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Mar 20
2019

Packard Center announces new Executive Director

Emily Baxi to lead the Packard Center into the start of its next chapter with scientific precision and vision.

The Packard Center recently announced the appointment of Emily Baxi, PhD, as the Center’s new executive director. Dr. Baxi replaces longtime Administrative Director Kathryn Davis who retired in January after 18 years at the Packard Center.  

“Emily will bring compassion, knowledge and insight around neurological disease, scientific precision and organization as she tackles the issues in her new role,” noted Dr. Jeff Rothstein, Packard Center founder and director. “It was only natural to combine her experience with Answer ALS with the well-oiled machine of the Robert Packard Center. I am confident in her success as she leads the Packard Center into the start of its next chapter.” 

Baxi, a native of Dublin, Ireland, holds a BSc in Pharmacology from University College Dublin and a PhD in Neuroscience from The George Washington University.  In 2007, she became a Research Fellow in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Under the mentorship of Dr. Peter Calabresi, her studies focused on Multiple Sclerosis and the reparative process of remyelination.  In 2012, she became faculty in the Department of Neurology.

In September 2015, Baxi began serving as Program Director for Answer ALS, the Packard Center’s newest program with a mission to build a comprehensive clinical, genetic, molecular and biochemical assessment of ALS. In her role with Answer ALS, Baxi has been responsible for managing a highly collaborative team of researchers, integrating efforts from the academic and corporate communities.  In addition, she provides project oversight to a national network of ALS clinics, basic research labs and other corporate partners managing a complex funding structure and multiple philanthropic donors. 

Baxi is proud of her work with Answer ALS and hopes to bring that enthusiasm to the Packard Center.  “It’s an exciting time in ALS research,” she notes.  “There are more tools available to us today than ever before. Building on breakthroughs in stem cell biology and artificial intelligence, I believe we’re well positioned to advance our knowledge in a very meaningful way. We need to unlock the mysteries of this terrible disease and come-up with new therapeutic strategies. Answer ALS has taken a bold approach. Combing strong philanthropic backing and a solid scientific approach, it’s easy to see how it will help to open doors for future ALS research. It’s an honor to be a part of the team.”

Her new role will include expanding the overall Packard research portfolio, working to increase fundraising efforts, expanding the Center’s grant process and focusing the Center's communications efforts to help make scientific research accessible to all.  “We want to provide the Packard community, especially ALS patients and caregivers, with a clear understanding of just about how invested we are in this process. Every day Packard Center researchers are working diligently to learn just a little bit more about this disease. I truly believe that great collaboration leads to great innovation; innovation that will ultimately give our ALS patients hope.”