San Diego developer Sandor W. Shapery joins Institute Board

La Jolla Institute Board of Directors elects top business leader

LA JOLLA, CA – The La Jolla Institute for Immunology is pleased to announce that Sandor W. Shapery, one of San Diego’s most respected real estate developers and business leaders, has been elected to its Board of Directors.

“We’re delighted to welcome Sandor Shapery to our board,” said Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D., La Jolla Institute president and chief scientific officer. “Sandy is a true Renaissance man. In addition to developing the iconic Emerald Plaza in downtown San Diego, among many other projects, Sandy has also enjoyed careers as an attorney and more recently as an inventor of mass transportation technology. His wide-ranging experience will be invaluable in helping guide the Institute’s future direction.”

Shapery is the founder of San Diego-based Shapery Enterprises, a real estate holding company involved in the ownership, design and development of high-rise office buildings, high-rise hotels, commercial centers and raw land. Emerald Plaza, which he developed on West Broadway in the early 1990s, was architecturally innovative with its futuristic, multi-tower hexagonal design.

Sandor W. Shapery

Born in Chicago, Shapery moved in 1947 with his family to San Diego where his father took over a wholesale food distributorship. He graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in political science and earned his JD cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law. Shapery worked as a law clerk with famed attorney Melvin Belli and later argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Shapery was one of the founders of First National Bank, at the time the largest initially capitalized bank in U.S. history. He is a former member of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Committee; former vice chairman of the San Diego Association of Governments Stakeholders Working Group; charter member of the Southern California Leadership Counsel; and a former member of the board of Save Our Heritage Organization, a San Diego historic preservation organization.

On the technology side, Shapery worked as an auto mechanic and built race cars earlier in his life and used those skills to design a vertical takeoff aircraft engine system that he developed with the help of a NASA grant. More recently, through his Innovative Transportation Systems Corporation, Shapery is developing advanced transportation infrastructure technology, including zero emissions induction-powered rail and magnetic levitation trains capable of traveling 300 miles an hour on existing railroad platforms. One of his patents has been licensed to Elon Musk’s designed Hyperloop transportation project.

Shapery is looking forward to serving on the Institute’s board and said one reason is that he believes the Institute’s leading-edge immunology research will soon lead to groundbreaking treatments for diseases similar to the kidney cancer his wife, Rebecca, recently battled.

“I’m thrilled to become involved with the Institute because I believe immunology is now at the absolute forefront of humankind’s ability to treat and prevent disease,” says Shapery, who began his relationship with the Institute with a major gift for immune-based cancer research. “The incredibly talented scientists at the Institute are world leaders in understanding how to leverage the power of our immune system, and not just to develop more effective treatments but to actually cure disease. For those like my wife and so many others who faced cancer and other serious diseases, the Institute offers true hope for saving millions of lives in the years to come. I believe one should counter challenges in health with a positive contribution to put an end to the challenge,” says Shapery.

About La Jolla Institute for Immunology

The La Jolla Institute for Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading toward its goal: life without disease.

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