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BioRegion Newsmakers: Sep 4, 2009

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Jack Huttner, Former Officer of BioEuropa, NYBA, and BIO’s Industrial Section, Joins Gevo as Exec VP of Public Affairs

Jack Huttner, a veteran of life-sci industry associations in the US and Europe, has been named executive vice president of public affairs for Gevo. Huttner will oversee external affairs — including trade, media and government relations — for the developer of technologies designed to convert isobutanol into chemicals, jet fuel, gasoline, diesel, fuel blendstocks, and PETE.

Before joining Gevo, Huttner served as vice president of commercial and public affairs at Dupont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol. Before joining the joint venture, he was vice president of biorefinery business development at Genencor, the industrial biotechnology division of Danisco. Earlier, Huttner had global responsibility for communications and external affairs at Genencor International.

Huttner has served on the executive committee of Brussels-based EuropaBio, the European life-sci industry group; and helped form the industrial section of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, serving as chairman of the section’s board for six years.

During the 1990s, Huttner served as founding executive director of the New York Biotechnology Association, and was appointed by the administration of then-president Bill Clinton to co-chair the Bioenergy Technical Advisory Committee overseeing the federal government’s $300 million bioenergy R&D budget.


BioNJ Taps Senior Human Resources Professional Vicki Gaddy as Director of Workforce Development

Vicki Gaddy, a certified senior professional in human resources, has been named director of workforce development for BioNJ, New Jersey’s biotechnology trade association.

In her new position, Gaddy’s duties include coordinating and strengthening BioNJ’s workforce development program, supported through grants from the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Regional Economic Development Initiative and other programs; the US Department of Labor’s WIRED program; Bio-1, a partnership of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Somerset counties; and the Delaware Valley Innovation Network.

Gaddy has more than 20 years of experience as a human resources professional. Most recently, she served as senior director, human resources at Virgin Mobile in Warren, NJ. She has also worked in senior-level positions at Mannkind Biopharmaceuticals in Danbury, Conn.; Nitorum of Norwalk, Conn.; International Pharmaceutical Research of Norwalk; and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals of Tarrytown, NY.

Gaddy received her BBA in business/human resources management from American Intercontinental University, and is certified as an SPHR through the Society for Human Resource Management.


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BioDFW Pioneer Kay Kirk Tieman, a Veteran of Mass. Biotech Council and BIO, Joins Insurance Brokerage’s Life-Sci Practice

Kay Kirk Tieman has joined Higginbotham & Co., an independent insurance brokerage with offices across Texas, as senior account executive for the firm’s life sciences risk and insurance practice, which focuses on the risk management needs of life sciences research, manufacturing and distribution companies. Tieman will be based at Higginbotham’s Denton, Tex., office.

Tieman previously served as vice president of marketing for Swearingen Realty Group, after helping launch a health care practice at Tusa Office Solutions, a furniture dealer serving health care providers, and earlier serving as an executive recruiter at D’Antoni Partners, a health care and life sciences executive search firm.

After moving to Dallas in 2002, Tieman became senior director of technology business development for the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, where she oversaw programming and business development for the chamber’s technology business council and life sciences committee. At the chamber, Tieman formed the first partnership between life sciences professionals in Dallas and nearby Fort Worth, helping lay the foundation for the regional life sciences alliance BioDFW.

Tieman began her career in 1983 in Massachusetts with American Cystoscope Makers, where she set customer service policy and led the creation of a national repair exchange program. She started in sales with American Scientific Products in 1985, selling laboratory supplies and equipment to the biotechnology and industrial markets. Tieman then became a district manager for Critical Care America, a national home infusion therapy company. She transitioned into business/corporate development when she worked nine years for the Massachusetts Biotech Council, and later for the Biotechnology Industry Organization in Washington, DC. At MBC, Tieman founded the first group purchasing organization for biotechnology in the New England region, which she expanded nationally through BIO.

A graduate of Bowling Green State University in Ohio, Tieman is a member of the Health Industry Council of DFW, the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute and BioHouston.


Research Director of Costa Rican Banana Producers Group Named MUSALAC President

Jorge Sandoval Fernández, research director of the Costa Rican banana producers’ association CORBANA, has recently been appointed President of MUSALAC, the Plantain and Banana Research and Development Network for Latin America and the Caribbean, a position he will hold until 2011.

Under Sandoval, MUSALAC will focus on research to reduce the use of pesticides in banana farming as well as reviewing and defining the research priorities for the region, strengthening research synergies among members, and promoting the circulation of findings from scientific research.

Sandoval completed his PhD at France's Université Montpellier 2-Sciences and Techniques, and carried out his doctoral research at the Plant Biotechnology Laboratory of CIRAD, French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development. He also undertook a research internship at the Agriculture & Biotechnology Laboratory of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Seibersdorf, Austria.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.