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Robert Koska Joins Cepheid as Senior VP; John Burcham Goes to ABI from GE Healthcare; Terrie Pizzie Leaves ABI for Biacore; and Others

Robert Koska has joined Cepheid as senior vice president of sales and marketing, the company said yesterday. He will replace Ira Marks, who previously held this position. In the past, Koska worked for Vysis US, Abbott Molecular Diagnostics, Difco Laboratories, Bristol Myers Genetic Systems, and J&J's Ortho Diagnostic Systems. He holds an MBA from the Universityof Michigan, and a BS in medical technology from Wayne State University.


John Burcham has joined Applied Biosystems as senior marketing manager for TaqMan SNP genotyping assays, GenomeWeb News has learned. He came to ABI from GE Healthcare, formerly Amersham, where he was strategic marketing manager for proteomics. Prior to that, he held technical specialist and marketing positions at Bio-Rad. Burcham holds a BA in the Universityof California, Berkeley.


Terrie Pizzie will become senior vice president of commercial operations at Biacore International starting March 1, the company said on Monday. Prior to joining the company, he was vice president Europeof Applied Biosystems. Before that, he was ABI's director of sales and marketing in Europe.


John Petrovich will be the CEO of Calando Pharmaceuticals, a new subsidiary of Arrowhead Research that will focus on commercializing therapeutic RNAi delivery technologies, the company said yesterday.


Other co-founders of Calando include Mark Davis, a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology; John Rossi, a molecular geneticist at the City of Hope's Beckman Research Institute; and Matt Vincent, a partner at the law firm Ropes & Gray.


Stephen Chang has become president of MultiCell Technologies, the company said earlier this month. He is the CEO of Astral Therapeutics. Chang holds a PhD in biological chemistry, molecular biology, and biochemistry from the Universityof California, Irvine.


Also, Anthony Cataldo has become non-executive co-chairman of the board of MultiCell. He is currently the chairman of BrandPartners Group.


William Haseltine, the founder and former CEO of Human Genome Sciences, was named chairman of the scientific advisory board of Matrix Laboratories of Hyderabad, India, earlier this month.


Gary Taylor has resigned as director of Benitec, the Sydney, Australia-based RNAi company said last week. He will remain a company secretary.


Karen Hahnenberger will leave her position as senior product marketing manager of Eksigent Technologies to join Genentech as publication planning manager. She holds a PhD in molecular biology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.


Eric Lander will receive this year's Public Understanding of Science and Technology award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS said last week. He is the founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and a professor of biology at MIT, a professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School, and a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Lander holds a PhD in mathematics from OxfordUniversity and an undergraduate degree in mathematics from PrincetonUniversity.


Mathias Uhlén will receive this year's Akzo Nobel science award on March 15, the Netherlands-based company said yesterday. He is a professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Uhlén receives the 500,000 Swedish kronor ($72,600) award "for his unique research in the field of biotechnology and his ability to bridge research and industry," according to Akzo. He founded a number of biotechnology companies, including Pyrosequencing, Affibody, Creative Peptides, SweTree Genomics, and Visual Bioinformatics. Uhlén also initiated a project at his institute to map 22,000 human proteins. The Akzo Nobel science award alternates between Swedenand the Netherlandsevery year.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.