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WellGen Names New CEO; Craig Mello Wins New Paul Janssen Award; Decode Adds a Director; Tm Names New SAB Chair; and Others

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Chip-Man Technologies has appointed Jane Spencer-Fry as vice president of European sales.
Spencer-Fry comes to Chip-Man from BioVeris Europe, where she was most recently sales director. She has also held a “variety” of commercial and scientific roles with Packard Biosciences (now PerkinElmer) and Amersham International.

Nutrigenomics company WellGen has appointed Kathleen Mullinix as its new CEO effective immediately to succeed David Evans, who passed away on June 1.
Mullinix previously was an advisor to investors on biotechnology and pharmaceutical business opportunities through her company Kathleen P. Mullinix & Associates, which she founded in 2002.  Before that, Mullinix served as the founder, chairman, CEO and president of Synaptic Pharmaceutical
She has a BA in chemistry from Trinity College and a PhD in chemical biology from Columbia University.

Craig Mello, professor of molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, has been named the inaugural recipient of The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research.
Mello, who is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, was selected for “his role in the discovery of RNA interference and the elucidation of its biological functions,” according to a statement released by Johnson & Johnson, which established the award.
The award includes a $100,000 prize. It will be given every two years.

Decode Genetics appointed Peter Goodfellow to its board of directors, effective immediately.
Goodfellow was until recently senior vice president for discovery research at GlaxoSmithKline. He received his PhD from Oxford University.

Tm Bioscience has appointed Donald Low as chairman of its scientific advisory board, effective immediately. He replaces Brad Popovich, who will no longer serve on the company's SAB.
Low is a professor of medicine and microbiology at the University of Toronto; head of the Division of Microbiology in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto; medical director of Public Health Laboratories; and chief of the Toronto Medical Laboratories and Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Microbiology.

ExonHit Therapeutics has hired John Jaskowiak as executive vice president of business and marketing. Jaskowiak will work out of the company’s US subsidiary in Gaithersburg, Md.
Jaskowiak comes to ExonHit from Affymetrix, where he was senior director of marketing. His goal at ExonHit will be to “develop a partnering business model for ExonHit's genomics efforts to expand ExonHit's business in diagnostics and personalized medicines."

On Sept. 1, CuraGen entered into agreements with the following executives that enables them to remain “employed on a full-time basis, continuing at will until either party gives notice of termination:” Frank Armstrong, president and CEO; Paul Finigan, senior vice president and general counsel; Timothy Shannon, executive vice president and chief medical officer; Elizabeth Whayland, senior vice president of finance and corporate secretary; David Wurzer, executive vice president and CFO and treasurer; and subsidiary 454 Life Sciences President and CEO Christopher McLeod.

Gene Logic has extended until Dec. 31 the employment of Larry Tiffany as senior vice president and interim general manager of its Genomics Division. The company originally signed him up for these duties on June 30 and said he would remain employed until Aug. 31.

iAdvantage Software has hired Richard Hellmer as director of business development and Bob Winters as senior account executive.
Hellmer comes to iAdvantage from Nervana, where he was regional director. He received his BS in biochemistry from Virginia Tech.
Winters comes to iAdvantage from BASi, where he was senior director of business development.

The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.