Alex Philippidis Senior News Editor Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Meet the Movers and Shakers Who Made the Most at Their Institutions

Nonprofit salaries are finally rising as organizations recover from the recession and start expanding staff, the recruiting services provider NonProfit Talent Match said on August 5. That is welcome news for heads of biomedical research institutes, who have mostly seen their total compensation increase slowly in recent years, if at all.

Of the top 20 executives listed by GEN in this year’s edition of our annual list of top-paid research institute leaders, 11 saw compensation increases of under 5% from the previous year, while four leaders saw year-over-year declines. Another two leaders saw their total pay rise between 5% and 9.9%, with the remaining three leaders enjoying double-digit increases. One more interesting finding: Only two of the top 20 top-paid leaders are women (one of which no longer holds an interim CEO position but remains on this list because she still holds a full-time leadership role).

Following is a list of 20 current or former senior executives of independent nonprofit research institutes, ranked by total compensation for the most recent two years such information was available as furnished by Form 990s filed annually by each institution with the Internal Revenue Service and made public through and Foundation Center. In most cases, the most recent years available were fiscal years ending in 2013 and 2012. In some cases, new Form 990s covering periods ending in 2014 were available.

As with GEN’s list last year, this year’s top 20 list is limited to top day-to-day executives, to avoid the distortion of having numerous investment officers without scientific responsibilities fill the list because of pay spikes tied to the revival of the stock market. These leaders are typically CEOs, presidents, or leaders who held both titles. This year’s list omitted leaders who left their positions in 2014 or earlier, which explains why a few of the top executives seen in past years are not included in the 2015 List.

#20. David Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.

Title: CEO, Research Group Leader, Scientific Director

Institution: Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

2013 calendar year: $406,956

2012 calendar year: $386,541

% Change: 5.3%

#19. Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D.

Title: CEO and Director of Scientific Affairs

Institution: Cancer Research Institute

FY ending June 30, 2014: $409,948

FY ending June 30, 2013: $420,174

% Change: -2.4%

#18. Leroy (Lee) Hood, M.D., Ph.D

Title: President and Co-founder

Institution: Institute for Systems Biology

2013 calendar year: $412,126

2012 calendar year: $414,194

% Change: -0.005%

#17. Dario C. Altieri, M.D.

Title: President and CEO, 2015-present; Executive Vice President, 2012-2015; Director of The Wistar Institute Cancer Center, Chief Scientific Officer, 2010-present.1

Institution: The Wistar Institute

2013 calendar year: $463,000

2012 calendar year: $459,000

% Change: 0.8%

#16. Richard A. Houghten, Ph.D.

Title: Founder and President

Institution: Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies

FY ending June 30, 2013: $475,623

FY ending June 30, 2012: $474,034

% Change: 0.3%

#15. Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D.

Title: President and Chief Scientific Officer

Institution: La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

2013 calendar year: $478,550

2012 calendar year: $463,028

% Change: 3.4%

#14. Allan Jones, Ph.D.

Title: CEO

Institution: Allen Institute for Brain Science

2013 calendar year: $480,488

2012 calendar year: $460,347

% Change: 4.4%

#13. Russel E. Kaufman, M.D.

Title: President Emeritus, 2015-present; President and CEO, 2002-20152

Institution: The Wistar Institute

2013 calendar year: $730,000

2012 calendar year: $724,000

% Change: 0.8%

#12. J. Craig Venter, Ph.D.

Title: Founder, Chairman, and CEO

Institution: J. Craig Venter Institute

2013 calendar year: $732,692

2012 calendar year: $646,969

% Change: 13.2%

#11. Bruce Stillman, Ph.D

Title: President and CEO, Professor

Institution: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

2013 calendar year: $767,622

2012 calendar year: $757,778

% Change: 1.3%

#10. Richard M. Myers, Ph.D.

Title: Faculty Investigator, Director, and President

Institution: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

2013 calendar year: $770,585

2012 calendar year: $557,557

% Change: 38.2%

#9. R. Sanders Williams, M.D.

Title: President3

Institution: Gladstone Institutes

2013 calendar year: $781,987

2012 calendar year: $757,552

% Change: 3.2%

#8. Edison T. Liu, M.D.

