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BioRegion Newsmakers: Jan 12, 2009


Bryan Cave Partner Linda Martinez Named to Missouri Economic Development Dept. Helm

Linda Martinez, a partner in the law firm Bryan Cave, has been named director of Missouri's Department of Economic Development by Gov. Jay Nixon, who was sworn into office Jan. 12.

Martinez officially will withdraw as a partner of the firm effective Jan. 15 and will start her new position upon confirmation by Missouri's Senate.

Nixon announced Martinez' appointment during a Jan 6. visit to City Sprouts, a children's clothing retailer, In a statement at the store, she said tough economic times required Missouri to "take bold steps to create and retain good-paying jobs … Missouri won't just survive the national economic crisis; we'll also make our state stronger in the long run," she said, according to the St. Louis Beacon, an online non-profit news organization.

Martinez' law practice has focused on development and related federal, state and local incentives, including public, private and public/private partnerships for development of a variety of facilities. She has also maintained a practice in municipal finance, serving as bond counsel and counsel to underwriters, credit enhancers, borrowers, trustees and issuers on tax increment financings, small issue industrial development bonds, municipal bonds, and other forms of tax-exempt financing for various projects.

She received her JD degree from Washington University in 1982, and six years earlier received her BA degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board Taps NC Research Campus VP for Board Seat

Clyde Higgs, vice president for business development with North Carolina Research Campus developer Castle & Cooke, has been appointed to the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees by North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley, who was succeeded in office Jan. 12 by Bev Perdue.

Higgs' term will run through June 30, and will complete the term of Glenn Ketner Jr., of Salisbury, NC, who resigned from the board last September after 14 years.

Higgs joined Castle & Cooke in 2006. He is primarily responsible for recruiting new businesses and venture capital investment to the $1.5 billion NC Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC. Before joining Castle & Cooke, Higgs was the executive director of the technology incubator program at the University of North Texas-Health Science Center. While in Texas, Higgs was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to serve on the Texas Emerging Technology Fund Board, a $200 million investment fund for early-stage technology companies.

Before his post in Texas, Higgs was director of the Office of Technology Transfer & Commercialization at North Carolina A&T State University, where he was responsible for developing the university's overall economic development and intellectual property strategy. Earlier, he served as the executive assistant to the President of the North Carolina Community College System, where he managed several economic and workforce development projects.

Higgs earned a bachelor's degree from the University of South Alabama, and a master's degree in public administration at East Carolina University.

CHI Appoints New Associate Director of Government Affairs, Office Manager

Ritchard Engelhardt has been appointed associate director of government affairs by the California Healthcare Institute. The non-profit public policy research organization for California's biomedical R&D industry has also named Holly Frisque as office manager.

Engelhardt will work from CHI's Sacramento office; Frisque, from CHI'a headquarters in La Jolla, Calif.

Previously, Engelhardt served as a Senate fellow and legislative aide for state Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara), the current chair of the Senate Health Committee. During his fellowship year, he advised the senator on policy before the committee, staffed several of her bills, and participated in hearings on topics from healthcare reform to agency oversight.

Prior to his work with the California Legislature, Engelhardt worked at the California Independent System Operator (ISO), the state agency that manages the state's electrical grid.

A native of Ohio, Engelhardt spent time in the New York and Atlanta metro areas, studying at Fairleigh Dickinson University as a Presidential Scholar, and at Georgia State University before finding his home in Sacramento. Engelhardt holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in government, both from Sacramento State University.

Frisque is returning to the San Diego region after serving as the director of administration for the Illinois Casually Company in Rock Island, Ill. Previously, she held leadership positions at Gizmo5 Technologies and Linspire, two software development companies in San Diego.

Frisque is the founder of Shared Online Human Resource Community, a free, members-only Web site for the San Diego human resource community to share knowledge, resources, tools and to network. Frisque holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in creative writing from University of California, Riverside.

Richard Kimball Joins GVA Worldwide as President & CEO for North America

Richard (Rick) Kimball has joined the global commercial real estate group GVA Worldwide as president and CEO for North America, a newly-created position and the first in which GVA Worldwide has assigned a leadership role for a particular demographic region

Kimball is responsible for leading business development efforts and key brokerage activities in support of GVA's independently owned and operated firms in the US and Canada. He is also charged with driving new market growth and expansion throughout the region for GVA Worldwide, whose units include one focused on life sciences property services.

