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Taylor Named Chairman of PLSG, Dodd Takes the Helm at BioReliance, Seymour Benzer Dies, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The board of directors of the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse has approved the nomination of Lansing Taylor as chairman. He takes over for co-chairs Mark Nordenberg and Jared Cohon.
Taylor is already on the board of PLSG and recently served as chairman and CEO of high-content cell screening firm Cellomics, which he founded and was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific in September 2005. He also was a co-founder, member of the board, and scientific advisor to Biological Detection Systems, which was sold to Amersham Biosciences in 1996.

Jorgine Ellerbrock has stepped into the spot of senior VP of operations at Gen-Probe. Ellerbrock formerly was VP of operations at Invitrogen’s molecular biology business, and before that she was at GE Healthcare Biosciences, where she was VP of operations and VP of genomics product management. She also held posts at Roche.

Gentronix has named Steven Beasley to be a commercial director and a member of the company’s board. Beasley was CEO of bioKneX and he was chief business officer at De Novo Pharmaceuticals. Beasley will run commercial operations at Gentronix.

Orchid Cellmark has appointed William Thomas to the job of VP of general counsel.
Thomas previously was senior VP and general counsel at Cytogen, where he was involved in intellectually property counsel and all other legal management legal matters.

Duke University professor Randy Jirtle has been nominated to be Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2007. Jirtle is a professor of radiology oncology at Duke University Medical School, and his lab is known for its work in epigenetics and gene regulation.
Jirtle was nominated by National Institute of Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, who said she supported him because his “pioneering work in epigenetics and genomic imprinting has uncovered a vast territory in which a gene represents less of an inexorable sentence and more of an access point for the environment to modify the genome.”

Rosetta Genomics has appointed Ronen Tamir to be executive VP of marketing and communications, the company said this week. Tamir formerly was VP of investor relations for North America at Novartis and before that he was director of business intelligence and global product manager at Serono.

BioReliance has tapped David Dodd to be president, CEO, and chairman of the company’s board of directors.
Dodd formerly was president and CEO of Serologicals and prior to that he was president and CEO of Solvay Pharmaceuticals. Dodd also formerly was employed at Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and McDonnell-Douglas Healthcare Systems.

Genetics pioneer and California Institute of Technology researcher Seymour Benzer, who conducted early research in gene mapping, RNA, and who used phages to help verify James Watson and Francis Crick’s version of DNA, died last week at age 84, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Empire Genomics has named to its scientific advisory board Stuart Schwartz, Marilyn Slovak, Michael Liebman, and Laura Reid.
Schwartz is director of genetic diagnostic services and director of the Clinical Cytogenetics Laboratory at the University of Chicago.
Slovak is director of cytogenetics and professor of pathology at the City of Hope National Medical Center and is a fellow of the American Board of Medical Genetics College.
Liebman is executive director of the Windber Research Institute, and is managing director of Strategic Medicine, and he is chair of the Healthcare Task Force for the SMART program.
Reid is senior director of marketing and external scientific affairs at Expression Analysis, and she is a member of the External RNA Controls Consortium, and the ABRF Microarray Research Group.

GenoLogics has named Sal Sanci VP of products and Paul Ford VP of finance. Sanci formerly was VP of technology at Teligence and he was a VP at Pivotal Corporation, DocsFulcrum, and Meridian Technologies.
Ford was recently an executive director for the private equity firm PineRidge and he worked at KPMG as an advisory for mergers and acquisitions.
Also, GenoLogics Founder and former VP of Product Management James DeGeef will take over the post of VP of market strategy.
The company also has named Don Listwin chairman of the company’s board of directors.

Texas State University-San Marcos professor Michael Forstner has been named the inaugural holder of the Alexander/Stone Chair of Genetics in the school’s Department of Biology.

Promoted? Changing jobs? GenomeWeb wants to know. E-mail [email protected] to appear in PEOPLE, a weekly roundup of industry comings and goings.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.