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Short Reads: Mar 1, 2002


Elliott Sigal, who joined Bristol-Myers Squibb as VP of applied genomics and worked his way up to senior vice president of drug discovery and exploratory development, has been named senior VP of global clinical and pharmaceutical development.


MDS Proteomics announced the hiring of two new VPs of drug discovery: Gregg Morin, previously with Geron, will be based at the Toronto headquarters; and Mark Scheideler, from GlaxoSmithKline, will work out of Odense, Denmark.


The Automation Partnership announced that Rod Westrop will be its new genomics business manager. Westrop has worked with Jarvis Porter Healthcare, Lark Technologies, and Amersham Pharmacia in the UK.


Bioinformatics firm Xpogen names Michael Fahy from Blackstone Computing VP of sales, and Robert Halpern, most recently of Fact City, to vice president of business development.


Christian Marcazzo makes a transition from his role in product management at Lion Bioscience to strategic business development.


Stephen Peroutka, formerly chief medical officer at Collabra Pharma, joins Deltagen as vice president of clinical research. Peroutka has also worked at Genentech and Spectra Biomedical.

HUPO’s players are coming out of the woodwork. Under the leadership of prez Samir Hanash of U. of Michigan Med School, four new committees got their chairs: Julio Celis of the Danish Cancer Society heads up the meetings committee; Matthias Mann, chief proteomics officer of MDS Proteomics, leads the informatics group; Richard Simpson from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research chairs the technology and resources committee; and Ian Humphery-Smith, COO of Glaucus Proteomics, leads the business development committee.


Frances Heller heads to Hayward, Calif.’s Signature BioScience, where she’ll be vice president of corporate development and legal affairs. Heller comes to Signature from a similar position at Zyomyx.


Speaking of legal affairs, proteomics firm ActivX Biosciences hires Nancy Dahl, formerly with Amylin Pharmaceuticals, as VP and general counsel.


Attempting to reorganize, Canadian firm Genomics One fired Sydney Abrahams and Andrea Abrahams. President and CSO Suzanne Lebel will fill their shoes for the time and would not say whether further dismissals were expected during the restructuring.


Sadly, Montegu Black, the founding chairman of Canadian proteomics firm Syn X Pharma, died of cancer at 61.


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.