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Mostafa Ronaghi, Helmy Eltoukhy, Stephen Pentoney, David King, Pierre Cassigneul, Barry Sleckman

Illumina has named Mostafa Ronaghi to the post of senior vice president and chief technical officer following the firm’s acquisition of Avatome, a DNA sequencing technology startup formed just months ago.
Ronaghi recently served as a senior research associate at the Stanford University Genome Technology Center. He also previously co-founded Swedish firm Pyrosequencing, later renamed Biotage. He was also a co-founder of ParAllele BioScience and Nextbio. Helmy Eltoukhy will also join Illumina from Avantome as director of Avantome sequencing development
Illumina announced separately that it has appointed Stephen Pentoney to be vice president of assay and reagents development in the company’s Life Sciences Business Unit. In the new job, he will be responsible for leading assay application and development. Pentoney previously was involved in technology management and was a principal staff scientist at Beckman Coulter.

The Personalized Medicine Coalition has appointed David King and Pierre Cassigneul to its board of directors.
Cassigneul, who is president and CEO of XDx, formerly was an executive at Becton Dickinson, Stone Bridge Management, Ortho Diagnostics Systems, and Abbott Laboratories. David King is CEO and president of Laboratory Corporation of America, and he previously was a lawyer at Hogan & Hartson, where he was LabCorp’s outside counsel.

The Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has named Barry Sleckman to be director of the Division of Genomic Medicine. Sleckman studies DNA repair and the development of the early immune system. He has served fellowships at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Center for Blood Research, and he joined WUSTL as an assistant professor of pathology and immunology a decade ago.

The Scan

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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.