In GT last year, our cover story took you inside plans for the new Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research and introduced you to its fresh-from-academia chief, Mark Fishman. Novartis has continued to hire into its center, moving much of its New Jersey-based staff to the new digs in Cambridge, Mass. A big score for genomics folk was Dalia Cohen, head of functional genomics for Novartis, who took an early lead among the Boston-bound.
Another article in the August 2002 issue took a critical look at Callida Genomics, the spinoff of a settlement between Hyseq and Affymetrix negotiated by legend George Rathmann. Since then, Callida announced that it will share in a $7.6 million NIST grant, through which it will co-develop a high-throughput SNP-scoring system using a solution-array approach with SurroMed. Callida’s take is $3.2 million over the next three years to work on its DNA amplification and genotyping technology.
Jeffrey Skolnick surprised his bioinformatics colleagues by leaving St. Louis’ Danforth Plant Science Center and heading for the wintry scene of Buffalo, NY, where he would be director of the Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics. In the year since, Skolnick’s center has stayed in the forefront of public attention and is considered so successful that state senator Hillary Clinton and congressman Thomas Reynolds were recently given awards for their support of it.
One final update: last August we told you that Promega and Applera were heading to court over their reagent-based patent infringement lawsuit. Because of Wisconsin’s so-called “rocket docket,” that meant the case would be heard in mid-November, instead of months (or even years) later as would be likely in other states. But just before the court date arrived, Promega and Applera announced a settlement. Details of the agreement were never disclosed.