Vol 10. Issue 1 /January 11, 2010

Florida Philanthropists Phillip and Patricia Frost Give $1 Million to Scripps Florida

By Eric Sauter

Miami physician, businessman, and philanthropist Phillip Frost and his wife, Patricia Frost, long-time supporters of the arts and education, have given $1 million to Scripps Florida.

This gift, the second by the philanthropist couple, is also the second million-dollar donation to Scripps Florida this month, following on the heels of Palm Beach Gardens business executive and philanthropist Elizabeth M. Fago's $1 million donation to the Jupiter-based biomedical research institute.

After the Frosts' first million-dollar donation in 2008, the entrance of the campus' drug discovery building, which houses Scripps Florida's high throughput screening center, was named the Frost Lobby. With this second gift, the couple will be named Scripps Florida Founders, joining Fago and Marjorie Fink, the first Scripps Florida Founder and a trustee of The Scripps Research Institute.

"[Our gift] is an opportunity to recognize the wonderful talent that keeps arriving at Scripps Florida," said Frost, who is also a member of the Scripps Research Board of Trustees. "We've been tremendously impressed with a number of the new scientists there and the potential they have to make medical history."

Frost pointed out that it is the leadership of Scripps Research that sets it apart from other institutes.

"It's what the Florida and California campuses have in common that makes Scripps Research unique," he said. "There's great encouragement to think independently and to be creative. That can only come about because of leadership that minimizes obstacles to success. At Scripps Florida, they've taken that one step further—keeping one eye on basic research and one eye on seeing that the fruits of their research lend themselves to practical use in bettering the lives of patients."

"This gift, coming from Phillip and Patricia Frost, means a great deal to Scripps Florida and to all of us at Scripps Research," said Richard A. Lerner, M.D., president of the La Jolla, California-based Scripps Research Institute, of which Scripps Florida is a part. "Over the years of our expansion into Jupiter, Phil has been an invaluable resource as a member of our Board of Trustees, and both he and Patricia have been among the strongest supporters of the work we do. Their latest gift is one more example of their generosity and devotion to Scripps Florida and we welcome it."

Frost also made the point that in these challenging economic times, the state's role in helping create Scripps Florida in the first place will have a sustainable economic impact.

"State support of places like Scripps Florida is important for our economic development," Frost said. "It helps bring more of a focus to the idea of building an entrepreneurial-based economy here in Florida."

About Phillip and Patricia Frost

Phillip Frost, M.D., completed 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.

His 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, Frost 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 as well as a wide range of other serious medical 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. Frost also serves as a director of Continucare Corporation, SafeStitch Corporation, and PROLOR Biotech, Inc. of which he is chairman, and is a former 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.

Dr. 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. Frost 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. She 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.

Scripps Florida Founders

Ellen Browning Scripps, the philanthropist and newspaper executive who was responsible for the 1924 founding of The Scripps Metabolic Clinic in La Jolla, CA remains a legendary figure in the history of The Scripps Research Institute, which is a direct descendant of the clinic. To commemorate its own unique legacy, the Scripps Florida Founders was formed in April 2008. With just three members to date, Scripps Florida Founders honors lifetime donors of $2 million and higher to the Jupiter campus. Scripps Florida Founders have played—and continue to play—a critical role in helping to establish one of the nation's most innovative biomedical research facilities. To honor the importance of their contributions, a reception area adjacent to the Board Meeting Room has been designated the Founders' Room.


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"[Our gift] is an opportunity to recognize the wonderful talent that keeps arriving at Scripps Florida,” said physician, businessman, and philanthropist Phillip Frost, shown here with his wife Patricia Frost.