Jupiter, Fla. - It’s now been five years since The Scripps Research Institute celebrated opening its facility near the FAU campus in Jupiter. And it’s been ten years since it first announced its plans to locate in South Florida.
The president and CEO of the Jupiter facility says he’s proud of the work they do in the community.
“All of the important diseases are under study at Scripps,” Michael Marletta,Ph.D. told NewsChannel 5 in a recent interview. “The ones you hear about every day whether it's cancer or it's diabetes or it's Alzheimer’s Disease, those are all under study.”
Scripps Florida, as it is known, employs 545 people. Marletta says 54 of the employees are scientists and they expect to increase that number to 60 soon.
“We want to understand human biology so we can cure a disease,” Marletta said.
Marletta says the facility has hit every benchmark it set since the state and county invested nearly $600 million ten years ago. When it came here, there were promises for 50,000 jobs over the next 15 years. Those haven’t materialized, but Marletta is proud of its accomplishments.
“It's a 10 year anniversary that we're celebrating but let's be honest; we've only been in the building since 2009. That's when the real effort really got ramped up,” he said. “I think it's about expectations and it's about the length of time between fundamental discovery and then the next step you can take when that discovery becomes a company that then spins out and hires people.”
Marletta says four companies spun directly out of the Scripps Research Institute’s work. He says another company located here because of it.
He says their reputation worldwide is only growing. He points to the molecular screening facility as one reason. He calls it one of the best in the world.
“We can test 1,000,000 compounds in a week and incredible discoveries come from that. And that kind of technology wasn't possible in the past,” he said.