Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Discovery IT To Reach Next Level, Gene Logic Taps Sun s Mears

Premium

If you go from never having heard of Gene Logic to information overload on the company’s technology, it’s a safe bet that Loralyn Mears is the one to blame. The new vice president for genomics alliances, Mears aims to help get Gene Logic’s tools into the previously untapped academic market, while continuing to get the word out to potential pharma and biotech partners.

Mears started out a long way from cultivating collaborations. She cut her teeth doing mosquito research and completed her doctorate in molecular biology at Case Western Reserve University.

The private sector was just a short hop away, and Mears left academia to work at the Ohio-based startup NetGenics, which would later be acquired by Lion Bioscience. She moved to Sun Microsystems, where her job was “to start gathering information to justify that Sun should have a formalized business unit” in the life sciences arena. Four months later, in what Mears says was the fastest business-unit launch in the company’s history, Sun kicked off its life sciences sector. With that, Mears “progressed to having more and more of a role in driving the strategies as well as [starting] partnerships.”

One of Sun’s partners, Gene Logic, appealed to her interest in working on more than pure IT; it didn’t hurt that her former NetGenics boss, Dennis Rossi, was managing Gene Logic’s genomics and toxicogenomics division. Mears says Rossi had done a lot to make the technology more accessible to more customers, such as “debundling” the database so a company focused on oncology, for instance, could pay just to access the oncology data rather than paying for the full database.

That, in addition to other business model changes the company has made in the past few years, paved the way for major partnerships, including an alliance with GE Healthcare. Enter Mears, who was recruited after more than five years at Sun “to take the leadership position with [the GE] relationship,” as well as to figure out how to get the Gene Logic database into the hands of users in other markets — scientific, industrial, and geographic, she says. If all goes as planned, Mears adds, her efforts will propel the technology “into biotech and into academia,” she says.

— Meredith Salisbury

 

The Scan

Cell Atlas of Human Lung Development Gives View of Developing Airway

Researchers have generated a cell atlas of human lung development, which they report in Cell.

Study Finds Costs of Genome Sequencing May Limit Utility in Routine Care

Researchers report in the European Journal of Human Genetics that genome sequencing for rare disease diagnoses currently has similar benefits as less expensive exome analysis.

Study Suggests Nursing Mother's Diet Can Impact Offspring's Gut Microbiome

A new Cell Host and Microbe paper finds that mice whose mothers were fed a low-fiber diet during nursing experience lasting microbiota dysbiosis and increased obesity.

Study Links Genetic Risk for ADHD With Alzheimer's Disease

A higher polygenic risk score for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is also linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, a new study in Molecular Psychiatry finds.