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Fingerprints/Short Reads: Feb 1, 2003


Steven Henry, formerly project leader for GlaxoSmithKline’s pharmacology and genotype data analysis team, joins life sciences informatics company AnVil as senior medical informaticist.


Next month Mats-Olof Wallin leaves his post at med tech company Ortivus to become Pyrosequencing’s CFO, centralizing the company’s previously split Sweden and US operations in Uppsala. Wallin previously spent 25 years at Pharmacia.


Happy New Year? Applied Biosystems sent 500 employees, including 100 contract workers, packing as of January 1. The axe dropped across the departments: research, sales, marketing, and manufacturing.


Millennium too started 2003 with layoffs. The company let go 54 full-time and 49 contract employees in a shift away from early discovery to drug development and commercialization.


Edward Maggio, CEO of Structural Bioinformatics, will keep his title in the new company resulting from SBI’s merger with GeneFormatics. So will SBI COO David Muth and CSO Kal Ramnarayan. Missing from the new lineup: GeneFormatics prez and CEO John Chiplin.


Edward Shonsey leaves his position as president of Syngenta Seeds to join Diversa as senior VP of internal development.


Ambion has named Jeffrey Williams as executive VP and general manager of its RNA diagnostics division. Williams comes to the Austin, Texas-based RNA technology company from Roche Diagnostics, where he served as veep and US site manager.


Dirk Vetter, co-founder and CEO of Heidelberg, Germany-based chemical genomics firm Graffinity, is leaving to start a new company focused on drug delivery technologies, Complex Biosystems. He will be replaced by Klaus Schollmeier, who until recently served as managing director for ING’s healthcare/biotechnology group.


Whaijen Soo, who helped build Roche’s genomics and bioinformatics capabilities, has joined Biogen as senior vice president for medical research. Soo most recently served as vice president for clinical sciences at Roche. Meantime, Biogen also promoted Bob Hamm to SVP of North American commercial operations.


Platform Computing’s director of life science business development, Yury Rozenman, has moved to IBM as global pharmaceutical marketing manager. Rozenman was SVP of supercomputing and bioinformatics at Juno Online Services and a senior software consultant at Applied Biosystems prior to joining Platform.


Loralyn Mears has taken on an expanded role as the segment manager for life sciences market development at Sun Microsystems. In her new position, she will help define Sun’s strategy and strategic relationships in the life sciences market.


The San Diego Supercomputer Center has a new executive director: Alan Blatecky, who currently directs the NSF’s Middleware Initiative. He also serves on the advisory committee of the Biomedical Informatics Research Network.


Vincent Schächter says goodbye to Hybrigenics and hello to Genoscope, where he assumes the position of director of bioinformatics. He will continue his activities as organizer of the BioPathways Consortium.


First Genetic Trust has named Ken Thornton to its board of directors. A retired IBM executive, Thornton served as general manager, public sector, and as a member of the company’s worldwide management and corporate technology councils.


Cytogen has tapped Michael Becker, chief of its subsidiary AxCell, to replace Joseph Reiser, who stepped down as president and CEO “for personal reasons.” Additionally, Lawrence Hoffman has quit as vice president and CFO, and Thu Dang, Cytogen’s director of finance and 14-year veteran of the company, has been promoted to VP of finance.


The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.