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BioRegion Newsmakers: Aug 7, 2009

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Four New Advisors Join NC Biotech Center’s Greater Charlotte Office

Four professionals have joined the advisory committee that helps guide the Greater Charlotte Office of the state-funded North Carolina Biotechnology Center:

Bill Burton, senior vice president and senior client manager for Bank of America. For the past three years, Burton has managed banking relations with mid-Atlantic companies involved in biotech, medical technology, specialty pharma, healthcare services and managed care. Burton earned an MBA from the University of Virginia.

Michael Luther, president of the David H. Murdock Research Institute in Kannapolis, NC, and founding director of NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Research Foundation. Luther came to DHMRI after executive stints with the Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research in Montreal and GlaxoSmithKline. Luther holds a PhD from St. Louis University, and an MBA from Duke University.

Dan Mariani, executive vice president of Parsons Commercial Technology Group. Mariani heads global business development for a $1 billion-a-year unit of Parsons, which provides engineering, architectural, environmental and technical solutions for high-tech, educational and manufacturing companies. He served previously as Parsons’ Life Sciences Division manager.

Bruce Parker, manager and part-owner of Parker Medical Associates, which manages the business activities of subsidiaries, acquisitions and new product lines. Parker is a chemist-turned-entrepreneur with 23 years of experience in medical devices and more than a dozen patents.

The four new advisory committee members replace seven members of the committee whose terms have expired: Laurie Heyer, L. Richardson King associate professor, Davidson College; Donny Hicks, executive director of the Gaston County Economic Development Commission; Jeanie Moore, vice president for continuing education programs at Rowan Cabarrus Community College; Kenneth Piller, president of SoyMeds; Ken Vance, senior vice president for commercial banking healthcare and institutions with Bank of America; Tony Zeiss, president of Central Piedmont Community College; and Richard Zollinger, vice president of learning for Central Piedmont Community College.

Greater Charlotte is one of five regional offices of the NC biotech center that work with an advisory committee of about 25 community leaders, with life-sci industry growth in mind. Committee members lead organizations that are deemed to fortify the local biotech community, and help connect it to partners and resources across the state.


Research Analyst Krupal Raval Joins Alexandria Real Estate Equities as VP of Capital Markets

Krupal Raval will join Alexandria Real Estate Equities as vice president of capital markets, the publicly traded real estate investment trust has announced.

Raval has held real estate equity research analyst positions at Fidelity Management and Research, and Citi/Smith Barney, where he was part of a REIT equity research team that was ranked number one for several years by Institutional Investor magazine. He was recognized as a National Scholar while at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, from which he graduated in 2002.


Regulatory Affairs Consulting Firm Names New President/COO, Senior Consultant

Biologics Consulting Group has appointed Michael Salgaller as president and chief operating officer, and Holly Scott as senior consultant. The Alexandria, Va., firm provides national and international regulatory and product development advice on the development and commercial production of biologicals, drugs, and devices.

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Salgaller will have primary responsibility for the day-to-day operations of all offices in the US and Asia, and will report to the firm’s board of directors and CEO Jim Kenimer. Before joining Biologics Consulting Group, he was COO of Calibrant Biosystems. Previously, he was on the investment team at Toucan Capital, a venture capital company, and served as vice president of clinical and research affairs at Northwest Biotherapeutics, a publicly held cancer therapeutics company. He began his career as a senior staff scientist at the National Institutes of Health, and has consulted for various biopharma companies and disease foundations.

Scott previously worked for the US Food and Drug Administration’s Florida district, where she was a field investigator and previously held positions as a supervisory consumer safety officer and district office trainer for biologics and dietary supplement programs during her nearly 20-year FDA career. In a statement, the firm said Scott’s knowledge of FDA’s new supplement regulations will enable the firm to assist makers of nutraceuticals, nutrition, and dietary supplements.


