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George Bers, John Wareham, Bruce Wallace, Conrad Gilliam, Vamsi Mootha, Daphne Koller, Julie Theriot, Joe DeRisi, David Butler-Jones

George Bers, formerly vice president of systems biology at Beckman Coulter, has left the company, BioCommerce Week has learned.

Bers joined Beckman 2001 as president of the life sciences division.

John Wareham, chairman and CEO of Beckman Coulter, told BCW this week that Bers and the company parted by mutual agreement.

Bruce Wallace, vice president and director of the company’s Systems Biology Business Center, has taken over Bers’ duties, Wareham said.

Bers held the VP post since 2002 when the company reorganized its life science research and specialty testing divisions to create the biomedical research division.

Bers joined Beckman from Nanogen, where he was vice president of business development. He joined Nanogen after a 24-year stint at BioRad Laboratories in positions ranging from sales and marketing to management. Bers holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, and a master’s degree in biochemistry from Georgetown University.

Beckman’s systems biology unit focuses on helping customers apply the company’s GenomeLab, ProteomeLab, and Cell Lab platforms.

Conrad Gilliam has been appointed professor and chairman of the department of human genetics at the University of Chicago, the school said this week. Gilliam, a professor of genetics and development at Columbia University, also served as the director of the Columbia Genome Center, adjunct professor of biomedical informatics, and co-director of the New York-based university’s Joint Centers for Systems Biology.

Gilliam holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Clemson University. He received a postdoctoral Cystic Fibrosis Research fellowship in molecular genetics at the University of London, followed by a second in molecular genetics at Harvard University.

Following a one-year instructorship at Harvard, Gilliam joined Columbia as assistant professor of neurogenetics in the departments of psychiatry, neurology, and genetics and development in the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Vamsi Mootha, 33, a post doctoral fellow at the Whitehead and Broad Institutes and an instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who on Friday will join Harvard Medical School as an assistant professor of systems biology and an assistant professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow this week.

Other MacArthur winners in the molecular biology tools space included: Daphne Koller, an associate professor of computer science at Stanford University whose work focuses on complex computational modeling; Julie Theriot, also of Stanford and an assistant professor of biochemistry and of microbiology and immunology at the Stanford School of Medicine; and Joe DeRisi, an associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics, of the University of California at San Francisco.

David Butler-Jones was appointed Canada’s first chief public health officer this week, a position created after the SARS epidemic. He will also direct the new Agency of Public Health of Canada, which will be based in Winnipeg. The western Canada city will also host the International Center for Infectious Diseases, the Canadian government said.

Butler-Jones joins the agency after serving as the medical health officer for Sun Country Health Region and consulting medical officer for the Saskatoon Health Region in Saskatchewan.


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