Scripps Florida officially opened its doors last week as a host of regional politicians descended on Jupiter, FL to herald a project intended to push the Sunshine state into the front ranks of biomedical research. The 350,000 square foot facility was built with $310 million approved by the state legislature and $187 million provided by Palm Beach County--on top of $100 million the county invested in the original site. And Scripps Florida researchers have been at work in temp space working on a slate of diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autism, as well as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Richard Lerner, president of The Scripps Research Institute, told lawmakers last week that the area could be an early beneficiary of billions of dollars in new federal research money provided in the new stimulus package.
"Much of the country now is looking to build what we have now out of the stimulus package," Lerner said. "The question now is how do we take advantage of all that? How do we leverage what we have to go forward?"
"What we can promise is that many important things will happen in those buildings," Lerner told the crowd during the opening ceremony. "We just don't know what," he said. "It's the unpredictability of science that makes it so exciting and so interesting."