Institute Leadership

Dr. David Fitzpatrick

Scientific Director & CEO

Dr. David Fitzpatrick was named Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director of the Max Planck Florida Institute on January 3, 2011. Prior to his arrival in Jupiter, he was the James B. Duke Professor of Neurobiology at the Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC. Dr. Fitzpatrick was also the Founding Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. In this capacity, he led the development of numerous cross-school, interdisciplinary initiatives that spawned new areas of collaborative research, recruited new faculty, and supported the development of new educational programs in the neurosciences.

Dr. Fitzpatrick’s scientific contributions have earned him international recognition as a leader in systems neuroscience, with a focus on the functional organization and development of neural circuits in the cerebral cortex — the largest and most complex area of the brain, whose functions include sensory perception, motor control, and cognition. His research probes fundamental mechanisms of cortical processing that underlie a wide range of brain functions and are critical for understanding how cortical circuits are altered in neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Fitzpatrick has received a number of awards for his research accomplishments, including an Alfred P. Sloan Research Award, The Cajal Club Cortical Discoverer Award, and The McKnight Neuroscience Investigator Award. He has served on numerous scientific advisory boards including the Society for Neuroscience, the Searle Scholars Program, the Riken Brain Science Institute, the Max-Planck-Institute for Neurobiology, and the National Institutes of Health. He also has served as an editor for a number of scientific journals, most recently as a Senior Editor for the Journal of Neuroscience.

Dr. Matthias Haury

Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Matthias Haury is in charge of the scientific infrastructure and operations at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. His responsibilities include establishing and managing the laboratories and scientific services at the new 100,000-square-foot facility, as well as ensuring efficient budget management.

Dr. Haury received his PhD in Immunology from the University of Paris VI, worked at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and performed his postdoc work at the University of California, San Francisco.

Prior to joining MPFI in February 2013, Dr. Haury spent two and a half years as Head of Science Operations at COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), coordinating and managing a European Commission funded research networking program in Brussels.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Gulbenkian Institute of Science (IGC) in Oeiras, Portugal, where he built the institutional infrastructure, core facilities, and technical services before becoming Chief Technology Officer and a member of executive management of the IGC.

He subsequently took on the position of Coordinating Manager of the EMBL International Centre for Advanced Training (EICAT) at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, where he contributed to the planning and opening of the €40 million Advanced Training Centre, and helped to establish the EMBL Corporate Partnership Program, raising more than €1.2 million from corporate supporters.

Dr. Haury has authored over 30 publications and, due to his extensive expertise in scientific grant and program evaluation, frequently serves on scientific review panels on behalf of the European Commission and national research organizations.

Barbara Suflas Noble

Vice President of Advancement

Barbara Suflas Noble is President of the Max Planck Florida Foundation and also serves as Vice-President for Advancement at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI). In her role, Barbara oversees all fundraising programs which support the Institute’s scientific research as well as its education programs through private philanthropic support. A member of MPFI’s Executive Leadership Team, she is charged with developing and implementing MPFI’s strategic plan for future growth and contributing to the scope of its external relations efforts.

Barbara was previously with The Scripps Research Institute where she led the establishment of the La Jolla, Calif.-based organization’s expansion into Florida. Most recently, she served as the Director of External Affairs for Scripps Florida and worked extensively with faculty and philanthropic leadership to achieve fundraising goals and build relationships with donors, corporate sponsors, and business and community leaders. Prior to Scripps, Noble was the president of BSN Enterprises Inc., a consulting firm for nonprofit organizations, public service providers, and governmental agencies, and has served as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Marketing Services for the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.

Well known in Palm Beach County, she has been honored numerous times for her volunteerism and leadership. She has been named one of the Most Influential Business Women of South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal; received the Woman of Distinction Award for Volunteer Service to Women and Children by Soroptimist International; and was a finalist for Woman Volunteer of the Year by the Junior League of the Palm Beaches. Noble is currently the president and founding board member of Western Academy Charter School, board member of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, board member and trustee of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, and a long-time member of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County.

Bill Pennell

Vice President of Finance & Administration

Mr. Bill Pennell started with MPFI in August 2010 after spending the past 10 years as the Vice President of Finance & Facilities for two education entities, Broward College and Kentucky State University. Prior to that, Bill spent over 25 years in financial leadership in medical device companies as diverse as large divisions of Pfizer and C.R. Bard and in start-up entities.

Bill began his professional career with Arthur Andersen & Co. and spent several years with the management consulting firm of Booz, Allen & Hamilton before going into the medical industry. Bill has a MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and a BA in Economics from DePauw University, and has significant expertise in directing Finance, Facilities, Human Resources, IT and Customer Service functions.