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People in the News: May 12, 2009

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Gary Guthart has been named to Affymetrix's board of directors, the firm said this week. Guthart is president and chief operating officer of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Intuitive Surgical. He joined Intuitive Surgical in 1996, was named chief financial officer in 2006, and was promoted to president and COO in 2007.


Novocell, a San Diego-based stem cell engineering company, has appointed John West as CEO and a member of its board of directors. West previously served as CEO of Solexa from 2004 until its acquisition by Illumina in 2007. Prior to Solexa, he was vice president of DNA platforms at Applied Biosystems, now part of Life Technologies.

West holds BS and MS engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.


El Camino Hospital in Silicon Valley has appointed Paul Billings to serve as acting director and chief scientific officer of the hospital's Genomic Medicine Institute, which will provide genomic medicine services for doctors and patients in a community hospital.

Billings is co-founder of GeneSage, co-founder of CBR Systems, adviser for CELLective DX, and he was senior vice president for corporate development and senior geneticist at Laboratory Corporation of America.


Andre Marion has joined Microchip Biotechnologies' board of directors. Marion was a CEO and co-founder of Applied Biosystems. Marion originally was vice presient of engineering at ABI and he took on the post of CEO in 1986. He retired as president of the Applied Biosystems division of Perkin-Elmer in 1993.

The Scan

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.

Sequencing Study Leads to Vaccine Target in Bacteria Behind Neonatal Meningitis

Researchers eBioMedicine track down potential vaccine targets with transposon sequencing on mutant bacteria causing neonatal meningitis in mouse models of the disease.

Multiple Myeloma Progression Influenced by Immune Microenvironment Expression

Researchers in NPJ Genomic Medicine compare RNA sequencing profiles of 102,207 individual cells in bone marrow samples from 18 individuals with rapid or non-progressing multiple myeloma.

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.