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People in the News: Dec 16, 2008

Mark Lewis this week was named senior vice president of development at Illumina.
Lewis previously served as vice president of special order research products at Becton Dickinson Biosciences. Prior to Becton Dickinson, he was president of Aeomecia. From 1992 to 2002, he held various technical, commercial, and management positions at Molecular Dynamics. Lewis also holds a BA in biology from the University of California, San Diego.
Commensurate with joining the company, Lewis has been granted an option to purchase 200,000 shares of Illumina's common stock. The grant date for the option is Dec. 15, 2008.

Affymetrix said that Vernon Loucks will retire from its board of directors effective Jan. 1, 2009. His spot on the board will be filled by Affymetrix President and CEO Kevin King.
In addition, Affy disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that King will receive an increase in his annual base salary to $675,000 from $500,000. He also will be eligible for a target cash bonus of 75 percent of his annual salary.

Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe, has been named to the board of directors of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. She was one of five new directors announced this week. The others are Pfizer Chief Medical Officer Joseph Feczko; Peter Neupert, corporate vice president of the Health Solutions Group at Microsoft; Kurt Schmoke, dean of Howard University School of Law; and Samuel Thier, professor emeritus, medicine and health care policy at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Helicos BioSciences disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week that Ronald Lowy, whom the firm appointed as CEO earlier this month, will perform his duties on a part-time basis and receive an annual salary of $240,000. The firm also announced that Chairman Stanley Lapidus will provide business consulting services to the firm for $7,000 per month.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.