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Short Reads: Oct 1, 2001


GeneProt announces big changes to its management team. Diana Wetmore becomes CTO in the Geneva branch after her previous work at Anadys Pharmaceuticals; Bertrand Damour comes aboard as CFO from JP Morgan; and Stephen Macevicz, formerly VP of legal affairs at Lynx Therapeutics, takes on the role of vice president of IP.


Paris-based functional genomics company Nautilus Biotech hired Abderrahim Mahfoudi as director of corporate development. Mahfoudi comes from Aventis Pharma.


Lexicon Genetics, which recently licensed its gene targeting technology to Merck, made further strides toward its discovery goal. David Kimball joins from Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute as senior director of medicinal chemistry. Peter Cheung became senior scientist in pharmaceutical discovery after working for six years at R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute. And Alexander Turner, who joined five years ago, has been named senior director of pharmaceutical discovery.


MWG Biotech’s CEO and founder Michael Weichselgartner stepped down after announcing expected losses, prompting shares to drop 28 percent. Matthias Schönermark of the Boston Consulting Group will be the new CEO.

Talk about keeping it in the family. Renovis, a genomics-based neuroscience company, recently appointed cofounder Corey Goodman to the post of president and CEO. Lynne Zydowsky, another cofounder, will add senior vice president of business development to her current COO role. Cofounder Tito Serafini will be vice president for genomic research and chief discovery scientist and Andrew Shyjan (not a cofounder) is VP of molecular biology.


South Africa native Christina Raimondo heads to Cape Town’s Electric Genetics as director of business development, vacating her post at GeneticXchange in California.


Reinhold Mann, who currently heads up life sciences at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Lab, has been named deputy lab director for science and technology at the Pacific Northwest National Lab. Mann is known for bringing bioinformatics and biotech to ORNL and is expected to make similar contributions at PNNL.


Bill Gates is no role model for rising genomics execs. It’s back to school for Cyrus Harmon, VP of computational genomics at Affymetrix. Five years ago, Harmon dropped out of grad school to launch bioinformatics company Neomorphic, acquired by Affy last year for $70 million. Flush with stock options, Harmon is taking a three-year leave to return to Gerry Rubin’s UC Berkeley lab to complete a PhD in genetics.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.