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.