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Dreyfoos' gives $1 million to Max Planck FL Foundation

March 4, 2014

The Max Planck Florida Foundation announced today a gift of $1 million from Alexander and Renate Dreyfoos. The foundation supports the programming and operations of Jupiter-based Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI), the first and only Max Planck Institute in the United States. The Max Planck Society maintains over 80 state-of-the-art institutes and research facilities worldwide, with locations in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

“Our work is focused on advancing the world’s understanding of how the brain works,” said MPFI CEO and Scientific Director, Dr. David Fitzpatrick, “providing a foundation for the development of treatments and cures for brain disorders ranging from Parkinson’s to epilepsy. Mr. Dreyfoos continues to be one of our most vocal champions for neuroscience research.”

Mr. Dreyfoos is an entrepreneur, inventor, and philanthropist living in West Palm Beach. After graduating from MIT, he served in the U.S. Air Force in Germany, managing a photo reconnaissance laboratory. He earned an MBA degree from Harvard Business School.

In 1963 Mr. Dreyfoos founded Photo Electronics Corporation, where he invented the Video Color Negative Analyzer (VCNA), marketed worldwide by Kodak and now part of a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution. A motion picture version of the VCNA earned his company an Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Mr. Dreyfoos holds 10 U.S. patents and is a lifetime trustee of the MIT Corporation. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Dreyfoos is well known for his leadership role in establishing the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County and the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. His contribution to the Dreyfoos School of the Arts, ranked by U.S. World and News Reports as one of the nation’s best high schools, was the largest private donation ever made to a public school in Florida. Mr. Dreyfoos owned WPEC TV-12 from 1973 to 1996.

“Renate and I consider it an honor and a responsibility to support MPFI and its world-renowned scientists, who are literally advancing the world’s knowledge of neuroscience every day,” he said. “The institute’s presence here puts Palm Beach County on the global map of scientific achievement, which is dear to my heart and interests. Max Planck is important to our economy and educational resources, but most importantly it is moving us closer to cures for Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s and other diseases of the brain. What could be more important than that?”

In honor of the Dreyfoos’s gift, MPFI will designate its central atrium at the research institute as the Alexander and Renate Dreyfoos Atrium.

The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience has nine distinct research groups focused on mapping the networks of neurons in the brain. This major frontier in neuroscience is an essential step towards understanding how the brain works and how to treat and cure debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and autism. The nonprofit Max Planck Florida Foundation supports the institute’s scientific research as well as its educational programs by attaining private philanthropic support from individuals, corporations, and foundations across the United States.


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