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Veteran life sciences executive David Poston joins Allen Institute for Brain Science as Chief Operating Officer

September 20, 2011 | Download PDF

The Allen Institute for Brain Science has appointed David Poston as its new Chief Operating Officer. Poston brings over 25 years of experience in finance and operations in life sciences, engineering and technology sectors, and a successful track record in the structuring, strategic positioning and expansion of complex, rapidly changing companies. As part of the Allen Institute leadership team, he will help drive the Institute's operational and financial strategies as it grows and broadens the scope of its scientific initiatives.

"We are thrilled to have David Poston join the Allen Institute and look forward to integrating his expertise and strategic acumen into our team," said Allan Jones, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute. "His many years of operations and finance experience in a programs-based environment will be immensely valuable as we expand and diversify our programs in brain science."

Poston joins the Allen Institute from AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation, where he has held leadership positions for the past 12 years, most recently serving as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Formerly Targeted Genetics, AmpliPhi is an international biotechnology company with U.S. headquarters in Seattle, WA. Prior to AmpliPhi, Poston held a series of finance and leadership positions at Corixa Corporation, Honeywell Corporation, Todd Shipyards Corporation, and Olin/Rocket Research Company. Poston received his B.A. in business administration from the University of Puget Sound, where he is active as Chair of its Alumni Fund, and a member of its Business Leadership Council and Alumni Council Executive Committee. He also serves on the Board and Executive Committee of Plymouth Housing Group.

Poston replaces Elaine Jones, who is stepping down as planned after serving as COO for the past seven years. She will continue to work with the Allen Institute part time in a transitional role as Senior Advisor.

"Since joining the Allen Institute in 2005, Elaine has been instrumental to our successful growth from a team of 47 employees focused on a single project to the multifaceted organization of over 170 employees we are today," said Allan Jones. "We are delighted that she has agreed to continue to support the Institute in this new capacity."

Since the completion of its first project, the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, in 2006, the Allen Institute has expanded its collection of online public resources. All openly available via the Allen Brain Atlas data portal (, these resources now also include atlases of the mouse spinal cord, developing mouse brain and human brain, providing scientists with detailed, anatomical maps charting the genome at work in the nervous system. These resources are actively used by scientists and research programs around the globe and receive approximately 20,000 visits each month. Looking ahead, the Institute plans to build on these resources with future work in the direction of systems biology, neural circuitry and information coding in the brain.