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.
Barbara Suflas Noble
Vice President for 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.
Vice President for Human Relations
Hollie Perez joined MPFI in March 2013. In her role, Hollie oversees the Human Resources Department and functions as the Responsible Officer for the Institute’s J-1 Visa program in addition to being part of the management team of the Institute.
Prior to joining MPFI, Hollie played a key role in the Human Resources Department of The Scripps Research Institute where she was instrumental in the creation of scientific recruiting programs and establishing scalable HR business processes to support the Institute’s Florida expansion. The last position held during her 8 years of work for Scripps Florida was Human Resources Supervisor. Hollie also spent 6 years as an Operations Manager for a regional scientific staffing firm that provided scientific staff in the areas of Massachusetts, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
Hollie began her professional career as a plastics and metals Chemist supporting the automotive industry and transitioned into project management and then quality assurance management before starting her career in Human Resources.
Hollie received her M.B.A. with a specialty in Human Resources Management from Baker College in Muskegon, Michigan, her Human Resources Certification from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, and her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. In addition, Hollie holds a PHR, an advanced level certification in Internal Investigations, and is a certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Practitioner.