Kimball previously worked for NAI Global as its executive vice president of brokerage operations for the Americas, and was responsible for developing strategic alliances and joint business ventures with internal and external partners. Before joining NAI in 2007, he worked with Colliers International as executive vice president of business development for more than eight years.

Kimball began his career in commercial real estate services in brokerage and management roles with CB Richard Ellis, where he worked for 17 years in its Washington, D.C., and Oakland, Calif., offices.

Barry Turnbull Joins Clinical Development Consultancy BioBridges

Barry Turnbull has been appointed principal consultant of BioBridges, a Wellesley Hills, Mass., clinical development consultancy serving the biopharmaceutical industry. Turnbull will head the firm's new biostatistical insourcing program, and will provide statistical consulting services, including clinical trial design and protocol development, as well as CRO biostatistical and data management oversight to clients.

Before joining BioBridges, Turnbull was a principal staff member at BattelleCRO (formerly CareStat) in Newton, Mass. Earlier, Turnbull was vice president of biostatistics and clinical data systems for AAI Pharma, a Boston based clinical trials consulting firm. Before that, he served as vice president, biostatistics and clinical data systems at Medical and Technical Research Associates.

Turnbull was the founding chair of the biostatistics and data management committee for the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. In addition to his consulting work, he currently lectures on Biostatistics at Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology, HST Division.

Turnbull received his doctorate from Boston University with a concentration in biostatistics and experimental design. He also completed a Charles Dana Human Research post-doctoral fellowship at Tufts/New England Medical Center.

Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre Taps New Business Development Manager

Tim Harmar has been appointed business development manager for the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre in Ontario, Canada. Harmar will work with the center's incubator clients, provide guidance and assistance to technology-based small/medium-sized enterprises in the Sault Ste. Marie region, as well as launch and manage various market development projects and workshops.

SSMIC focuses on health informatics startups as well as video gaming and GIS technology development. Harmar will be based in the SSMIC headquarters, located on the campus of Algoma University, where seven companies are currently clients of the business incubator.

Harmar previously oversaw capital infrastructure upgrading projects for local area municipalities at environmental consulting firm Shelby Environmental Services, where he worked for five years.

Harmar holds a BA degree in honors political science with general psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University, and an MBA degree with specialization in finance and accounting from the University of Liverpool. He is now pursuing a Master of Laws degree with specialization in banking and financial services law from the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University.

Three New Members Join Virginia Biotechnology Association Board

Members of the Virginia Biotechnology Association, also called VaBIO, elected three new members to the statewide life-sci industry group's 24-member board of directors:

  • Geoffrey Allan, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Insmed Pharmaceuticals since the company was launched in November 1999.
  • Robert Capon, co-founder and former CEO of Charlottesville, Va.-based Adenosine Therapeutics, a company focused on adenosine drug discovery and development. The company was acquired in August 2008 by Clinical Data, where he remains as a senior vice president.
  • Michelle Robinson, vice president and general manager of early development for North America at Covance.

Members also re-elected four returning members to the board: Henry Wixon of the law firm Wilmer Hale; Martin Chapman, CEO of Indoor Biotechnologies; David Kalergis, CEO of Diffusion Pharmaceuticals, and Robert Patzig of venture investment firm Third Security.

Rockland County (NY) Economic Development Corp. Appoints Officers for 2009

The public-private Rockland County (NY) Economic Development Corp. has named its officers for 2009. Steven Yassky, president of the commercial real estate firm Rockland Realty, has been appointed chairman of REDC's board of directors.

Other officers:

  • Jack Holt, CEO of Holt Construction, vice chair.
  • William Helmer, president of Helmer-Cronin Construction, vice chair.
  • James Tully, executive vice president with the commercial real estate firm CB Richard Ellis, vice chair/secretary.
  • Quinton Van Wynen, Jr., director of business for the Pearl River Union Free School District, treasurer.
  • Ronald Hicks, REDC's president and CEO.
The Scan

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.

Using Bees to Gain Insights into Urban Microbiomes

As bees buzz around, they pick up debris that provides insight into the metagenome of their surroundings, researchers report in Environmental Microbiome.

Age, Genetic Risk Tied to Blood Lipid Changes in New Study

A study appearing in JAMA Network Open suggests strategies to address high lipid levels should focus on individuals with high genetic risk and at specific ages.

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.