Yvonne Psaila

Director, Marketing and Communications

Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology


Keystone Symposia Announces Appointment of Dr. Jane L. Peterson as President and Chief Executive Officer


SILVERTHORNE, CO – February 25, 2014 – Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jane L. Peterson as President and Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit educational organization. She will assume this position effective April 14, 2014, taking over from Dr. James W. Aiken, who is retiring after 11 years in the role. The appointment concludes a year-long international search.


Dr. Peterson comes to Keystone Symposia from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she has served in a wide range of positions over a 30-year career. Most recently, she has been Senior Advisor to the Office of the Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and Lead Project Coordinator of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative. Dr. Peterson played an integral role in the Human Genome Project managing the genome mapping and sequencing centers of the project. She made important contributions to the completion of the genome project. Subsequently, she initiated the NIH Knockout Mouse Project and Human Microbiome Project and participated in the launch of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). She was also an Associate Director of the NHGRI Extramural Program for 10 years.


Dr. Peterson has been active in promoting the role of women in science during her career. She chaired the American Society for Cell Biology’s Women in Cell Biology Committee and has been a member of the NIH Women in Science Committee. She has also served on the Executive Board of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


A native of Montana, Dr. Peterson received her Bachelor’s degree from Western College in Oxford, Ohio and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. After completing postdoctoral fellowships at Yale University and the National Cancer Institute of the NIH, she worked as Assistant Program Director of the Developmental Biology Program at the National Science Foundation before joining the staff of the NIH in 1985.


In the words of Dr. Juleen Zierath, Chair of Keystone Symposia’s Board and Professor at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, “We will miss the outstanding, sound and steady leadership provided by Jim Aiken, who has been instrumental in many growth areas for the organization, including the Global Health Series supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the expansion of our conference programs internationally to Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. We now look forward to the new contributions and perspectives that Jane Peterson will bring. Keystone Symposia stands at the juncture of so many different, intersecting fields in the life sciences. It is fitting to have a leader who has worked in diverse areas and on big-picture projects ranging from the microbiome to genomics, nationally and internationally."


Dr. James  Aiken, who will stay through the end of June to assist with the leadership transition,  commented, “I have truly enjoyed my time at Keystone Symposia, an outstanding organization with an extremely talented staff. I have every confidence that the leadership of Dr. Jane Peterson as Chief Executive Officer and Dr. David Woodland as Chief Scientific Officer will enable the organization to thrive and serve the life sciences community well into the future.”


Dr. Peterson added, “I am delighted to be joining Keystone Symposia, an organization I have long admired for the extremely high caliber of the scientific discussion and discovery that it catalyzes. I am looking forward to working with the staff and Board to ensure that the organization’s excellence in presenting cutting-edge science to the world continues.”



About Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology


Keystone Symposia, founded in 1972, is a nonprofit organization convening scientific conferences.. It has been headquartered in Silverthorne, Colorado, USA since 1990 and is directed by a volunteer Board of internationally acclaimed scientists.


The organization convenes 50-60 open, international research conferences each year in diverse areas ranging from cancer and immunology to metabolic disease and neurobiology. More information on the organization and its conferences can be found at and, respectively.