Institute Leadership

Dr. David Fitzpatrick
Scientific Director & CEO

Dr. David Fitzpatrick was named Founding Scientific Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Max Planck Florida Institute on January 3, 2011. Prior to his arrival in Jupiter, Dr. Fitzpatrick was the James B. Duke Professor of Neurobiology at the Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, and 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 neuroscience.

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 current research utilizes state-of-the-art in vivo imaging and stimulation techniques to probe the function of circuits in visual cortex, with a focus on the role that experience plays in early development and adult plasticity of these circuits, issues that are critical for understanding how cortical circuits are altered in neurological and psychiatric disorders.

He is the author of over 90 scholarly papers including articles in high impact journals such as Nature and Science, and he has received a number of awards for his research accomplishments including The McKnight Neuroscience Investigator Award, The Alfred P. Sloan Research Award, The Cajal Club Cortical Discoverer Award, the John Lisman Memorial Award, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He has served on numerous scientific advisory boards including the Wellcome Trust, the Searle Scholars Program, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. In 2018, Dr. Fitzpatrick was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the honorary society founded in 1780 that is committed to recognizing individuals who contribute fundamental knowledge that addresses the world’s challenges.

Dr. Ivan Baines
Chief Operating Officer

For more than three decades, Dr. Ivan Baines has managed some of the world’s leading life sciences research institutes and has either been responsible or contributed to the establishment of 8 biomedical research institutes, most recently rejoining the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience as Chief Operating Officer.

Ivan was MPFI’s first COO and played an instrumental role in the successful construction and operation of the institute when it opened its doors in 2012. He then took a position as Chief Operating Officer and Board Member of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, where he oversaw all day-to-day operations, including the institute’s administration, managed the research infrastructure and scientific core facilities, as well as provided mentorship and scientific guidance in the areas of technical and scientific services. He also oversaw technology transfer and developed a successful commercialization program.

Other prior positions include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Biopolis Consultants, which he co-founded. Ivan has served on numerous biotech boards and has been published extensively in leading scientific journals. He received his Ph.D. in cell biology and biochemistry from the University of London in 1988.

As COO of MPFI, Dr. Baines brings his extensive expertise to guide the strategic direction of the organization, oversee technical and scientific services, and ensure the efficient operation of MFPI’s  100,000-square-foot LEED-certified green facility.

Doris Forchheimer

Doris Forchheimer
Vice President for Finance

Doris Forchheimer started at MPFI in January 2010 after spending 6 years as the Finance Director for the Vero Beach Museum of Art. Prior to that Doris spent over 25 years in finance and business management in the non-profit, mutual fund, and manufacturing industries as well as several startup companies.

Doris began her professional career with the Investment Company Institute performing research analysis. Along with a partner, she then opened the first of several businesses, successfully securing an SBA loan to build out and open 2 fitness centers in Washington D.C., one of which, CityFitness, is still operating today. After selling the fitness centers to larger organizations, Doris spent several years living in Santa Fe, New Mexico working for Thornburg Investment Management as a mutual fund accountant and in Honolulu, Hawaii as an accountant for a University of Hawaii Innovation Center start-up company, Ergo Linguistic Technologies.

Doris received her B.S. degree in Finance from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and performed post graduate studies in accounting at the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University.

Hollie Perez
Vice President of Human Resources

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.