Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Brown and Fodor Win $800K Takeda Award; Russell Takes Helm of Aviva; Korf Leaves Harvard for Alabama; and Others

NEW YORK, Sept. 18-The distributed computing software company Platform Computing said today that it had appointed Merten Slominsky as its managing director in central Europe.


Slominsky will be in charge of expanding the company's operations in that region.


He was previously managing director of Accelio Corporation.


Platform, based in Markham, Ontario, develops grid systems for computing.



Stanford biochemist Patrick Brown and Affymetrix CEO Stephen Fodor won this year's Takeda award for research and engineering, the foundation said on Sept. 17.


The two were granted the "Techno-Entrepreneurial Award for Individual/Humanity Well-Being" for their work developing DNA microarrays.


The award, sponsored by the charitable Takeda Foundation, includes a prize of Y100 million (US $823,191).


Brown, currently a Howard Hughes investigator at Stanford, is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of robot-spotted glass microarrays.


Fodor was honored for his early work in photolithography-based biochips.


Last year's winners in this category were Craig Venter and Michael Hunkapiller.


Ikuo Takeda, who launched the foundation last year, is the founder of the integrated circuit testing company Advantist.



GenoSpectrasaid on Sept. 17 that it had hired Gary McMaster as chief scientific officer.


McMaster comes from Eli Lilly, where he was director of target biology and systems biology research.


GenoSpectra is developing a fiber optics-based platform for drug discovery. The privately held company is based in Fremont, Calif.



Pharsight brought on Shawn O'Connor as senior vice president and chief financial officer, the company said on Sept. 17.


O'Connor previously held a series of executive positions with QRS Corporation, a software company.


He replaces Les Wright, who has held the role of interim CFO since October 2001.


Pharsight is a software and modeling company based in Mountain View, Calif.



Signature BioScience, a company developing a spectroscopy-based platform for screening and drug discovery, said on Sept. 17 that it had added two new managers.


Signature hired former Bayer vice president Robert Zimmerman as chief operating officer. Zimmerman will oversee all R&D and will focus on completion and scale-up of the company's platform technology. He previously managed biotechnology research for Bayer's pharmaceutical division.


The company added Mary Ann Rafferty as vice president of talent acquisition and development. She was previously vice president of organizational development and operations at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where she also oversaw facilities, lab support and IT.



The Indiana Proteomics Consortium added Peter Kissinger, V. William Hunt, and Jack Gill to its board of directors, the group said on Sept. 17. The three will help the group take its technologies to market.


Gill is a professor at Harvard Medical School, founder of the VC firm Vanguard Ventures, and senior advisor at the Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology. He is a board member of many medical device companies and has been involved in launching more than 20 high-tech startups.


William Hunt is chair of the Indianapolis VC firm Hunt Capital Partners and the former vice chair of a company manufacturing automotive equipment.


Peter Kissinger is a chemist at Purdue and the CEO of BioAnalytical systems, which develops instrumentation and software.


The Indiana Proteomics Consortium, founded earlier this year, is a tool development partnership between Indiana University, Purdue University, and Eli Lilly.



Bruce Korf, the medical director of the Harvard-Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics, will become head of the genetics program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the university said on September 13.


The University of Alabama plans to greatly expand its human genetics research, and has already committed between $5 million and $10 million to that purpose.


Korf's research focuses on neurogenetics, particularly the genetic disease neurofibromatosis. He was previously director of the clinical genetics program at Boston's Children's Hospital and at Beth Israel Deaconess.


He will begin the Alabama job on January 1.



PPD said on Sept. 12 that it had added North Carolina State University chancellor Marye Anne Fox to its board of directors.


Fox, an organic chemist by training, holds various leadership roles in national scientific organizations, including the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences.  She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.


PPD, a functional genomics company, is based in Wilmington, NC.



Former Lynx CEO Norrie Russell has taken the helm of Aviva Biosciences, the company said on Sept. 12.


He succeeds Peter Wilding as president and chief executive officer.


Russell resigned from Lynx in June.


Aviva, which is based in San Diego, Calif., focuses on developing microarrays for electrophysiological research. The company recently struck a collaboration with Axon Instruments to develop biochips for ion channel screening.




Mike Knapp, director of business development for Celera Genomics,  won the Sept. 11 Democratic primary for the second district of the Montgomery County Council in Maryland. Knapp, a Germantown resident, was formerly vice president for external affairs at The Institute for Genomic Research, and prior to that was a legislative aide to New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici.


Knapp won the primary with 43 percent of the vote. He faces three-term Republican incumbent Nancy H. Dacek in the November election.



Promoted? Changing jobs? GenomeWeb wants to know. E-mail Kathleen McGowan at [email protected] to appear in PEOPLE, a roundup of personnel comings and goings in genomics, that appears every Wednesday.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.