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MIAMI, Dec. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK) announces that Director Richard A. Lerner, M.D. passed away on December 2nd at the age of 83. Dr. Lerner had served as a Director of OPKO Health since 2007. The Board of Directors and staff of OPKO extend their deepest condolences to the Lerner family and express their gratitude for Dr. Lerner’s many contributions to OPKO and to the advancement of science.
Dr. Lerner served as President of The Scripps Research Institute, a leading biomedical research organization based in La Jolla, Calif., from 1986 until 2012, and most recently served as Institute Professor and as a member of its Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and management at OPKO, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Richard’s family,” stated Phillip Frost, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OPKO. “Richard was a dear friend and trusted colleague. His valuable contributions as a Director over the past 14 years, along with his vast industry experience and passion for science have been integral to the advancement of OPKO Health. He was a visionary and accomplished leader, as evidenced by his numerous awards and patents for groundbreaking work. He will be greatly missed by all of us at OPKO as well as by the global biomedical research community.”
Dr. Lerner received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and his M.D. from Stanford Medical School. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, the predecessor of the institute he would eventually lead and help build. During the 1970s he conducted research at the Wister Institute in Philadelphia, then returned to La Jolla where, in 1982, he was appointed chairman of the Department of Molecular Biology. Five years later he assumed the directorship and became its first president in 1991. Under his leadership, The Scripps Research Institute increased laboratory space threefold and more than quadrupled staff levels, placing it among the world’s largest nonprofit biomedical research organizations. In 2006 he oversaw the establishment of the satellite research campus Scripps Florida, in Palm Beach County.
Dr. Lerner is perhaps best known for his research into catalytic antibodies and his extensive studies into protein structure. He has dozens of patents to his name and published more than 400 scientific papers. He has received more than 30 honors and prizes including the Parke-Davis Award in 1978, the San Marino Prize in 1990 and the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 1994. Dr. Lerner was awarded the California Scientist of the Year Award in 1996 and the University of California Presidential Medal in 2002. He was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and was a co-recipient of the 2012 Prince of Asturias award, considered the Spanish Nobel Prize.
About OPKO Health
OPKO is a multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company that seeks to establish industry-leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets by leveraging its discovery, development, and commercialization expertise and novel and proprietary technologies. For more information, visit www.opko.com.