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People in the News: Mar 31, 2009

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Joshua Sharfstein, who recently was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, this week took over as acting FDA commissioner.

Sharfstein will hold that title while confirmation hearings are held for Margaret Hamburg, who was named by Obama to head the agency.

He takes over the interim role from Frank Torti, who has served as acting FDA commissioner since January.

Sharfstein has been health commissioner for the city of Baltimore for the past three years. He also is a former investigator for the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, serving under Rep. Henry Waxman (D - Calif.).


Geron this week announced the appointment of Karen Eastham to its board of directors.

Eastham currently serves as a director of several life-science companies, including Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Illumina, and Genoptix. She most recently served as executive vice president and chief operating officer and a member of the board of trustees of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research.

The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.