Scripps Research Institute Board of Trustees elects newest member


The Scripps Research Institute Board of Trustees elected philanthropist and Silicon Valley commercial real estate entrepreneur Mark Pearson as its newest member, it was announced Tuesday.

Pearson, 43, has been involved with the programs at Scripps Research for a number of years. In 2003, he gave $3 million to the institute to establish the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research, which combines the latest biomedical research with new clinical treatments to fight the disease of alcohol and drug addiction.

Co-directed by Scripps Research Professors George Koob and Barbara Mason, the center’s work complements and reinforces traditional treatments by focusing on the physiological changes in the brain that drive excessive drinking and drug use while creating vulnerability to relapse.

In 2007, Pearson funded the Pearson Family Chair, an endowed chair in alcoholism and addiction research at Scripps Research.

Scripps Research President Richard A. Lerner said Pearson’s “business acumen and extensive leadership experience will be a great asset to the continuing success of the institute.’’

Pearson is a managing partner at CresaPartners, a national corporate real estate company with 26 offices, and is also co-founder and managing partner of Drawbridge Partners, a real estate development and investment company.

He has also founded several companies with emphasis on helping people reduce the cost of health insurance, along with health and wellness expenses, and Annex Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on providing early-stage financing for technology and biotechnology companies.

Pearson joins 29 other members on the Scripps Research Board of Trustees, which oversees governance of both the institute’s La Jolla-based campus and its new division in Palm Beach County, Florida.

The board, comprised of individuals from business, science, law, medicine, government, finance and philanthropy, meets frequently to review major decisions concerning the policies, finances, operations and direction of the nonprofit biomedical research organization.

Scripps Research is known for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular and infectious diseases and synthetic vaccine development.

Established in its current configuration in 1961, it employs about 3,000 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, scientific and other technicians, doctoral degree graduate students and administrative and technical support personnel.