Troutman Sanders Adds Five IP Attorneys to New Life Sciences Practice Team

Troutman Sanders has added five intellectual property lawyers who will join its new life sciences practice team, and be based in the law firm’s New York office:

Albert Jacobs Jr. will concentrate on life sciences — especially pharmaceutical and biotechnology, medical and health care — as well as chemical, business method intellectual property law and litigation. The majority of Jacobs’ practice over the past 20 years has been in litigation involving patents infringed by third parties and defending clients charged with infringement by patent owners. Currently, Jacobs is the treasurer of the International Bar Association IP and Entertainment Committee, and co-chair of the American Bar Association Sub-Committee on Hatch/Waxman. He earned a BA in 1961 from Harvard University, and a JD in 1964 from Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Gerard Diebner will concentrate on pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, chemistry, medical devices, cosmetics, agriculture, veterinary products, pollution control, clean energy and business methods. He also handles patent issues concerning mergers and acquisitions and due diligence searches, and provides general intellectual property corporate advice. Diebner was involved with one of the first biotechnology lawsuits ever brought and was successful in one of the longest biotechnology cases tried to a jury. He earned a BSci in pharmacy in 1978, and a JD in 1983 from St. John’s University College.

Daniel Ladow will focus on handling patent litigation in various technologies in courts throughout the country for both plaintiffs and defendants. Ladow has litigated a wide range of subject matters and technologies, including scientific instruments, semiconductors, electrical devices and computer disk technology, as well as technology and patent licenses. He also has assisted in-house counsel in coordinating US and related foreign patent litigation and also advises on patent licensing and global patent portfolios. He earned an AB, magna cum laude, in 1982 from Brown University and a JD cum laude in 1985 from the University of Michigan Law School.

Magnus Essunger will focus on the litigation and trial of complex patent cases before federal courts and the International Trade Commission. He has worked on several major pharmaceutical patent litigations, including abbreviated new drug application cases; as well as business method patent litigation, and several semiconductor patent litigations. Fluent in Swedish and able to read other European languages, Essunger earned a JD in 1992 from Lund University, a MFA in 1996 from Parsons School of Design, and a LLM in 2002 from New York University School of Law.

Timothy Salmon will focus on intellectual property matters with an emphasis in patent litigation in federal courts and before the International Trade Commission. He has prepared and prosecuted patent applications directed toward a variety of technologies, including medical devices, wireless systems, embedded systems, neural networks, web applications, financial and insurance products, and business methods. Salmon earned a BSci in biomedical engineering in 2001 from the University of Rochester, and a JD in 2004 form St. John’s University School of Law.


University of South Carolina Taps Cornell U Vice Provost/Professor as New Research VP

Stephen Kresovich has been named vice president for research and graduate education at the University of South Carolina, effective Oct. 1. Kresovich succeeds Rose Booze, who has been named founding director of a new university-wide Brain and Behavior Institute after serving as interim vice president for research, and as associate vice president for research from 2006 to 2008.

Kresovich joins USC from Cornell University, where he now serves as vice provost for life sciences, and a professor. At Cornell, he has also served as director of Cornell’s Institute for Genomic Diversity and Institute for Biotechnology and Life Science Technologies, and was interim vice provost for research in 2007.

In a statement, USC said Kresovich “envisions USC cultivating more inter-institutional research partnerships and tailoring its graduate programs to the needs of South Carolina.” Kresovich, whose research focuses on conservation genetics, has collaborated with faculty at Clemson University and has met faculty with similar interests at the Medical University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston.

Kresovich received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Washington and Jefferson College, a master's in agronomy at Texas A&M University, and a PhD in crop physiology and genetics from the Ohio State University in 1982.


The Scan

Unwrapping Mummies' Faces

LiveScience reports that Parabon NanoLabs researchers have reconstructed how three Egyptian mummies may have looked.

Study on Hold

The Spectrum 10K study has been put on hold due to a backlash, leading the researchers to conduct consultations with the autism community, Nature News reports.

Others Out There Already

Reuters reports that Sanofi is no longer developing an mRNA-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.

PNAS Papers on GWAS False Discovery, PRAMEF2 Role in Tumorigenesis, RNA Virus Reverse Genetics

In PNAS this week: strategy to account for GWAS false-discovery rates, role of PRAMEF2 in cancer development, and more.