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Galapagos Fleshes Out Board; Nobel Prize Sniffs Out Medicine/Physiology Award Recipients; CombiMatrix CEO Joins Board of Start-Up Pharma; Maurice Wilkins Dies; and More

NEW YORK, Oct. 6 (GenomeWeb News) - Galapagos Genomics has appointed Raj Parekh as chairman, and Wilson Totten as a director.

 

Parekh, 44, is currently Entrepreneur in Residence at Abingworth, a UK-based venture capital company. He co-founded Oxford GlycoSciences in 1988 and was chief scientific officer and senior vice president of research.

 

Totten, 49, is CEO of ProStrakan, a company formed by the recent merger of Strakan and Proskelia. Until recently, he was R&D director at Shire. Before joining Shire, in 1998, he was vice president of clinical R&D with Astra Charnwood.


Proteome Sciences has appointed Alf Erik Lindberg to its board of directors. Lindberg, 64, was formerly executive vice president of R&D at Aventis Pasteur. At Proteome Sciences he will replace WMM Schuller, who retired as a non-director on Sept. 30.


Nanosphere founder Chad Mirkin has been selected as one of the first recipients of the $2.5 million US National Institutes of Health's Director's Pioneer Award. Mirkin will use the award research a protein-detection technology first reported in the September 2003 issue of Science.


The 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to Richard Axel and Linda Buck for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system. The researchers were able to decipher the ability to recognize and remember about 10,000 different odors.

 

Axelis University Professor and professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Pathology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He received his undergraduate degree from ColumbiaCollegeand his MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Buck is a Member of the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and an affiliate professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the Universityof Washington, Seattle. She received her undergraduate degree from the Universityof Washingtonand her PhD from the Universityof Texas Southwestern Medical Centerat Dallas.


The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse has hired Michael Bozik to its executive management team. Bozik joined the PLSG from Princeton, New Jersey-based Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he was most recently as vice president of R&D and business operations in the Worldwide Consumer Medicines and Specialty Pharmaceuticals division.

 

At the PLSG, Bozik will serve as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, focusing on technologies and opportunities designed to attract major venture capital to the region. His work will "seek to leverage these later-stage technologies to create sustainable later-stage anchor companies for continued and accelerated expansion of the region's life sciences economy," the organization said.

 

Bozik received his bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and his MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.


CombiMatrix president and CEO Amit Kumar will become a director of start-up drug maker Leuchemix. CombiMatrix, a unit of Acacia Research, earlier this week said it will pay Leuchemix $4 million over the 2 years to obtain a 33-percent stake in the company.


Cellular Genomics has named Udo Klein to fill a newly created position of senior vice president of drug development. Klein, 52, comes to Cellular Genomics from EntreMed, where he led the company's small-molecule therapeutics R&D effort.


MWG Biotech has passed a resolution that it will see led by a formerly three-person management board team comprising Wolfgang Pieken and Volker Muschalek. The third position on the board will not be filled again; Pieken will take over the function of speaker of the board. He is responsible for finances, R&D, sales and marketing, and IR/PR. Muschalek's responsibilities cover operations, human resources, and IT.


Guava Technologies has hired Gianfranco Feo to be director of customer support and service. De Feo comes to Guava from Affymetrix, where he was associate director of genomics collaborations.


The US National Institutes of Health has selected the first recipients of the NIH Director's Pioneer Award, a program designed to support individual scientists with "highly innovative ideas and approaches to contemporary challenges in biomedical research." The NIH will provide $500,000 per year for five years to each award recipient.

 

The awardees are: Larry Abbott, Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass.; George Daley, Children's Hospital Boston; Homme Hellinga, Duke University Medical Center; Joseph McCune, J. David Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, Calif.; Steven McKnight, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Chad Mirkin, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.; Rob Phillips and Stephen Quake, California Institute of Technology; and Sunney Xie, Harvard University.


Maurice Wilkins, who helped solve the structure of DNA, died yesterday, the Associated Press reported today. He was 88. Wilkins won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1962, together with James Watson and Francis Crick. He provided X-ray images of DNA, which led to the elucidation of the molecule's three-dimensional structure. Wilkins was a staff member of King's College, London

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