Honoring the Life and Work of Alexander Dreyfoos

Dreyfoos, who passed away at the age of 91, played a fundamental role in the success of the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. 

May 30, 2023
Alexander Dreyfoos and Dr. David Fitzpatrick

Max Planck Florida celebrates the life and mourns the passing of Alexander Dreyfoos, a man who not only helped make our institute possible but who spent his life working to create a better world through opportunities for engagement in the arts and sciences.

 As an engineer, he developed pioneering new technologies that advanced the fields of motion pictures and photography. As a philanthropist, he built communities, investing not only in artists but in creating an artistic infrastructure for Palm Beach County through his generosity toward the Kravis Center and his founding of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. He worked to ensure future generations were inspired and educated to change the world through his investment in the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

But while his love of the arts is well known, what’s lesser known, yet equally strong, was his passion for science. As an engineer and inventor, he understood that art and science are intertwined.

Alexander Dreyfoos was instrumental in the establishment of Max Planck Florida through a landmark gift to our institute in 2014. He proudly served on our board, sharing his vision and leadership to help define our trajectory as an institution. He was a constant fixture at institute events, enjoying performances of Science Meets Music and even participating in hands on demonstrations during outreach events.

“Alex’s passion for scientific research, his insatiable curiosity, and his deep understanding of the path to success were a perfect match for our mission,” said MPFI CEO and Scientific Director David Fitzpatrick. “His drive to understand and improve the world was and continues to be inspiring. Everyone at MPFI owes him our gratitude for his generosity and leadership, which made the institute what it is today.”

With his spirit of innovation driving us, we will continue our work to understand the neural networks that underlie degenerative neurological disorders. His support will live on in our discoveries, and he will continue to break ground and change the world.

“The Institute’s presence here puts Palm Beach County on the global map of scientific achievement, which is dear to my heart and interests,” shared Dreyfoos when he designated the gift to Max Planck Florida nine years ago. “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?”