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Allen Institute announces Rui Costa as next President and Chief Executive Officer

The Allen Institute today named Rui Costa, D.V.M., Ph.D., as its next president and chief executive officer.


2 min read

Rui Costa, D.V.M., Ph.D
Rui Costa, D.V.M., Ph.D

The Allen Institute today named Rui Costa, D.V.M., Ph.D., as its next president and chief executive officer. Costa comes to the Allen Institute from the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University in New York where he has served as CEO since 2017, and currently serves on the Allen Institute’s Brain Science Scientific Advisory Council.

“We are so pleased to welcome Rui to the Allen Institute, and all of us on the board of directors look forward to working more closely with him,” said Jody Allen, board chair. “As an active researcher and scientist he has already been a trusted advisor for several years, helping accelerate our impact in brain science. Now as president and CEO, Rui will bring exemplary leadership, vision, and advocacy for open science to the Institute’s next chapter.”

Dr. Costa has more than two decades of experience in bioscience and is a renowned expert in the brain circuitry that underlies movement. His studies focus on the circuits underlying diverse, spontaneous movements, and the organization and refinement of movements during learning. Unraveling these mechanisms could help researchers find better ways of treating disorders of movement, such as Parkinson’s disease. Costa’s brain circuitry research will continue at the Allen Institute.

“I am thrilled to join the Allen Institute as President and CEO,” said Rui Costa, D.V.M., Ph.D. “I firmly believe in the Institute’s core principles of pursuing big quests using team and open science. My goal is to further this style of science into a new era of discovery and impact. Knowledge and science have the power to transform societies. The Allen Institute is in a position to write a new chapter about how science is done that is transformative not only for the research community, but for the entire world.”

Dr. Costa graduated from the University of Lisbon in 1996. In 2002, he received his Ph.D. from UCLA and University of Porto, which was followed by post-doctoral work at Duke University. He became a Section Chief at the National Institutes of Health in 2006, an Investigator of the Champalimaud Neuroscience Program in 2009, and a Professor at Columbia University in 2016. He served as director of Champalimaud Research from 2014 to 2017. Costa is also an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, as well as the National Academy of Medicine.

Costa takes over for Allen Institute founding CEO Allan Jones, Ph.D., who earlier this year announced he was stepping down after 18 years with the organization. In partnership with co-founders Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen, as well as the Board of Directors and external science advisors, Jones guided the Allen Institute as it grew its mission to include divisions focused on brain science, cell science, immunology and extramural research. Jones will now transition to the Allen Institute’s Board of Directors and will be honored with the title President-Emeritus.

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