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Short Reads: Jul 1, 2001


Isis Pharmaceuticals hired Richard Brown to head up GeneTrove, its functional genomics division. Brown, who also serves as an Isis VP, will oversee the expected launch of the division’s functional genomics database later this year.

Update from the Trega Biosciences (recently acquired by Lion) fallout front: Trega’s chief commercial officer Mark Schwartz wound up on the payroll at Calyx Therapeutics, where he’s the new CEO. “Mark’s skills are a perfect match to Calyx’s needs,” says Somesh Sharma, cofounder of the company. Let’s just hope for Schwartz’s sake that Calyx isn’t a perfect match for Lion.

Amersham partner Molecular Staging announced some scientific acquisitions — Michael Egholm, previously with Applied Biosystems, comes on board as veep of research, and Steve Piccoli is the new VP of diagnostics.

Senomyx plays musical chairs, and Lubert Stryer gets to take a break. Paul Grayson was appointed CEO and succeeds Stryer to chairman of the board, while Mark Zoller takes Stryer’s place as CSO. Saiid Zarrabian, who left Pharmacopeia in December, joins as president and COO. Stryer, who helped found Senomyx, will return to Stanford University.

Arcady Mushegian was hired by the Stowers Institute for Medical Research to be director of bioinformatics. He was previously a senior scientist at ag company Akkadix.

Terry Allread, formerly at ThermoFinnigan, joined automation and instrumentation firm GeneMachines as vice president of manufacturing. Patricia Gray comes to the company as vice president of development.

While Celera and its public-sector counterparts continue to quibble, Human Genome Sciences is getting friendlier with government types. The two latest additions to the company’s board of directors are Richard Holbrooke, former US ambassador to the UN, and Richard Danzig, former Secretary of the Navy. Does HGS aspire to world dominance?

Joanne Luciano, who recently vacated her position at 3rd Millennium, celebrated the award of her second patent last month. Luciano plans to develop this and another of her patents — methods for “predicting the therapeutic outcome of a treatment” and “automated treatment selection” — under the auspices of her company Predictive Medicine, which she formed “to apply advances in IT, analytical techniques, and biotechnology for the more effective clincial use of prescription medications.”

The Scan

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.

Rett Syndrome Mouse Model Study Points to RNA Editing Possibilities

Investigators targeted MECP2 in mutant mouse models of Rett syndrome, showing in PNAS that they could restore its expression and dial down symptoms.

Investigators Find Shared, Distinct Genetic Contributors to Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma

An association study in JAMA Network Open uncovers risk variants within and beyond the human leukocyte antigen locus.

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.