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People in the News: Dec 2, 2008

Febit this week named Jack Leonard to the newly created position of vice president of technology commercialization. He will be based in Febit’s US headquarters in Lexington, Mass.
Leonard joins Febit from Codon Devices, where he was director of process development. He also served previously at Millipore, where he was director of genomics and molecular biology, and US Genomics, where he was R&D director.
Leonard holds a PhD in genetics from the University of Connecticut, and completed his postdoc at New England Biolabs

Following last month’s merger of Applied Biosystems and Invitrogen to create Life Technologies, the combined firm has appointed three former directors of ABI to its board: Arnold Levine, George Adam, and William Longfield.
Levine will serve as a member of the board’s Science and Technology Committee, Adam will serve as a member of the Audit Committee, and Longfield will serve as a member of the Compensation and Organizational Committee.
In addition, as previously announced, Life Technologies appointed Mark Stevenson, formerly the president and chief operating officer of ABI, to the position of president and COO of the combined firm.
The company disclosed in an SEC filing last week that Stevenson will receive an annual salary of $650,000 with options to purchase up to $3.6 million in shares. He will also receive a cash payment of $6,798,040 related to the termination of his employment agreement with ABI.

PerkinElmer has appointed Achim von Leoprechting to be vice president and general manager of cellular imaging and analysis solutions. Von Leoprechting formerly was European sales director in PerkinElmer’s Bio-discovery business, and before his tenure with the company he worked at Packard BioScience.

NuGen Technologies has tapped Daniel Benetz as chief financial officer and Yan Zhang as vice president 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.

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, vice president 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.

Fredrick Pollock has been appointed vice president of corporate development at HTG, the company said last week.
Pollack served most recently as director of strategic businesses and translational medicine at Affymetrix. Prior to Affy, Pollock worked at Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, now GE Healthcare.
Pollock holds a BA in molecular biology from the University of North Texas.

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.