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Lowy Takes on CEO Post at Helicos, Vermillion Names Interim CFO, Zweiger Joins BioNanomatrix, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Ronald Lowy has taken over as CEO at Helicos BioSciences for Steve Lombardi, who will stay on in his roles as president of the company and member of the board of directors. Lowy has served on the board since November 2007, a post he will retain. He previously served as president and CEO of Fisher Biosciences, a division of Fisher Scientific, and held management positions at GE Medical Systems.
Lombardi will now focus his efforts on commercializing the company’s HeliScope system product line.

Vermillion has appointed Qun Zhou to serve as interim chief financial officer, a position she has taken over for Richard Taylor, whose consulting agreement with the company expired on Nov. 26. Zhou has been corporate controller at Vermillion since early 2007, and she previously has served in the same position at Vioptix and in various capacities at Philips Medical Systems.

BioNanomatrix has named Gary Zweiger as vice president of business development. Zweiger formerly was senior director of business development at Affymetrix, and he has served in the same position for Applied Biosystems’ Cell and Molecular Biology division. He also worked in business development at Agilent Technologies, and he performed a fellowship at Genentech

Julia Bailey-Serres of the University of California Riverside is the lead winner of the US Department of Agriculture’s National Research Initiative Discovery Award for her contribution in developing flood-tolerant rice. Co-winners of the award along with Bailey-Serres include Pamela Ronald of UC Davis and David Mackill of the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.

Febit has appointed Jack Leonard to the new position of VP of technology commercialization. Leonard will be based in the company’s US headquarters in Lexington, Mass. He will work on commercializing the company’s Geniom Platform and he will lead the firm’s Analytical Services Group.

Linda Birnbaum has been named director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Birnbaum is currently a senior advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency, where she was director of the Experimental Toxicology Division, and she is an adjunct professor at the School of Public and the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and she works in the Integrated Toxicology Program at Duke University.

Microchip Biotechnologies has appointed Ezra Van Gelder to serve as executive VP of research and development. Van Gelder formerly ran instrument and reagent development for Arcxis Biosciences, and he was a VP of development for GE Healthcare. He also previously worked at Molecular Dynamics and at Amersham.

Dionex announced that President and CEO Lukas Braunschweiler notified the firm's board of directors of his resignation, effective May 31, 2009. Braunschweiler is leaving the firm to become CEO of Ruag Holding, an aviation, defense, and technology company based in Switzerland. Dionex said that it would conduct a search for a replacement in the near term with the goal of putting a new CEO in place in June.

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The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.