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Dana Foundation Announces Caroline Montojo, Ph.D., as New President

December 22, 2020


Headshot of MontojoThe Dana Foundation has named Caroline Montojo, Ph.D., as its next president, effective March 1, 2021. Montojo is currently the director of Life Sciences and the director of Brain Initiatives at The Kavli Foundation.

“Caroline Montojo brings to the role an exceptional combination of energy, vision, and demonstrated success advancing neuroscience on the global stage and bringing its societal implications to the fore,” said Steven E. Hyman, M.D., chairman of the Dana Foundation. “She was the clear choice to lead the Foundation into its next chapter, as we refine its longstanding commitment to research and public education on the brain to a focus on the intersection of neuroscience and society. We look forward to expanding the Foundation’s impact in such areas as neuroethics, neurosciences and the law, and the relationship of neuroscience with the arts and humanities.”

At The Kavli Foundation since 2015, Montojo has been deeply involved in large-scale neuroscience initiatives, including the US BRAIN Initiative and the International Brain Initiative (IBI). With the latter, she spearheaded the development of an innovative framework, which aims to advance neuroscience through collaboration and knowledge sharing among the nationally sponsored brain initiatives around the world. She also championed The Kavli Foundation’s strategic efforts in international neuroethics through partnerships with the Global Neuroethics Summit and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). She has served as an elected spokesperson for the IBI, speaking at multiple scientific conferences about both the IBI and The Kavli Foundation.

Prior to her work at The Kavli Foundation, Montojo completed postdoctoral research in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her research focused on investigating neural biomarkers for psychiatric illness using functional magnetic resonance imaging and behavioral approaches, for which she was awarded the Arnold Scheibel Distinguished Fellow in Neuroscience Award and the Stephen R. Mallory Schizophrenia Research Award. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Johns Hopkins University. The daughter of first-generation immigrants from the Philippines, Montojo credits her family for supporting her interest in science and its potential to make a positive impact on the world.

“I am honored and delighted to serve as president of the Dana Foundation,” said Montojo. “The Foundation is at an exciting inflection point as it builds upon its strong legacy of research and public outreach. As neuroscience discoveries push the frontiers of our understanding, ensuring a strong relationship between neuroscience and society will be critical. I look forward to building partnerships with scientific leadership and stakeholders around the world, to lead the Foundation into the future.”

Montojo succeeds Burton M. Mirsky, who has held the position of president and treasurer and served in executive roles at the Dana Foundation since 1996. He will continue his work at the Foundation as President Emeritus.


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