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Marilyn Simons elected Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory chair

Marilyn H Simons chairman trustee
Marilyn H. Simons, chairman of CSHL's Board of Trustees.

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Cold Spring Harbor, NY — The governing body of the not-for-profit Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) elected Dr. Marilyn Simons chair of the Board of Trustees on November 17, 2018. Long-time supporter of the world-renowned biological research and education institution, Simons is joined by Vice-Chairmen Charles Cogut, Robert Lindsay, and Paul Taubman.

“I thank Marilyn Simons for her commitment to the Laboratory and I look forward to working with her to advance our mission in research and science education. I also thank outgoing chair, Jamie C. Nicholls, for eight years of extraordinary service,” said CSHL President & CEO Bruce Stillman, Ph.D. “During her tenure, this institution achieved major milestones in infrastructure growth and financial strength, including the 125th Anniversary $285 million Capital Campaign, and the doubling of the endowment to about $640 million in 2018.”

New officers-elect are Treasurer Elizabeth McCaul, Secretary Robert Lourie, Ph.D., and recently appointed Chief Operating Officer John Tuke. Three trustees were welcomed to the board: Geoffrey Robertson, Karel Svoboda, Ph.D., and Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D.

Trio of Trustees 2018
New trustees (l to r): Elaine Fuchs Ph.D., Karel Svoboda Ph.D., Geoffrey Robertson.

Geoffrey Robertson is the grandson of CSHL benefactors Charles and Marie Robertson, who, in 1973 made the first contribution to the contemporary Laboratory’s endowment. He is the son of William Robertson, trustee from 1977–2018. Geoffrey Robertson is director of Business Assistance at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. He was CEO of Empower Mobility and CFO at School Spring, LLC. Robertson earned a BS and MBA from the University of Vermont. On the board of the Owl Research Institute, he was an early member of the Stowe Climate Action Network.

Karel Svoboda returns to CSHL where he was faculty and professor from 1997–2006. With a Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard University, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Bell Laboratories. Svoboda became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator in 2002 and moved to the HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus in 2006. He investigates the structure, function, and plasticity of cortical circuits in behaving mice. Svoboda is a member the National Academy of Sciences and has received multiple awards for neuroscience research.

Elaine Fuchs is Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor in Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at the Rockefeller University. An HHMI Investigator, she pioneered “reverse genetics,” a method of starting with protein and working up to elucidating the genetic basis of a human disorder caused by its mutations. Fuchs has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Princeton University, was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and joined the University of Chicago faculty. Her honors include the National Medal of Science, the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award, and the Albany Prize in Medicine. Fuchs is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, and Academy of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Written by: Dagnia Zeidlickis, Vice President, Communications | | 516-367-8455

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About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,000 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle, high school, and undergraduate students and teachers. For more information, visit