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Kenneth Olden to Step Down as NIEHS Director; James Rothman Named Amersham Chief Scientific Advisor; Vincent Miles Appointed VP Business Development at Alnylam; and Others

NEW YORK, July 30 -- Shane Grey has been appointed to the scientific advisory board of CombiMatrix, the company's parent, Acacia Research, said today.


Grey is an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and has experience in viral delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids, the company said. CombiMatrix, of Squolamie, Wash., has recently launched an siRNA drug discovery initiative.


Grey, a native Australian, did postdoctoral research at the Sandoz Center for Immunobiology in Boston. He plans to move his research to the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney in the coming year.


Kenneth Olden, director of the National Toxicology Program and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, announced Tuesday he would step down from both posts as soon as a replacement could be found.


Olden, a cell biologist in biochemist, is the former director of the Howard University Cancer Center and chairman of the University's department of oncology.


His research deals with the properties of cell surface molecules and their roles in cancer, and he will remain as a researcher at NIEHS.


James Rothman has been named chief scientific adviser of Amersham PLC, Amersham Biosciences' parent company, the company said July 28.


Rothman will sit on Amersham's portfolio committee, which is responsible for guiding the direction of the company's growth.


Rothman is currently chairman of the cellular biochemistry and biophysics program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and has recently been appointed to the department of physiology at Columbia University's college of physicians and surgeons, where he will head up a new center for chemical biology. Before joining Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Rothman was a professor of molecular biology at Princeton, between 1988 and 1991.


Rothman received the Lasker Award in 2002 for his work on the molecular basis for transfer of materials within and between cells, or membrane fusion. His lab has also developed engineered fluorescent proteins to report activity within cells for cell-based screening.


Vincent Miles has been appointed senior vice president of business development at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, the Cambridge, Mass. company said July 28.


Miles comes to Alnylam from Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Alnylam CEO John Maraganore also was previously Millennium's senior vice president of strategic product development.


Prior to joining Millennium in 1997, Miles served in product development and marketing for Pharmacia Biotech and Amersham (now all part of Amersham).


Monica Tamborini has been appointed chief financial officer and chief operations officer of DNA Print Genomics, of Sarasota, Fla., the company said July 28.


Tamborini was previoysly CFO of Calix and subsidiary Pharm-eco Laboratories between 1992 and 2001, and was also CFO of Universal Pharma Technologies, a joint venture between Pharm-eco Laboratories and Universal Oil Processors.


Steven Kriegsman, CEO of Cytrx, has been appointed to the board of directors of Bradley Pharmaceuticals, the company said July 28.


Kriegsman has been head of Cytrx, of Los Angeles, since last year, when he led a move to steer the company partly in the direction of RNAi-related therapeutics. See the July 18 RNAi Roundup. Prior to that, he was chairman and founder of Global Genomics, of Los Angeles, which Cytrx acquired last July.

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.