Title: President and CEO

Institution: The Jackson Laboratory

2013 calendar year: $947,219

2012 calendar year: $908,423

% Change: 4.3%

#7. Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D.

Title: President; Interim CEO, 2013-20144,5

Institution: Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute6

FY ending September 30, 2013: $950,503

FY ending September 30, 2012: $1,102,890

% Change: -13.8%

#6. William R. Brody, M.D., Ph.D.

Title: President7

Institution: The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

FY ending June 30, 2013: $971,543

FY ending June 30, 2012: $946,823

% Change: 2.6%

#5. Jeffrey M. Trent, Ph.D.

Title: President and Research Director8

Institution: Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)

2013 calendar year: $994,901

13 months ending December 31, 2012: $914,4459,10

% Change: 8.8%

#4. Eric S. Lander, Ph.D.

Title: President and Director; Founding Director and Core Institute Member

Institution: Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

FY ending June 30, 2013: $1,027,400

FY ending June 30, 2012: $735,116

% Change: 39.8%

#3. Stephen M. Prescott, M.D.

Title: President

Institution: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

FY ending June 30, 2014: $1,049,260

FY ending June 30, 2013: $1,908,38311

% Change: -45.0%

#2. David M. Chao, Ph.D.

Title: President and CEO12

Institution: Stowers Institute for Medical Research

2013 calendar year: $1,300,962

2012 calendar year: $1,240,569

% Change: 4.9%

#1. Robert Tijan, Ph.D.

Title: President13

Institution: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

FY ending August 31, 2014: $1,351,121

FY ending August 31, 2013: $1,317,918

% Change: 2.5%

1 Dr. Altieri succeeded Russel E. Kaufman, M.D., as president and CEO on March 2, 2015. He also holds the position of Robert and Penny Fox Distinguished Professor.
2 Dr. Kaufman stepped down as president and CEO on March 2, 2015
3 Also holds faculty positions as Gladstone’s Robert W. and Linda L. Mahley Distinguished Professor, and as professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
4 Has served as President since April 2010, and was interim CEO from January 2013 until August 2014, when Perry Nisen, M.D., Ph.D., was appointed CEO and holder of the Donald Bren Chief Executive Chair.  Dr. Vuori succeeded John C. Reed, M.D., Ph.D., who resigned in 2013 to accept position as Head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development, and member of Roche’s Corporate Executive Committee.
5 Also holds the positions of Professor, NCI-Designated Cancer Center, and Pauline and Stanley Foster Presidential Chair
6 Institute changed its name from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute effective June 24, 2015, following the donation of $100 million by San Diego developer and philanthropist Conrad T. Prebys, who holds the position of Honorary Trustee.
7 On July 28, the Institute announced that Dr. Brody will retire on December 31, 2015: “In retirement, Brody will continue to provide guidance to the Institute as a professor emeritus, and will pursue personal interests, including music and aviation, as well as continue his service on corporate and nonprofit boards.” See:
8 Holds the additional positions of Acting Director, Genetic Basis of Human Disease Division; and Head, Melanoma Therapeutics Lab
9 Difference in tax year period follows a decision by TGen to adopt a tax year ending on December 31, effective in 2012. The change followed the termination of the alliance and affiliation agreement between TGen and the Van Andel Research Institute effective March 12, 2012. That agreement took effect December 1, 2009, and led to TGen changing the end date of its tax year from June 30 to November 30, effective in 2010.
10 During TGen’s alliance with the Van Andel Research Institute (VAI), Jeffrey Trent held positions with both institutions, serving as both president and scientific director of TGen, as well as serving president and research director of VAI. He no longer holds the VAI position.
11 More than half of his total compensation that year was accounted for in two categories—$205,148 in “bonus & incentive compensation” and $825,275 in “other compensation.”
12 Also serves as CEO of BioMed Valley Discoveries, the organization responsible for the translation of the Institute’s basic biomedical discoveries into therapeutic applications.
13 Also continues his research on the biochemistry of gene regulation in humans and animals at his lab at HHMI’s Janelia Farm Research Campus, as well as at University of California, Berkeley, where he is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.