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Board Changes at Whitehead, Decode, Alnylam; Senior Executive Appointments at NCGR and NuGen; and Others

Maggi Blakebrough has joined Farfield Sensors as marketing executive, the UK-based company said yesterday.


Blakebrough has a strong academic background in molecular biology and a 10 year track record in scientific instrumentation combined with extensive experience in sales and customer relations.

David Flanders has been named as chief operating officer, Biosystems Informatics Institute and its commercial trading arm, Turbinia, said yesterday.


Flanders has more than 20 years of international experience in life sciences software tools and database management development. He spent more than four years with Lion Bioscience as head of basic technologies. He earned his PhD in cell and development biology from Australian National University and a BSc in agricultural botany from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Vicki L. Sato joined Alnylam Pharmaceutical's board of directors, the company said late last week.


Formerly president of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from 2000 to 2005, Sato also served as the company's chief scientific officer and chair of the scientific advisory board. Prior to joining Vertex, she held numerous leadership positions at Biogen (now BiogenIdec), served as both assistant and associate professor in the Department of Biology at Harvard University from 1976 to 1983.


She is on both the board of directors and the scientific advisory board of Infinity Pharmaceuticals and is a member of the board of directors of PerkinElmer. She received her Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degrees from Harvard University.


Along with Sato's appointment, Alynlam announced John Berriman's resignation from the board. No reason was provided.


Alnylam also announced that Patricia Allen, the company's vice-president of finance, has been named as the treasurer and an executive officer of the company, effective January 1, 2006.

In a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission last week, deCODE genetics disclosed that its director, Jean-Francois Formela will resign from its board of directors after nine years of service. His resignation will be effective as of Dec. 30.


A partner at the Atlas Venture group of funds, Formela will resign to devote sufficient time to a new Atlas fund, the filing said.


Separately, the board elected Linda B. Buck as a Class I director to fill the vacancy left by the death of the late Sir John Vane. Buck will serve until the 2008 annual meeting of stockholders. According to the filing, she has not yet been assigned to any committees.

The National Center for Genome Resources announced three senior appointments earlier this week: Gregory D. May as leader of the Nutritional Biology Program, Jim Huntley as senior research scientist, and Steven Day as director of software engineering.


Previously, May was associate scientist and head of the Medicago Genomics Program at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Okla. for six years and assistant scientist at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University for four years. He holds a Ph.D. in plant physiology and biotechnology from Texas A&M University and a B.S. in biology from Southeast Missouri State University.


Huntley was assistant professor at New Mexico Highlands University and director of the NMHU Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions program prior to NCGR. Huntley holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Arizona State University, an M.S. in medical physics and a B.A. in physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Before joining NCGR, Day was director of information technology at the Molecular Profiling Institute, Phoenix. Prior to this, he led the software engineering unit within the Translational Genomics Research Institute and worked for SRA International. Day holds a B.A. in chemistry and an M.S. in computer science from the Johns Hopkins University.

NuGEN Technologies, announced several executive appointments earlier this week, adding Nancy Pecota as chief financial officer, Sue Pandey as vice-president of commercial operations, and Gianfranco DeFeo as senior director of customer solutions to the company. 


Pecota has more than twenty years of financial management experience, having spent the last few years as an executive financial consultant specializing in early and mid-stage life science companies. Previously, she served as vice-president of finance and administration at Signature Bioscience and as a senior director of finance and accounting at ACLARA BioSciences. Pecota held senior finance roles at dpiXXerox, and Westinghouse.


Pandey has over twenty years of life science experience, as a research scientist at Chevron, field sales with Zymark, management at Hewlett Packard/Agilent Technologies, and as the global head of sales at GE Healthcare. She holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from University of California - Irvine and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. 


DeFeo has over fifteen years of life science experience, beginning with PE/ Applied Biosystems as a field applications scientist after completing his postdoctoral work at University of California -San Francisco. In 1998, he joined Affymetrix. Most recently, DeFeo managed the global technical support organization at Quantum Dot. Gianfranco holds a Ph.D. from University of California - Los Angeles.

California Healthcare Institute elected Benjamin E. Bulkley, Invitrogen's president of Commercial Operations to its board of directors, the non-profit public policy research organization said last week.


Bulkley joined Invitrogen in October of 2003. Prior to Invitrogen, he held leadership positions at General Electric, most recently as vice president of global services. He received his B.S. in from the University of Connecticut, and M.S. in systems engineering from Gannon University.

The Whitehead Institute's board of directors elected faculty member David Page as the institute's fourth director, Whitehead said last week.


Page was appointed as interim director in December 2004.


A biology professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Page graduated from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program in 1984 with a concentration in genetics. He came to Whitehead as one of the Institute's first Fellows in 1984 and became a faculty member in 1986.


Page received the MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship in 1986, the Searle Scholar's Award in 1989, the Amory Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997, and the Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics in 2003.

The Scan

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Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

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