Private Palm Beach Reception Honors Max Planck Society

January 26, 2010

Paula and Mark Cook hosted an intimate reception at Club Colette in Palm Beach to introduce Dr. Bert Sakmann, inaugural scientific director for the Max Planck Florida Institute and Dr. Alexander Borst, director of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsreid, Germany.  More than 75 guests attended the event to learn about the groundbreaking scientific research underway at the Institute, including Nancy and David Auth; Mary and Sam Boykin; Vice Admiral Robert Dunn; Joan and Robert Eigen; Susan and Mark Elhilow; George Elmore; Herbert Lee; H. Lee Moffitt; Lynn Pohanka; and Stephanie and Eugene Ribakoff.

“This is an important time for science not only here in Florida, but around the globe,” said Mark Cook. “We will witness astounding medical breakthroughs in our lifetimes, led by the great scientists of our day, which include Drs. Sakmann and Borst.”

Germany’s Max Planck Society has led the world in advancing the frontiers of scientific research for more than 60 years. The independent, nonprofit organization has an international staff of around 20,400, and maintains 80 institutes and research facilities mainly in Germany, but also in Italy, the Netherlands and most recently in Jupiter, Fla.

Dr. Sakmann is the 1991 Nobel Laureate in Medicine and is currently underway with a research program in Jupiter dedicated to studying the structural arrangement of nerves within the cerebral cortex –  the structure within the brainThis work will lay the foundation for future studies on brain degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.  that plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language, and consciousness.

Dr. Borst is a member of some of Europe’s most prestigious scientific organizations, including the Otto Loewi Center in Israel and the German-based Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. His research is also focused on brain imaging, specifically on how the visual system computes motion information.

The Max Planck Florida Institute is currently operating in a temporary facility on Florida Atlantic University’s MacArthur Campus in Jupiter. The permanent 100,000-square-foot biomedical research center and laboratories is expected to be completed by early 2012. For more information, visit