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Christophe Mérieux Dies at 39; LabCorp Names New CEO; Solexa Fills New COO Slot With ABI Vet; and Others

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Christophe Mérieux, bioMérieux's vice president of research and development, died July 14 after a heart attack, according to news reports. He was 39.
He was also the head of Transgène, the company's Strasbourg, France-based subsidiary. Transgene said today Michel Dubois would take Mérieux's seat as chairman of the board.
His father, Alain Mérieux, currently the CEO, was set to hand over control of the company to him in the next two years.

Robert Petcavich, Lumera's senior vice president and chief technology officer, has left to pursue other business interests, the company said this week.
The company declined to say who would be handling Petcavich's responsibilities until a replacement is named.

David King will succeed Thomas MacMahon as CEO of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, LabCorp said this week.
The succession will occur on Jan. 1, 2007. King will also join the board of directors on that date.
MacMahon has agreed to continue to serve as the board's chairman until the annual shareholders' meeting in 2008.
The directors also approved Bradford Smith's appointment board vice chairman, also effective Jan. 1.
King joined LabCorp in 2001 after many years as the company's outside counsel. Since 2005, he has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer. He headed the Esoterix and US LABS businesses where he was executive vice president of strategic planning and development.

Solexa named Brock Siegel as chief operating officer on Wednesday.
Siegel spent the last 15 years with Applied Biosystems in a variety of senior management positions. Most recently he was vice president of quality and process excellence. Prior to ABI he was at Millipore and Henkel Research.
Siegel was a professor of bioorganic chemistry and chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota and did his postdoc at Columbia University. He received a PhD from the University of Illinois and a BS in chemistry from Syracuse University.

Richard Eglen joins PerkinElmer as vice-president and general manager of discovery and research reagents, the company said Wednesday.
Prior to joining PerkinElmer's Life & Analytical Sciences unit, Eglen was the chief scientific officer and executive vice president for research and development at DiscoveRx.
Eglen has a PhD in molecular pharmacology from Trent University in Nottingham, UK. He is also a board member of the Society for BioMolecular Sciences.

BD Biosciences promoted William Rhodes to president of the Cell Analysis unit, the company said earlier this week.
Previously, Rhodes was vice president and general manager of cell analysis.
Rhodes joined BD seven years ago and has held the posts of vice president and general manager of immunocytometry systems, vice president of business development and strategic investments, and general manager of BD Ventures.
He holds an MS in international business from Seton Hall University and a BS from Cornell University.

The US Food and Drug Administration appointed Mark Goldberger as medical director for emerging and pandemic threat preparedness in its Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research this week.
He will join the center full-time at the end of August.
Goldberger will serve as a senior advisor to CBER's pandemic flu program, be a part of its senior leadership team, and chair the Pandemic Influenza Steering Committee.
Goldberger came to the agency in 1989 as a medical reviewer, and currently serves as the director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
He completed his residency and fellowship in infectious diseases at Columbia University after receiving his MD from the university. He also served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Zach Pitluk joined Gene Network Sciences as vice president of business development, the company said.
Pitluk joins GNS from Definiens, where he was the North America life sciences business manager.  He also spent five years at Clontech Labs, Bristol-Myers SquibbISCO, and Cellomics, a unit of Fischer Biosciences.  

He received his PhD in molecular biophysics from Yale University and spent six years as an NIH postdoctoral
fellow at Yale.

Linguamatics appointed software entrepreneur John Brimacombe as executive chairman, the company said today.
Brimacombe founded and built software businesses in multiple market areas, such as Jobstream Group and Mforma Group, now called Hands-On Mobile.

Decode Genetics appointed Earl Collier to its board of directors, the company said Monday.
Collier is an executive vice president at Genzyme and has previously served as president of Vitas Healthcare. He was a partner at the law firm Hogan and Hartson. He was also a deputy administrator of the Health Care Finance Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Collier received his BA from Yale University and his JD from the University of Virginia.

Biogen hired pharmaceutical company executive Cecil Pickett as its president of research and development, according to a news article last week.
According to the Boston Business Journal, he'll also join the company's board of directors.

Pickett was recently senior vice-president at Schering-Plough and president of the Schering-Plough Research Institute.

HistoRx named John Tonkinson as vice president of business development, the company said today.
Tonkinson was recently director of business development at Epitome BioSystems. Prior to that he was director of sales and scientific services at Schleicher & Schuell BioScience.
He received his PhD, MPhil, and MA degrees in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Columbia University. He earned his BS in biochemistry from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. He completed his postdoctoral training at Eli Lilly.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.