Life Sciences and the New Normal – An Update from the BDB Life Science Advisory Council

June 18, 2020 – As the world continues to combat Covid-19, Palm Beach County’s life science leaders are navigating the new normal with cutting-edge research, partnerships, and discoveries. Today, the Business Development Board’s Life Science Advisory Council, a group comprised of Palm Beach County’s top scientific leaders, shared behind- the-scenes updates on new developments in the sector.

Economic Development

Amid the new normal, the Business Development Board is still making necessary connections and faciliating growth to grow the life sciences sector. Robert Mino, Vice President of Life Sciences, announced that 10 new life science companies have relocated to or expanded in Palm Beach County, creating more than 1,000 high salary jobs over the past six months. Currently, 30 additional companies are planning announcements by the end of 2020, which would create 1,600 more jobs.

Other exciting updates for the sector:

  • For the first time in 21 years, BioFlorida Annual Conference will be hosted in Palm Beach County. Life science leaders from around the world will see the County’s innovation in-person.
  • The BDB has continued “Post Doc Career Talks” with local academic institutes such as Scripps, FAU, Lynn, and Keiser. This has resulted in several local hires, retaining graduated talent locally.
  • A tri-county call with the State of Florida Drugs, Devices, and Cosmetics, and a dozen pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other stakeholders, was hosted by the BDB to prepare Florida’s drug supply for the hurricane season in the age of Covid-19

Scientific Research

Scripps Florida will gain a new, exciting device that is the only microscope of its’ kind in the nation. This new device will be a magnet for scientists around the world and attract new education opportunities. For Covid-19, the device will assist the lab to further study a new receptor and create drugs that no one has done yet. The Scripps Research’s Florida campus was well represented on the call by Douglas Bingham, Executive Vice President, Florida Operations and Tina Izard, PhD, Professor, Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology – Molecular Imaging Center.


The new President of Palm Beach Atlantic University, Dr. Debra Schwinn, is also a leading physician scientist in medical genomics, molecular pharmacology, and cardiac anesthesia. She shared her plans as the new leader of PBAU, which include expanding the School of Pharmacy in unique ways and execute more programs shaped around pharmaceutical science to coincide with the world’s new normal.

Dr. John Kelly, President of Florida Atlantic University, shared that the FAU campus labs have remained open this summer to continue scientific research. He shared that they have been working closely with Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) to ensure that the new Max Planck Academy will give students an education like nowhere else in the world.

Health Care

Gina Melby, CEO of JFK Medical Center, gave the group an update from a hospital’s perspective. As they are continuing to see an increase in Covid-19 patients, the hospital is prepared, taking all precautions to ensure the safety of the local community. As Covid-19 patients come to the hospital, most are not needing ventilators as the JFK team is able to prevent that from happening.


As the world continues to combat Covid-19, one thing remains the same:

Palm Beach County’s life science industry will remain a collaborative research hub for years to come.