German research center opens 1st US facility

December 5, 2012 by Matt Sedensky

Germany's leading research institute opened the doors to its first U.S. center Wednesday, bolstered by hope its world-class science could bring cures for neurological diseases and invigorate the economy.

Officials from around the state and across the Atlantic cut the ribbon on the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience on a patch of Florida Atlantic University campus in Jupiter. Its backers were eager for groundbreaking science to begin after years of work and millions of dollars in investment.

"Research and innovation, as much as education, are essential sources of prosperity and of a good life for all," said Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, Germany's state secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Quennet-Thielen announced $10 million in annual funding over each of the next four years from the German government and the Max Planck Society for the Florida center.

Max Planck operates more than 80 institutes around the world. It began more than 60 years ago and has produced 17 Nobel laureates. Its new U.S. base will probe fundamental , with an eye toward cures for diseases from schizophrenia to Alzheimer's. The center includes Bert Sakmann, a German who won the in 1991.

David Fitzpatrick, the scientific director and CEO of the new center, said the scientists who have established research groups in Jupiter have boundless potential for discovery. Their projects include work to determine how is changed by injury and disorder, how information passes between , and functions related to learning and memory.

"We are limited only by the furthest reaches of our mind," Fitzpatrick said.

Speakers at the opening ceremony heaped praise on former Gov. Jeb Bush, who helped coax to the state after a 2005 trade mission to Germany. He appeared in a taped video message. Other politicians who took the stage emphasized the center showed an important transition in the state, proving it holds importance beyond the allure of its weather and coastline.

"We have something more to offer," said Jeff Atwater, the state's chief financial officer.

Explore further: German, Canadian scientists to open quantum physics center


Related Stories

GREAT spectrometer readied for flight on SOFIA

March 31, 2011

( -- Scientists recently completed a series of nighttime, ground-based testing of the German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies, or GREAT, spectrometer in preparation for a series of astronomical ...

German spectrometer flies to the Moon

October 20, 2008

India’s first mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-1, is scheduled to take off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the south-eastern coast of India on Wednesday, October 22nd, at 3.00 CEST. The German science and technology ...

Recommended for you

Averaging the wisdom of crowds

December 12, 2017

The best decisions are made on the basis of the average of various estimates, as confirmed by the research of Dennie van Dolder and Martijn van den Assem, scientists at VU Amsterdam. Using data from Holland Casino promotional ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.