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Geoffrey Ginsburg to Duke University; Jai Nagarkatti New President, COO at Sigma-Aldrich; Jeffrey Price Joins Burnham Institute, Starts Vala Bioscience; and others

NEW YORK, Aug. 18 (GenomeWeb News) - Geoffrey Ginsburg has been appointed director of genomic medicine at the Duke University Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy. He will begin on Sept. 1, Duke said. Ginsburg will also join the faculty in the department of medicine at Duke University Medical Center.


Ginsburg joins the institute from Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he was vice president of molecular and personalized medicine. Ginsburg earned an MD and PhD from BostonUniversity, and completed clinical and research fellowships in molecular cardiology at BethIsraelHospital, where he subsequently developed and directed the preventive cardiology service, Duke said. He has also served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School since 1990.

Sigma-Aldrich announced last week that Jai Nagarkatti, president of the company's scientific research business unit, has been elected president and chief operating officer. He replaces David Harvey, who will continue as chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Three business units - scientific research, biotechnology, and fine chemicals - will now report to Nagarkatti, the company said.


Nagarkatti's 28-year career at Sigma-Aldrich has spanned R&D, manufacturing, operations, and sales and marketing, the company said. Prior to his role as president of the scientific research business unit, he was president of the fine chemicals business. Nagarkatti holds an MS in chemistry from OsmaniaUniversity in India, and a PhD in organic chemistry from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Jeffrey Price has accepted a faculty position at the Burnham Institute, Inside Bioassays, GenomeWeb News' sister publication, reported this week. Price joins the Burnham Institute from the Universityof California, San Diego, where he was an associate research scientist in the department of bioengineering, and director of the Whitaker Foundation Confocal Microscopy Resource.


Price said that he is forming a new biotech startup company, Vala Sciences. He previously founded Q3DM, a startup that specialized in automated microscopy and was purchased by Beckman Coulter late last year. Price also served as a consultant to Beckman Coulter following the deal. He holds an MD from Loma Linda University, and a PhD from UCSD.

Sofinnova Ventures, a San Francsico-based venture firm investing in early-stage life science companies, said that Nicola Campbell has joined the firm as a life science partner.


Campbell was previously a principal with BA Venture Partners, where she focused on mid-stage investment opportunities in drug discovery and product-based companies, Sofinnova said. Prior to this, she was at Burrill & Co., a life science merchant banking firm focusing on biotechnology venture capital. She has also been employed by Genentech in business development and scientific roles. She received a PhD in molecular and cellular immunology from Mount Sinai Medical Center.

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.