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Neumann: Independent No More

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When Eric Neumann left 3rd Millennium two months ago, he announced that he was going into independent consulting. He didn’t last long. “Two of the groups I consulted for quickly wanted to hire me,” he says. “I wasn’t prepared to have to make such a fast decision.” But after four or five job offers, Neumann, 42, left consulting behind and hopped aboard Beyond Genomics as vice president of bioinformatics.

The company, a NewcoGen venture first detailed in February 2000, employs a systems biology approach to examine the chemistry, metabolite, gene expression, and protein levels of samples. According to Neumann, “I am in charge of making sure we gather all this information in a very clean, robust way and making sure we don’t lose anything.” The idea, he says, is to merge all the data from clinical samples to “[tell] a useful story from it.” Beyond Genomics applies mass spec and NMR technology to study the data.

The company has just recently come together. President and CEO Stephen Ober joined in November, and the rest of the team signed on in the last few months. Neumann, who was recruited largely for his work with ontologies and the biopathways consortium, is building a core bioinformatics staff.

In spite of his quick move to another company, Neumann says he enjoyed consulting. “Independent consulting is great to really get a good view of the landscape,” he says. “There’s the freedom to interact with a lot of very interesting vendors and groups.”

— Meredith Salisbury

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