Dedication to mark bio-tech milestone - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Dedication to mark bio-tech milestone

By Chuck Weber email

JUPITER, FL (WFLX) - Thursday shapes up as a landmark day for Palm Beach County's push to become a center for bio-technology. Governor Charlie Crist will join hundreds of others at dedication ceremonies for the Scripps Research Institute's new Florida headquarters in Jupiter.

People driving along Donald Ross Road or Central Boulevard in recent months have witnessed the futuristic three-building campus taking shape. Scripps researchers and their staffs of scientists and lab technicians have already moved into the new facilities.

And the new environs are already a big help, said Scripps faculty member Paul Kenny, who specializes in addiction research. He had worked for more than two years in Scripps' temporary quarters next door on the Jupiter Florida Atlantic University campus.

The new labs and offices provide more room for equipment and conducting and analyzing scientific work. But most important, says Kenny, he and the other Scripps researchers enjoy a better setting to interact with each other.

"It makes a big difference," says Kenny. "It's surprising just when a very interesting conversation will take place. Could be having coffee with someone, could be a comment in the corridor. And it could spark something, or could be the missing piece you've been looking for a long time."

Kenny feels Scripps Florida offers a unique academic setting. "The emphasis here is on therapeutics and actually trying to treat and help people," he said.

So far 300 employees are on staff at Scripps. More must be added, as a condition for receiving more than hundreds of millions in taxpayer money from the county and state.

The dedication ceremony is set for 10:00 a.m. Thursday on the Scripps campus in Jupiter.

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