Private Reception Welcomes Dr. David Fitzpatrick as CEO and Scientific Director of Max Planck Florida Institute

March 3, 2011

Dr. Peter Gruss, president of Germany’s Max Planck Society, hosted a reception on March 1 at the Palm Beach Yacht Club to welcome Dr. David Fitzpatrick as the new CEO and Scientific Director at the Max Planck Florida Institute in Jupiter. Dr. Fitzpatrick was previously the James B. Duke Professor of Neurobiology at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, NC, and Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.

“Recruiting such a keen scientific mind and a leader with the volume and level of international credentials Dr. Fitzpatrick has earned over his career is an important step toward achieving our research goals here at the Max Planck Florida Institute,” said Gruss.

Nearly 50 guests attended the reception, generously sponsored by Ken Kahn, president of LRP Publications, including Dr. Herbert Jaeckle, vice president of the Max Planck Society; Palm Beach County Commissioners Karen Marcus and Paulette Burdick; Russell Allen, CEO of Bioflorida; Laurel Baker of the Palm Beach Chamber; George Elmore; David and Nancy Auth; Bob and Joan Eigen; Howard and Patricia Lester; Gary Margules of Nova Southeastern University; Mike Mitrione of Gunster; Dr. Gary Perry of Florida Atlantic University; and Gregory Novak from Novak, Druce and Quigg.

“Being a director at a Max Planck Institute is one of the highest honors for a scientist,” said Dr. Fitzpatrick. “Within five years, the Florida Institute aspires to be a leader in developing novel approaches to understanding the structure, function and development of neural circuits.”

Dr. Gruss also announced that Dr. Fitzpatrick’s wife, Dr. McLean Bolton will start a research program this year at the Max Planck Florida Institute focusing on disorders of neural circuit function. She was previously in the Neurology Division of Duke’s Department of Pediatrics. The addition of these two renowned scientists brings the current number of staff at the Max Planck Florida Institute to 55.

“The kind of research we are doing and the long-term ramifications it has on advancing the field of neuroscience add up to a critical need for a state-of-the-art home,” Gruss added.  “So I’m very pleased to announce that in April, we will ‘top off’ construction on our new 100,000 square foot biomedical research facility on FAU’s MacArthur campus in Jupiter. This major milestone will bring us another step closer to the completion scheduled for the summer of 2012.”

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