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Zineh Tapped as FDA's Associate Director for Genomics; ABI Board Members to Resign Following Invitrogen Merger; Mardis Joins Pac Bio's SAB; and Others

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Issam Zineh has joined the US Food and Drug Administration as associate director for genomics in the Office of Clinical Pharmacology, GenomeWeb Daily News has learned. 
 
Zineh was previously associate director of the Pharmacogenomics Center at the University of Florida, where he was also an assistant professor of clinical practice. 
 
Zineh replaces Felix Frueh, who left the FDA earlier this year to join Medco Health Solutions as VP of research and development for personalized medicine.
 

 
President-elect Barack Obama has nominated former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, according to news reports this week. He would replace Michael Leavitt, who has served as HHS secretary since 2005 and will serve through the end of the Bush Administration.
 
Daschle represented South Dakota in the Senate from 1987 to 2005, and served as majority leader from 2001 to 2003 and minority leader from 1995 to 2001. Prior to the Senate, he served in the House of Representative from 1978 to 1987.
 
Daschle was an advisor to Obama during his presidential campaign and has been a strong advocate for healthcare reform. He co-authored a book published earlier this year, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health Care Crisis,” and has proposed the idea of creating a Federal Reserve type body for healthcare called the Federal Health Board, which would combine elements of the existing public and private healthcare systems.
 
In a statement this week, Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, called Daschle’s nomination “a wise decision,” and said that Daschle “brings to the position an impressive and deep background of health care policy expertise.”
 
Greenwood added that BIO is "particularly encouraged” by the nomination because Daschle “understands both the promise of and challenges facing biotechnology innovation.”
 

 
Applied Biosystems said this week in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that on Nov. 12 it accepted the retirements of six board members effective immediately following the completion of its merger with Invitrogen, which closed today.
 
The members are Robert Hayes; Elaine Mardis; Theodore Martin; Carolyn Slayman; James Tobin; and Tony White.
 

 
Elaine Mardis, co-director of the Genome Center at Washington University School of Medicine, has joined Pacific Bioscience’s scientific advisory board.
 
Mardis has worked at the Wash U Genome Center since 1993. In addition to her role as co-director of the center, she is an associate professor of genetics and molecular microbiology. Mardis previously served as a senior research scientist at Bio-Rad Laboratories.
 

 
Law firm Foley Hoag has hired Susie Ahn, former director of federal government relations for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, as a health policy specialist for its government strategies group.
 
At Foley Hoag, Ahn will advise the firm’s life science clients on regulatory and legislative strategies.
 
Prior to BIO, Ahn was a senior legislative assistant for Congressman Mike Honda (D. – Calif.), where she was responsible for developing and managing healthcare policy initiatives, especially as they related to the Medicare Modernization Act, pharmaceutical importation, medical liability reform, and health insurance reform. Ahn served in a similar capacity for Congressman Xavier Becerra (D. – Calif.) and worked on the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee docket. 
 

 
Pharmacogenomic test developer Sirius Genomics has added three new members to its board of directors: Heiner Dreismann, Chris Fibiger, and Patrick Terry.
 
Dreismann was president and CEO of Roche Molecular Diagnostics and he currently serves on the boards of several public and private biotech and diagnostic companies.
 
Fibiger was previously the vice president and global head of neuroscience at Amgen. Before joining Amgen in 2003, he was vice president of neuroscience discovery research and clinical investigation at Eli Lilly and Company.
 
Terry is a founder of Genomic Health as well as several other philanthropic, research, and commercial organizations based on the life sciences, applied technology, and social networking.
 

 
NuGen Technologies has tapped Daniel Benetz as CFO and Yan Zhang as VP of marketing, a newly created position.
 
Benetz was previously senior director of business finance, European finance director, and director of corporate financial planning and analysis at Affymetrix. Prior to Affy, Benetz held positions at Intel and Wells Fargo Bank.
 
Zhang has held marketing and product-management positions at Affymetrix, Molecular Devices, and Hyseq.
 

 
James Horan has joined the board of directors of Serigene, a developer of a PCR-based diagnostic testing platform.
 
Horan is COO and CFO for the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, and the Hepatitis B Foundation. He was a co-founder of LScan Technologies, and has also worked at Deloitte & Touche and Katz Capital.
 

 
MDS has appointed James MacDonald chairman of its board. He replaces John Mayberry, who resigned from the board citing other business obligations.
 
MacDonald has been on MDS’ board since 2005 and is a member of its audit committee. He is chairman and managing partner of Enterprise Capital Management. Prior to 1997, he was deputy chairman of Scotia McLeod. He is also a director of Cinram International Income Fund, Cymbria, Manitoba Telecom Services, and Superior Plus, and is the non-executive chairman of Cormark Securities.
 

 
Robert Bender and Russell Phares have resigned from the board of Advanced Proteome Therapeutics.
 
In addition, APT has appointed Jean Bellin chairman of its audit committee. Bellin is president of Metagenics. Before that he was CEO of Mountain View Pharmaceuticals. He currently is on the board of KV Pharmaceutical.
 

 
GeneNews has formed a Canadian Colorectal Cancer Advisory Board comprising Lawrence Cohen, Jeffrey Baker, Khursheed Jeejeebhoy, Andy Smith, and Barry Stein, who will guide the company in commercializing its ColonSentry colon cancer screening test.
 
Cohen is the director of the division of gastroenterology and chief of medical endoscopy at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Baker is a gastroenterologist at St. Michael's Hospital; Jeejeebhoy was the former division director of gastroenterology at the University of Toronto and Toronto General Hospital and currently directs nutrition support and is a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital; Smith is a surgical oncologist at the Odette Cancer Centre, head of the division of general surgery at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and an associate professor at the University of Toronto; and Stein is the president of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada.
 

 
Phyllis Whiteley and Dan Riskin have joined venture capital firm Mohr Davidow Ventures as executive-in-residence and entrepreneur-in-residence, respectively.
 
Whiteley most recently worked with 5AM Ventures, where she co-founded Anaphore. Prior to that, she was an officer and senior vice president at Perlegen Sciences, VP of strategic portfolio management for F. Hoffman La Roche, and a senior research immunologist at Merck.
 
Riskin was the president of Interventional Dynamics, a medical technology R&D firm. Before that, he was in business development at Roche Diagnostics.
 

 
Norka Ruiz Bravo, director of the Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health and NIH deputy director for extramural research, has moved to a new role as special advisor to the NIH director.
 
In an OER newsletter, Ruiz Bravo said the move is in line with her view that “the leadership of high level positions like that of the DDER should turn over every five or six years to make room for new perspectives and direction.”
 
Ruiz Bravo added that Elias Zerhouni’s departure as NIH director “makes this an ideal time for my own transition.”
 
Sally Rockey will serve as the interim deputy director for extramural research. She has been Ruiz Bravo’s deputy since 2005. Prior to joining NIH, she was deputy administrator for the information systems and technology management unit in the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service at the US Department of Agriculture.
 

 
Cyntellect has appointed Andre Lubarsky as director of sales for North America.
 
Lubarsky joins from BD Biosciences Bioimaging Systems, where he was director of sales for North America. Prior to that, he was national imaging sales manager at McBain Instruments. He also served in sales management roles at Applied Imaging, Leica, Bio-Rad Laboratories, and Cambridge Instruments.
 

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

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