LA investor Ron Burkel join TSRI board of directors

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Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ron Burkle watches as his team celebrates a 3-1 victory to win the Stanley Cup against the San Jose Sharks in Game Six of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final.

SAN DIEGO — Investor and philanthropist Ron Burkle is the newest member of The Scripps Research Institute Board of Directors, the nonprofit life science organization announced Monday.

Burkle founded The Yucaipa Cos., a Los Angeles-based venture capital and private equity firm that provides financial backing to the retail, distribution, technology, entertainment, sports and hospitality industries, and chairs the Ronald W. Burkle Foundation.

“Ron’s business acumen and philanthropic mindset will be critical to realizing the new self-sustaining `bench-to-bedside’ model we are building,” said Peter Schultz, president of TSRI and the California Institute for Biomedical Research. “I am thrilled to welcome yet another incredibly credentialed individual to the TSRI board who can help guide our efforts to take on new challenges in advancing human health through basic science and drug discovery.”

Yucaipa’s portfolio includes the grocery chains Ralphs and Food4Less.

Burkle is a co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins National Hockey League franchise, is co-chairman of the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA, and a trustee of the Carter Center, the National Urban League and AIDS Project Los Angeles.

He also has been an active member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy. In November, he purchased the iconic Palm Springs home of the late entertainer Bob Hope for $13 million.

His foundation provides financial support to the American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Club of America and the environmental group Heal the Bay, among many other organizations.