost and his wife, Patricia Frost, an ardent supporter of education and the arts, have donated $1 million to Scripps Florida, the biomedical research campus under construction in Jupiter.

In recognition of the Frosts' donation, the foyer of the building that will house laboratories for a key component of Scripps Florida research—making strategic scientific discoveries, then accelerating their development into new drugs and treatments to improve human health—will be named the Frost Lobby, announced Richard A. Lerner, president of the La Jolla, CA-based Scripps Research Institute of which Scripps Florida is a part.

"The Scripps Research Institute deserves our full support," said Phillip Frost. "By minimizing the bureaucratic aspects of advanced medical research, Dr. Richard Lerner has attracted an unequalled group of scientists who will continue to be responsible for many of the advances in this century."

"Phil's experience as an entrepreneur and his history of success in drug development has made him a very valuable member of our Board of Trustees as we've expanded our operations from California to Florida," said Lerner. "Now, his and Patricia's generosity will further enable us to make Scripps Florida the center of a vibrant biomedical and biotech community in the state."

The first phase of Scripps Florida—three buildings totaling 350,000 square feet of laboratories and space for cutting-edge technologies, biomedical support services, and administration now under construction on Florida Atlantic University's Jupiter campus—will be ready for occupancy in early 2009. Currently, 240 researchers and support staff are working in two buildings and three trailers on the FAU campus. The buildings will ultimately be turned over to FAU.

About Phillip and Patricia Frost

Phillip Frost came to Florida to complete his training in dermatology at the University of Miami-Jackson Hospital. After five years as a faculty member at the University of Miami, he was instrumental in the founding of Mt. Sinai Medical Center's dermatology program in South Florida. Through his medical practice, he played a key role in the development of skin patch administration of medications.

Phil Frost's involvement in dermatology research sparked a lifelong interest in the development of drugs and other therapeutics beginning with Key Pharmaceuticals, a firm he took from near-bankruptcy to its profitable acquisition by Schering Plough. Later, as the founder, chairman, and CEO of Miami-based Ivax, he built the firm into an innovative producer of generic drugs. In 2006, the firm was merged with the Israeli-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, one of the world's largest drug manufacturers. He serves as a director and vice chairman of Teva. His most recent biomedical venture is OPKO Health, where he is chairman and CEO. OPKO focuses on the development of pharmaceuticals and instruments for diagnosing and treating eye disorders.

His expertise in the assembly of drug development and manufacturing firms led to an interest in investment banking. He was instrumental in the move to Miami of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, which is playing a major role in business development in South Florida. He is chairman of the board for the firm. He also serves as a director of Northrop Grumman Corporation, Continucare Corporation, SafeStitch Corporation, and Modigene, Inc., and he is vice-chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Stock Exchange. 

In addition to his role as a trustee of The Scripps Research Institute, he has served on the boards of numerous charitable organizations. Today he is a life member, and former chairman, of the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami, and a member of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. 

Frost received a B.A. in French literature from the University of Pennsylvania in 1957 and an M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1961. He is Emeritus Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Miami.

Patricia Frost retired after serving for 20 years as principal of Henry West Laboratory Elementary School, an experimental school of choice associated with the University of Miami School of Education, and the Miami-Dade County School System. She received her bachelor's degree from Colby College in 1959 and her master's degree from Columbia University in 1961. She has long been a supporter of Florida International University (FIU), currently serving as a member of the FIU Board of Trustees. She has received the Outstanding Educator of the Year award from FIU and has endowed a professorship in education and sociology at the university. She has served as an adjunct professor of education at both FIU and the University of Miami.

The Frosts' long-time interests in the arts led to their substantial donation to the University of Miami's School of Music and to the Florida International University art museum, both of which bear the Frosts' name.

Patricia Frost is the former chair of the Smithsonian National Board (its foremost advisory group), and Commissioner Emeritus of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which has received more than 150 works from the Frosts' renowned collection of American abstract art.

About Scripps Florida

Scripps Florida is focused on the discovery of new drugs to treat such conditions as Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, diabetes, and a variety of autoimmune and infectious diseases. It uses the latest cutting-edge technologies, including robotics for high throughput screening of potential drug candidates, to speed the drug discovery and development process.

The expansion of The Scripps Research Institute in Florida was originally announced by President Lerner and then Governor Jeb Bush in October 2003. Construction of Phase One of Scripps Florida—350,000 square feet of laboratory, technology, and administrative space in three buildings on 40 acres of the FAU campus—began in January 2007. An adjacent 100-acre property is available for later expansion. Start up, land, and construction costs have been provided by allocations from the State of Florida and Palm Beach County.

The campus was dedicated in March 2007 by John Moores, chairman of the Scripps Research Board of Trustees, to "increasing human knowledge, advancing biomedical science, educating the researchers of the future, and improving the health of humanity." The three buildings are expected to be occupied and fully operational in early 2009.

The Frost Lobby will serve as the entry point to the 100,000-square foot building designed for drug discovery.  This facility will be home to a pair of Kalypsys robot arms that move with orchestral precision, anchoring Scripps Florida's ultrahigh throughput screening center. These tools will automate the testing of biological molecules against a library of 700,000 chemical compounds serving as the starting point for the development of new drugs. Housed within the building will be teams of medicinal and synthetic chemists who will replicate, study, and adapt the structures of promising compounds to increase their efficacy and to reduce unwanted side effects. Groups working in chemical biology, discovery biology, and drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics will develop strategic scientific plans and undertake experiments to accelerate the translation of basic science findings into clinical application.


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu




In recognition of Phillip and Patricia Frost's donation, the foyer of a key Scripps Florida building will be named the Frost Lobby.