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NIH Executive Selected to Head Scientific Operations for Scripps Florida

JUPITER, FL, March 8, 2012 – The Scripps Research Institute has named Dawn Johnson, PhD, currently with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as senior director of scientific operations for the Scripps Florida campus. 

“As the campus continues to expand as a center of scientific excellence, Dawn brings her experience as a scientist, knowledge of the federal funding process for research, and talents as a manager to Scripps Florida,” said Scripps Research President Michael A. Marletta. “We want to offer her our warmest welcome.”

“I’m delighted to be joining Scripps Florida,” said Johnson, “and look forward to working at such a dynamic scientific institution.”

Johnson, age 40, is currently the associate director for science management in the Office of the Scientific Director at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) Intramural Research Program. The program, with an annual budget of $168 million, includes 47 active clinical and basic labs and eight core facilities. Since joining the NIH in 2002, Johnson has won several NIMH and NIH Director awards for her work on planning and communications projects.

A native of Atlanta, Johnson earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts from the Oxford College of Emory University in 1991, a BS from Georgia State University in biology in 1993, and a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1999. She also received a certificate in public health policy from George Washington University in 2005.

Johnson is excited to return to Florida, having participated in postdoctoral training in two labs at the University of Miami from 1999 to 2002. She also has family in Palm Beach County.

Johnson will start her new position at Scripps Florida on May 7, 2012.

Johnson replaces Harry Orf, who headed the Jupiter campus from its inception until last month when he returned to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to manage scientific research operations there.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is one of the world's largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. TSRI is internationally recognized for its contributions to science and health, including its role in laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. An institution that evolved from the Scripps Metabolic Clinic founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1924, the institute now employs about 2,700 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including two Nobel laureates—work toward their next discoveries. The institute's graduate program, which awards PhD degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation. For more information, see

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