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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

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.