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Agilent's van Ingen to Retire; Molecular Devices CFO Lands at Nektar; FDA Alumni Gottlieb Joins Molecular Insight's Board; and Others

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Agilent Technologies this week said that Chris van Ingen, president of the Bio-Analytical Measurement business, will retire on Oct. 31, the last day of Agilent's fiscal year.
Van Ingen, 61, is a 30-year veteran of Agilent and Hewlett-Packard, which spun off Agilent in November 1999. He was appointed to his current position in May 2001.
Agilent did not say who will run the Bio-Analytical Measurement business beginning Nov. 1.

Nektar Therapeutics this week named former Molecular Devices CFO Tim Harkness senior vice president and chief financial officer.
Harkness, who replaces Louis Drapeau, will receive an annual base salary of $440,000, along with an option to purchase 200,000 shares of common stock, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Accelrys this week said it has appointed Jeffrey Rodek to its board of directors. Most recently Rodek served as executive chairman of Hyperion Solutions until its acquisition by Oracle earlier this year. From 1999 through 2004, he was chairman and CEO of Hyperion.
He holds a BS in mechanical engineering and an MBA in finance from The Ohio State University.

Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals has appointed Scott Gottlieb to its board. Gottlieb, currently a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has served as a senior policy maker at the US Food and Drug Administration, most recently as deputy commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs. He has also served as a senior official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Gottlieb holds an MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a BA in economics from Wesleyan University.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has hired Leena Peltonen to head its Human Genetics section. The Sanger Institute recruited Peltonen from the University of Helsinki, where she currently holds the academy professorship and was professor of medical genetics and molecular medicine. She starts in September.
A member of the US National Academy of Sciences, she was the founding chair of Human Genetics at UCLA and is a member of the board of the European Research Council, the European Academy of Sciences, and was president of the Human Genome Organization between 2005 and 2007.

Lumera this week said it has entered into a “severance and consulting” agreement with Thomas Mino in connection with his resignation as president, CEO, and director of Lumera.
Terms of the agreement, which went into effect Aug. 20, Mino is entitled to receive, “in addition to amounts currently due to him for work performed and vacation days accrued prior to his resignation, an amount equal to his current annual salary, $200,000 of which is payable in a single lump sum immediately and the remainder of which is payable in equal installments over the next 12 months.”
Lumera will also “continue to contribute to the premium cost of coverage” of Mino and his dependents under Lumera's medical and dental plans during the next 12 months at the same rate as Lumera contributes to the cost of coverage for active employees.
In addition, Mino will serve as a consultant to Lumera for up to 20 hours per month for an initial period of 10 months that begin Sept. 1. In exchange, Mino will be paid $10,000 per month during the initial 10-month period and will receive no compensation for any consulting services thereafter.

Stem cell company BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics this week said that in preparation of a scheduled pre-pre-IND meeting discussion with the US Food and Drug Administration, the company has hired Andra Miller, director of cell and gene therapies of the Biologics Consulting Group,to “handle the company's FDA interactions.”

The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.