Dr. Phillip Frost, South Florida billionaire and CEO of biotechnology firm Opko Health (Nasdaq: OPK), this week donated $100 million to the University of Miamito create the Frost Institute for Science and Engineering.
The institute will work to help solve some of the world’s “most pressing problems” by elevating STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“Patricia and I are committed to making Miami a hub for technological and scientific innovation, which is the main reason for our support of basic and applied sciences and engineering at the University of Miami,” Frost said. “If we build the framework from which to provide the education and resources, we will be successful in attracting world-class scientists across various disciplines.”
A portion of the $100 million gift will be used to build a modern science and engineering building on UM’s Coral Gables campus, to be named the Phillip and Patricia Frost Science and Engineering Building.
“The University of Miami is already known for excellence in biomedicine, marine sciences, and other fields,” said UM President Julio Frenk. “But continued excellence cannot be sustained without critical investments in basic and applied science, mathematics and engineering. These disciplines, which form the building blocks for innovation, must be strengthened to maintain our leading edge as a research university.”
The first individual vertical under the new network will be the Frost Institute of Chemistry and Molecular Science. It will work to create an arena for the comprehensive study of the chemical sciences, including basic and applied research areas, to advance knowledge and technologies in chemistry, biochemistry and engineering.
UM plans to launch a national search for an individual to lead the Frost Institutes, with additional institutes to be created over the next several years.