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Provost, Med School Dean Announce Dawson as New DIBS Leader

Internationally renowned autism researcher to begin new role July 1

To the DIBS Community:

For the past two years, the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences has operated under a nontraditional organizational structure: a Faculty Governance Committee, chaired by Geraldine Dawson, to guide strategic direction, and a Chief Operating Officer, Nicole Schramm-Sapyta, to manage day-to-day activities and staff. Thanks to these leaders and a vibrant interdisciplinary community, DIBS has achieved many successes.

We want to acknowledge the important achievements of the Faculty Governance Committee, which has demonstrated impressive dedication and careful oversight of the institute’s activities, processes and goals. Similarly, the FGC/COO team shepherded an exemplary strategic planning process, which has engaged the wider Duke neuroscience community in laying out important overarching objectives for DIBS.

Recognizing those successes, we believe DIBS will benefit from returning to a more typical organizational structure. We are pleased to share the news that Geri Dawson has accepted a new position as Director of the DIBS.

We are immensely pleased that Geri—an internationally renowned scientist and clinician who has a long track record of inspiring and effective institutional leadership, and who now has deep knowledge of the DIBS community and mission—has agreed to serve in that role. Three Associate Directors will serve as part of the DIBS leadership team: Nicole, Alison Adcock and Leonard White. Geri will continue to lead the Duke Center on Autism and Brain Development.

We are grateful to each of you in the DIBS community. We acknowledge the dedication and hard work over these last few years from DIBS staff and faculty, from COO Nicole Schramm-Sapyta, and from every member of the Faculty Governance Committee. Together, you each played a part in stewarding DIBS through a complicated period.

Geri will officially assume the directorship on July 1, and we know you will contribute to the success of this exciting transition. We are confident that the wider neuroscience community will continue to thrive in this next phase for DIBS.

Mary Klotman
Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs

Sally Kornbluth
Provost and Jo Rae Wright University Professor