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John West, Nick McCooke, Thomas Becker, Wolfgang Pieken, Volker Muschalek

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John West has been appointed CEO of privately held Solexa. Before joining Solexa, West was vice president of DNA platforms at Applied Biosystems. West replaces Nick McCooke, who led Solexa through its early period in developing single-molecule arrays. Aside from working at Applied Biosystems, West has also been president of Princeton Instruments, president and founder of BioAutomation, and marketing director for microfluidics at Microcosm Technologies. West has been working in the biotechnology industry for 22 years. West’s appointment came after Lynx Therapeutics announced that the company signed a letter of intent to merge with UK-based Solexa (see p.10).


MWG Biotech Management Board Chairman Thomas Becker will resign at the end of the month, the firm announced this week. According to the company, Becker cited personal reasons for his decision to resign. While a successor is being sought, board members Wolfgang Pieken and Volker Muschalek will manage the company.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.