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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

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.