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Invitrogen s Lucier Becomes BIO Director; Three Pfizer Execs Join DeCode Board; Guava Names New President; Orion Names Leon Director; New FDA Commissioner Confirmed; and Others

Kate Johnston has become vice president of discovery programs of Cellumen, the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company said today. She joins Cellumen from Eli Lilly, where she was director of lead generation biology. Her husband, Paul Johnston, will be a senior advising consultant to Cellumen in applications of HCS while he is a visiting faculty member at the Universityof Pittsburgh Medical Center.

LawrenceBruder has been promoted to president and chief operating officer of Guava Technologies, the Hayward, Calif.-based company said yesterday. Bruder, who joined Guava in 2004, used to be the company's vice president of corporate development and worldwide marketing. Prior to that, he was a vice president within the functional proteomics division of Applied Biosystems and held various positions in Becton Dickinson's biosciences business. Bruder holds a master of management from the Kellogg Management School at NorthwesternUniversityand a bachelor of science from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Three former Pfizer executives have joined Decode Genetics, the Icelandic company said yesterday:


Daniel Hartman has become senior vice president of product development. He used to be global clinical leader for allergy and respiratory diseases at Pfizer and an executive director at Pfizer Global Research and Development. Hartman holds an MD from Wayne State University.


David Hermann, formerly director of pharmacometrics at Pfizer Global Research and Development, has also joined DeCode's drug development team. He has a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Peter Van Ess is the third new member of DeCode's drug development group. He used to be global clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics program leader at Pfizer. Van Ess holds a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.

Jorge Leon has been appointed as acting chief scientific officer and vice president of business development of Orion Genomics, the St. Louis-based company said yesterday. In addition, he has joined the company's board of directors. Leonis president of Leomics Associates, a company he founded. Prior to that, he held different positions at Quest Diagnostics. Leonholds a PhD in cellular and molecular biology from New YorkUniversity.

Nuvelo has appointed Kimberly Popovits to its board of directors. Popovits currently serves as president and chief operating officer of Genomic Health. She comes to Genomic Health Genentech, where she served as senior vice president, marketing and sales. Popovits is a director at BayBio. She has a BA in business from Michigan State University.

Life sciences investment company Abingworth Management has appointed Tim Haines as a Partner. Haines, who will start his new job in September, will "identify and create new businesses and provide support for existing companies" in the Abingworth portfolio. Haines comes to Abingworth from Astex Therapeutics, an Abingworth company, where he was CEO. He has a BSc from ExeterUniversityand an MBA from INSEAD.

The US Congress has confirmed Lester Crawford as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. He was previously acting commissioner.


Responding to the confirmation, the Biotechnology Industry Organization said that under Crawford, the FDA "must be prepared for the innovations emerging from genomics, proteomics, nanotechnology and other biotechnology applications. We're entering an era of personalized medicine and a revolution with the potential to further tame disabling and deadly diseases."

Applied DNA Sciences has named Jun-Jei Sheu as its new chairman and chief scientist. He replaces Rob Hutchison, who has served in the position since 2003. Hutchison will remain as an advisory board member. Sheu had been CEO of Biowell Technology, and comes to Applied DNA Sciences after the company acquired Biowell's DNA IP.

Albert-László Barabási, Emil T. Hofman Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded the 2005 Federation of European Biochemical Societies Anniversary Prize for Systems Biology by the Gesellschaft fuer Biochemie und Molekularbiologie.


The anniversary prize is awarded to scientists under the age of 40 for their "outstanding achievement in biochemistry and molecular biology." Barabási was honored for his important contributions to understanding cellular networks, such as the scale-free nature of the metabolic and the protein interaction networks.

Definiens has hired Neil Dey as vice president of business development and marketing. He joins Definiens from Bioimagene, where he vice president of business development.

DNA Bioscience has appointed John Rowley to the new role of CEO. Rowley, a GlaxoSmithKline veteran, will start the job on July 20. He comes to the company from International SOS, where he was regional managing director, EMEA.

Australian antibody array developer Medsaic has appointed Mervyn Thomas as senior biostatistician. Thomas is the founder of bioinformatics consultancy Emphron Informatics. He formerly ran the bioinformatics research program for the division of mathematics and information sciences at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. Thomas will continue as CEO of Emphron Informatics, and will work at Medsaic as part of a strategic alliance between the two firms.

William Newsome has joined Blueshift Biotechnologies as director of sales and commercial development, Blueshift said last week. Newsome joins Blueshift from DiscoverX, where he worked to form assay development collaborations within pharma, Blueshift said. He has also held positions at Harvard, Pfizer, and Stratagene.

James Mullen, president and CEO of Biogen Idec, has been elected chairman of the Biotechnology Industry Organization board of directors. Mullen replaces Richard Pops, CEO of Alkermes. Mullen joined Biogen in 1989 and was named CEO in 2000, and chairman in 2002. He holds a BS in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from VillanovaUniversity.


In addition to Mullen, the following BIO board members have been named officers for 2005-2006: vice chair, Healthcare, Joshua Boger, chairman, president, and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals; vice chair, Food and Agriculture, Pete Siggelko, vice president, Plant Genetics & Biotechnology, Dow AgroSciences; secretary, Joseph Scodari, company group chairman of biopharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson; and treasurer, Stephen Sherwin, chairman and CEO of Cell Genesys.


BIO has also elected 11 new members to the organization's board of directors: Catherine Bonuccelli, vice president of external scientific affairs at AstraZeneca; Geoffrey Cox, chairman, president, and CEO of GTC Biotherapeutics; Rachel King, CEO of GlycoMimetics; John Leonard, vice president of global medical and scientific affairs at Abbott Laboratories; Greg Lucier, chairman and CEO of Invitrogen; Thomas McLain, chairman, president, and CEO, Nabi Biopharmaceuticals; Thomas Okarma, president and CEO of Geron; David Pyott, chairman, president, and CEO of Allergan; Feike Sijbesma, managing board of directors; Martin Soerters, president, US, Novo Nordisk; and Peter Young, president and CEO of AlphaVax.

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.