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Vernon Loucks Jr., Tom Metcalfe, Lee Babiss, Leo Mullin, Joseph Nevins, Donald Hawthorne, Gregory Phelps, Robert Middlebrook


Vernon Loucks Jr., an Affymetrix board member, has joined the board of directors of Pain Therapeutics of South San Francisco. The retired chairman of Baxter International, Loucks is also a director of the Anheuser-Busch, Edwards Lifesciences, Emerson Electric, GeneSoft, and Segway. He holds an undergraduate degree from Yale University, a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, and is a veteran of the US Marine Corps.

Tom Metcalfe has been appointed the head of the new Roche Biomarker Program, the company said Nov. 18. This biomarker program developed out of the company’s joint program in applied genomics, which brought together genomics with the company’s pharmaceutical and diagnostics divisions. But unlike the program in applied genomics, the company said, the new program incorporates proteomics and metablomics. Metcalfe will report to Lee Babiss, the company’s vice president for preclinical research and development. Metcalfe is currently the head of business development and operational excellence at Roche Molecular Diagnostics, and will continue in his new role to be based at the company’s diagnostics division in Pleasanton, Calif., the company said.

Leo Mullin, former chief executive of Agilent Technologies (August 1999 to November 2002), announced this week he will step down as chairman of Delta Airlines after the company’s annual meeting in April.

Joseph Nevins, chairman of Duke University’s department of molecular genetics and microbiology, has been named director of the Center for Genome Technology, a center within the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy.

Donald Hawthorne has been appointed president and CEO of Ardais, the Lexington, Mass., clinical genomics company said. Hawthorne replaces Gregory Phelps, who left to pursue other opportunities, the company said.

Robert Middlebrook has joined Perlegen Sciences in a newly created position, chief corporate development officer, the company said last week. Middlebrook joins Perlegen from an 11-year stint at Fidelity Investments, where he was senior vice president. Before joining Fidelity, Middlebrook was vice president and principal at Regent Capital.


The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.