HomeNewsFive Operational Directors Chosen for Janelia Farm Research Campus

HHMI News

Five Operational Directors Chosen for Janelia Farm Research Campus

Summary

Five experienced administrators have been appointed to fill key roles at the Janelia Farm Research Campus.

Five experienced administrators have been appointed to fill key roles at the Janelia Farm Research Campus now under construction in Ashburn, Virginia, by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Together, the group will oversee the scientific services and all financial and administrative functions of the $500 million facility, which will open in 2006.

Each of the five operational directors was selected through a national search and will report to Cheryl A. Moore, Chief Operating Officer for Janelia Farm. “We were looking for people with the right mix of hands-on and strategic skills,” said Moore. “People who understand how to create something from scratch because they've done it before, but who aren't wed to doing it the way they may have done it last time. It was also important that they be passionate about creating our unique culture and environment.”

We were looking for people with the right mix of hands-on and strategic skills. People who understand how to create something from scratch because they’ve done it before, but who aren’t wed to doing it the way they may have done it last time.

Cheryl A. Moore

As HHMI's first freestanding campus, Janelia Farm will provide a setting where small research groups can explore fundamental biomedical questions in a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary culture. Approximately 230 resident and 100 visiting scientists will work toward two main goals: Identifying the general principles that govern how information is processed by neuronal circuits; and developing imaging technologies and computational methods for image analysis.

To support the researchers' work, the five operational directors will manage a staff of about 75 people operating a variety of scientific services, and another 65 in administrative and other roles. The new directors, who bring extensive skills and experience to Janelia Farm, are:

  • Howard Michael Day, Director of Facilities
    Howard Day, of Jefferson, Maryland, will plan and supervise the facilities components of the laboratory, conference, and housing spaces at Janelia Farm. Day, 45, has a B.S. in management studies from the University of Maryland. With 27 years of experience in building operations, he has overseen numerous facilities, including the 3.8 million square feet of educational facilities that make up the Arlington public school system in Virginia and the 150,000 square-foot Carnegie Institution of Washington's Broad Branch Road Campus in Washington, DC. Day says he sees Janelia Farm as a place of constant learning, and looks forward to having an impact on the science that will be conducted there by thinking creatively and having a "can and will do" attitude with regard to facilities issues.
  • Jennifer L. Farris, Director of Campus Services
    Jennifer Farris will oversee Janelia Farm's short- and long-term housing facilities for visiting scientists and campus services such as dining and the fitness center. Farris, 35, has a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina and more than 15 years of experience in the management of rooms, meetings, and food and beverage services at hotel and conference facilities. She is a former director of catering and conference services for The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill and, most recently, the general manager of Northeastern University's Warren Conference Center and Inn in Ashland, Massachusetts. She is excited for the opportunity to parlay her hospitality skills into meaningful work that supports the mission of Janelia Farm. It is Farris' goal to create comfortable spaces on campus that encourage collaborative discussions and support the creative thinking that will distinguish Janelia Farm from other institutions.
  • Reed A. George, Director of Scientific Services
    Reed George will direct the campus's shared resource laboratories, including the microscopy facilities, the instrument design facility, and the molecular biology laboratory. He will also be responsible for materials management and environmental health and safety. George, 41, says Janelia Farm's cross-disciplinary approach to science's important?questions brought him to Virginia from Berkeley, California, where he was a senior program manager for the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project, running the project's DNA sequencing operations and its technology development group. He was also a founding partner of a biotechnology consulting business in northern California. George has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of South Florida and a master of technology management from the University of Phoenix. Prior to transitioning into the life sciences in 1997, George was a principal staff engineer for Motorola.
  • Marshall R. Peterson, Director of Information Technology
    Marshall Peterson will be responsible for all local information technology at Janelia Farm, including the design, implementation, and support of the scientific computing infrastructure. Peterson has more than 20 years' of IT experience, with 12 of these focusing on high-performance scientific computing, including designing missile guidance systems, acquiring and processing satellite data, and collecting and analyzing vast quantities of DNA sequences. Most recently, he was chief technology officer at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, where he was responsible for the design and construction of a high-throughput sequencing facility. He is also a former vice president for infrastructure technology for Celera Genomics in Rockville, Maryland, where he developed the computing infrastructure used to sequence and assemble the human genome. Peterson, 58, has a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Kansas. According to Peterson, Janelia Farm is the most exciting project he has ever participated in, distinguished by “the quality of the Janelia Farm team and HHMI headquarters team, the camaraderie, the excitement, and the opportunity to dramatically advance the state-of-the-art of the life sciences.”
  • Joanne M. Theurich, Director of Administration and Finance
    Joanne Theurich will be responsible for the development and management of Janelia Farm's finance, purchasing, human resource administration, and library, as well as overseeing the campus's technology transfer issues. Theurich, 42, has a B.A. in business administration from Michigan State University. She has built, developed, and managed the finance and administrative functions of several start-up healthcare organizations, where she has held vice president or division president positions. She comes to Janelia Farm from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where she was responsible for the administration of business process outsourcing contracts for DST Health Systems. She was drawn to Janelia Farm by an interest in health and science and the campus's collaborative work environment and focus on research that is not traditionally funded by other sources.

For More Information

Jim Keeley
[ 301-215-8858 ]