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Sirna Names Martin Schmeig CFO; Michael Hunkapiller Leaves ABI; Peter Savas Appointed Chairman of Amphora s Board of Directors; and others

NEW YORK, Aug. 25 (GenomeWeb News) - Sirna Therapeutics has appointed Martin Schmeig as senior vice president and chief financial officer, effective Sept. 20, the company said yesterday.


Schmeig most recently was senior vice president and CFO of Advanced Bionics. Prior to this, he served as president and CEO of advisory firm MSMTC. Schmeig also served as executive vice president of Cytometrics from 1993 to 2000.


He holds a BS in business administration from LaSalle University, and is a certified public accountant.


Michael Hunkapiller has retired as senior vice president and president of Applied Biosystems, parent company Applera said earlier this week. Hunkapiller has been replaced by Catherine Burzik, former executive vice president and COO of ABI. (See 8/23/04 GenomeWeb News story for more).


NeoGenomics announced yesterday that chairman Michael Dent has been appointed managing director at the company. Dent will now lead the company's efforts in developing new clinical lab services and collaborative research projects, NeoGenomics said.


Amphora Discovery said yesterday that Peter Savas has been appointed chairman of the company's board of directors.


Savas is currently a managing partner with Tug Hill Partners. He previously served as president, CEO, and chairman of Aderis Pharmaceuticals.


Drug discovery firm Phenomix announced today the appointment of Hans-Peter Guler as vice president of clinical development.


Prior to joining Phenomix, Guler served as vice president of clinical sciences for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. He has also served as senior director of clinical development for Chiron Technologies, and associate director of drug development at Ciba-Geigy. Guler holds an MD from the Universityof Zurich in Switzerland.


GenoMed has named Dennis Robbins chairman of the company's newly created business advisory board, GenoMed said today.


Robbins has held numerous academic and medical school appointments, GenoMed said, and is a national expert in ethics and clinical reimbursement. He has served as a visiting scholar and research fellow in medical ethics in the Harvard School of Public Health, and has been an advisor to the President's Commission on Ethics in Biomedicine and Biomedical Research. He has authored eight books on medical ethics. Robbins earned a PhD in philosophy from BostonCollege, and a postdoctoral MPH degree from Harvard.


Bionest Partners, a provider of advisory and management services to life sciences companies, announced this week that it has established a new advisory board.


Initial appointments to the board are: Michel Greco, former deputy CEO and member of the board of Aventis Pasteur; Thomas Hecht, president and founder of HHC Healthcare Consulting and former vice president of marketing for Amgen; Kees Lucas, director of the office for international R&D alliances corporate development at Biogen; Tony Martin, former chairman, president, and CEO of Molecular Probes; and Gunnar Weikert, chairman and CEO of Inventages Venture Capital and former senior vice president and global head for life science deals at Bayer.


Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith, currently professor emeritus of genetic at JohnsHopkinsUniversity, and Craig Venter, president of the Center for the Advancement of Genomics, will be honored on Oct. 26 at the American Skin Association's 2004 Gala at New York's University Club, the ASA said last week.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.