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Short Reads: Jan 1, 2002


Stepping in to fill Roy Whitfield’s void, former DuPont Pharmaceuticals Research Laboratories president Paul Friedman becomes CEO of Incyte Genomics. Robert Stein, also from DuPont, comes to Incyte as president and CSO.


Sometimes it’s nice to be a big fish in a smaller pond. Kimmen Sjolander, former principal scientist of Celera Genomics’ Panther group, decided she wanted a larger role in science — and for her, that meant heading to UC Berkeley, where she has a tenure-track faculty position in the bioengineering department.


Yin Chen was appointed vice president of R&D at CytoGenix, a Houston-based genomics company. Chen was previously chief research scientist at CytoGenix after the company took over InGene, where he was a senior scientist.


Xenon Genetics hires Celia Courchene from QLT, a Vancouver biotech company, as its vice president for business development. The company also promoted co-founder Simon Pimstone to the new COO post.


David Hoey moves to US Genomics, where he’s vice president of biz development. He joins the firm from InfoLibria, an Internet infrastructure solutions company, where he was VP of marketing and business development.


Syrrx announces that Williams Ettouati is the company’s new chief business officer. Ettouati was last seen on a whirlwind stint at Aurora Biosciences, where he was VP of business development after winding up his time at GeneProt. Meanwhile, Carolyn Adler picks up at Syrrx as veep of IP and legal affairs, similar to the position she previously held at COR Therapeutics.


Stephen Naylor takes on the role of CTO at Massachusetts-based bioinformatics and systems biology firm Beyond Genomics. He comes from the Mayo Clinic, where he was the founding director of the Biomedical Mass Spectrometry and Functional Proteomics Facility.


Miguel Rios, Interim president and CEO of National Center for Genome Resources was recently elected chairman of the institute’s board of directors, replacing Bruce Carp, who will remain on the board. Let’s hope one of the recent management changes there will help the struggling group.


R. Scott Greer, CEO of Abgenix, will step down in mid-2002 after six years at the helm. He’ll be replaced by Raymond Withy, who has been an officer at the company since its inception and became president and COO at the beginning of last year.


ZymoGenetics appoints Robert Whitehead senior vice president and chief business officer. Last seen as the president of Elan Biopharmaceuticals’

Americas division, Whitehead will help usher the company through its pipeline of therapeutic proteins.


The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.