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PEOPLE: GenomeWeb s Weekly Personnel Roundup of the Genomics Sector: Mar 13, 2002

NEW YORK, March 13-Immusol co-founder Flossie Wong-Staal has joined the company full-time as its chief scientific officer and vice president of genomics, the firm said on Tuesday.

 

She will help lead the company's drug discovery programs in infectious disease, neurodegeneration, and obesity, and help direct the company's major oncology research alliance with Novartis.

 

Wong-Staal, a professor of biology and medicine at the University of California, San Diego, was co-director of UCSD's AIDS Research Institute. She is known for her work in cloning, sequencing, and characterizing retroviruses, including HIV, and studies gene therapy approaches for HIV treatment.

 

She will maintain her role with UCSD as research professor of medicine.

 

Immusol, based in San Diego, is working to discover and validate genes relevant to cancer, viral infection, inflammation, neurodegenerative disease and obesity.

 


 

Burlingame, Calif.-based BioSeek said on Tuesday that it had appointed Peter Staple as its chief executive officer.

 

Staple, who will also sit on the company's board of directors, will help the company commercialize its technology platforms.

 

He comes from ALZA, where he was executive vice president, chief administrative officer, and general counsel. ALZA is now a unit of Johnson & Johnson.

 


 

Evolutionary Genomics said on Monday that it had added cytokine and infectious disease specialist Charles Dinarello to its scientific advisory board.

 

Dinarello is currently professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of medicine. He also is a member of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease's scientific advisory board, the boards of governors of the Weizmann Institute and Ben Gurion University, and the National Academy of Sciences.

 

Evolutionary Genomics, based in Denver, Colo., applies biological knowledge from non-human primates to target identification and drug discovery for human disease. It is currently using genetic data regarding chimpanzee resistance to HIV-1 to develop new therapeutics for HIV and AIDS. The company is also working to identify cereal genes that control valuable traits like yield and taste.

 

The company, founded in 2000, is privately held.

 


 

Exelixis has appointed three new managers, the company said on March 11:

 

Annie Fong is the company's new director of development, Harold Keer is director for clinical research and development, and Kimberly Manhard is the company's new vice president for regulatory affairs.

 

The new managers bring expertise in drug development and will help the company improve its clinical development, said Exelixis senior vice president Jeffrey Latts in a statement.

 

Fong has a background in coordinating development for small molecule and protein therapies for inflammation, immunomodulation, oncology and cardiovascular disease. She was most recently executive director of the Reitman Corporation, which provides strategic development and regulatory support for biopharmaceutical firms.

 

Keer is a medical oncologist with expertise in clinical trial design. He was most recently associate director of clinical development at Titan Pharmaceuticals.

 

Manhard was previously at Agouron Pharmaceuticals, where she led the company's global regulatory division. Her prior experience includes work with Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Eli Lilly.

 

Exelixis also said that it soon plans to add staff in quality assurance, safety assessment, and data collection and analysis.

 


 

Rindert Peerbolte has joined the Belgian agbiotech firm CropDesign as research director, the company said on March 7.

 

Peerbolte, a molecular biologist, will manage the company's TraitMill program for gene cloning, plant transformation, and plant evaluation. He will report to Willem Broekaert, the company's research and development director.

 

Peerbolte was previously head of biotech laboratories at the Dutch firm Advanta Seeds.

 

CropDesign, based in Gent, Belgium, applies functional genomics to crop performance for improved yield, quality, and stress tolerance. It was founded in 1998.

 



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