SOCIETY PRESIDENT HONORED IN NEW YORK FOR HIS DEDICATION TO
NEW YORK, NY
(September 19, 2013) – Suzanne
and William J. McDonough, Benton
Bohannon and Admiral
Philip Whitacre hosted
a special dinner on September 10 at a private club in New
York City to honor Dr.
Peter Gruss for
his scientific leadership and contribution to scientific
collaboration across international borders. Dr. Gruss is an
acclaimed researcher in the field of microbiology and has
served as President of the Max Planck Society since 2002.
As a result of Dr. Gruss’s dedication to worldwide
scientific excellence, the Max Planck Society is this year’s
recipient of Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for
International Cooperation, which is considered the “Spanish
Nobel Prize.” Previous winners of the Prince of Asturias
Award for International Cooperation include the
International Red Cross (2012), the World Health
Organization (2009) and the Bill and Melinda Gates
Planck Society has led the world in advancing the frontiers
of scientific research for over 60 years. The independent,
nonprofit organization operates 80 research institutes in
Europe with more than 21,000 employees, including
researchers and visiting scientists who are pioneering
scientific research in areas ranging from astronomy to the
humanities. The Max Planck Society has produced 17 Nobel
Laureates since 1948, and more than 15,000 publications each
year in internationally renowned scientific journals.
Gruss’s leadership, the prestigious organization opened its
first institute outside of Europe last year with the
establishment of the Max
Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience in
Jupiter, Fla. The 100,000 sq. ft. research facility opened
in December 2012 and currently includes nine distinct
research groups focused on the complex synaptic networks of
the brain that hold the key to developing treatments for a
host of neurological and psychiatric disorders and diseases,
including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, autism and
Guests at the
dinner included many cultural, financial and civic leaders.
Amongst these were board members of the Max Planck Florida
Institute and its Foundation, including Dr.
David and Nancy Auth; Alexander and Renate Dreyfoos; Frank
Louis Freeh; Nasser and Yvonne Kazeminy; and Howard
and Pat Lester. Also
in attendance were Max
Planck Florida Institute’s Dr.
David Fitzpatrick; Dr. Ryohei Yasuda; Dr. Bert Sakmann; Dr.
McLean Bolton; and Dr.
is an exceptional scientist, leader, and visionary who has
built an international research community sharing the core
values that lie at the heart of the society’s scientific
success,” said Dr. Fitzpatrick, scientific director and CEO.
“He has been a global ambassador for basic research, using
his influence to create world-changing scientific
Prior to the
dinner reception, the Max Planck Florida Institute hosted an
interactive panel discussion for nearly 75 members of the
Science Writers in New York (SWINY) and Association of
Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) on the importance of
technology and recent breakthroughs in brain research. The
panel included scientific directors from both Florida and
Germany, and was moderated by Ron Winslow, Deputy Editor of
Health & Science at the Wall
Street Journal. Dr. Peter Gruss provided an overview on
the global impact that the Max Planck Society is
contributing to scientific research.