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Transgenomic's D'Silva Resigns From Board; Fluidigm Hires ABI Alumnus to Lead Euro Sales; FDA Promotes Woodcock to New Post; and Others

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Affymetrix has named James Gibson its new financial accounting officer, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week.
Affymetrix said that its compensation committee has agreed to offer Gibson a base annual salary of $230,000 and granted him 7,500 restricted shares of the company’s common stock.

Transgenomic this week said Collin D’Silva resigned from the board of directors and from his positions as board chairman and secretary. The company said D’Silva will retain his position as director of mergers and acquisitions until March 31.
Director Gregory Sloma has taken over as interim chairman until a new chairman is appointed, the company said.
The board has appointed CEO and President Craig Tuttle to fill D’Silva’s vacancy. Current company CFO Debra Schneider has been appointed as company secretary.
D’Silva had been on the company’s board since 1998 and was one of the company’s founders. He also served as company president and CEO from 1998 to 2006.

BioProcessors has named Jonathan Rennert president and CEO, the company said this week. Before joining BioProcessors, Rennert was vice president and general manager for analytical sciences at PerkinElmer. He previously held management and engineering positions at Carrier Corporation and at General Electric.

Fluidigm has hired Dominique Remy-Renou to be vice president of European sales and support and general manager of Fluidigm Europe.
Remy-Renou previously worked in the European organizations of Applied Biosystems, including country manager for ABI.  

The US Food and Drug Administration this week said it has promoted deputy commissioner Janet Woodcock to chief medical officer, a newly created spot. She will retain her duties as deputy commissioner, the FDA said.
In these positions, Woodcock will be responsible for scientific and planning-related operations, including organizing, directing, staffing, coordinating, and planning.

Biotrue has named Jeff Stuckey CEO, the company said this week.
Stuckey previously was a business and organizational consultant to life sciences companies, and was on the board at Autoquant Imaging and was CEO and executive vice president at Universal Imaging.

Cyntellect this week said it has appointed three new members to its scientific advisory board:
Alan Aderem, an immunologist and cell biologist who worked at the University of Washington, and former head of the signal transduction laboratory at The Rockefeller University; Charles Cantor, chief scientific officer at Sequenom and former chair and professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University; and Michael Hanley, vice president of discovery research at Amylin Pharmaceuticals and former senior faculty at Imperial College in Cambridge, UK.

The US National Institutes of Health has appointed Alan Krensky to be its first deputy director for the Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives, or OPASI. Krensky, who will start the job on July 8, will oversee the Office’s position as an “incubator space to address critical research efforts in cross-cutting areas of NIH priorities,” NIH Elias Zerhouni said in a statement this week.
OPASI was created to “identify important areas of emerging scientific opportunities or rising public health challenges, and to help accelerate investments in these areas to make sure new ideas have a chance to develop,” according to the NIH. 
Krensky comes to OPASI from Stanford University, where he worked at the school of medicine as professor of pediatrics. He was also chief of the Division of

Applied Biosystems on Jan. 1 raised its annual retainer for non-management board members from $60,000 to $70,000, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week. The compensation package includes an annual retainer made of at least 50 percent stock and the remainder in cash, a stock options grant, and a restricted stock award.

The US National Institutes of Health this week named seven new members to its advisory committee:
Catherine Deangelis, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association and fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Karen Holbrooke, president of Ohio State University and professor of physiology, cell biology, and medicine; Ralph Horwitz, chair of the department of medicine at Stanford University; Mary-Claire King, professor of the American Cancer Society; Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of Science; John Nelson, former deputy director of the Utah Department of Health, president of the Salt Lake City Medical Society and Utah Medical Association; and Barbara Wolfe, professor of economics, population health sciences, public affairs, and faculty affiliates at the Institute for Research and Poverty at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.