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Gov. Janet Napolitano, Frederic Price, Thomas Mathers, John Brooks, Luke Evnin, James Barrett, Robert Carpenter, Hugh Rienhoff, Alan Walts, David McLachlan, Robert Ulrich, Dorothy Auth, Jonathan Dordick, Stephen Hill

Arizona’s Janet Napolitano Honored as BIO Governor of the Year
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has been named Governor of the Year by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which cited her “passionate support” of Arizona’s bioscience industry, and her support for math and science education through the “Innovation America” initiative she pursued as chair of the National Governors’ Association from 2006 to 2007.
Patrick Kelly, BIO’s vice president of state government relations and alliance development, presented the award to Napolitano Sept. 17 during the morning plenary session of the annual conference of the International Economic Development Council in Scottsdale, Ariz.
BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations.

Peptimmune Appoints Fredric Price as Chairman and Reorganizes its Board of Directors

Frederic Price, board chairman of Omrix Biopharmaceuticals, has been named executive chairman of the board of Peptimmune, a privately held biotechnology company.
Price will retain his seats on the boards of Pharmasset in Princeton, NJ, and Enobia, a privately held biotechnology company in Montreal. Previously, Price was Chairman and CEO of BioMarin Pharmaceutical and President and CEO of Applied Microbiology. Earlier he served as vice president of finance and administration and CFO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; founder of the strategy consulting firm RxFDP; and vice president of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.
Peptimmune also announced that its board of directors has been reduced to five members: Price; Thomas Mathers, the company’s president and CEO; John Brooks III, general partner of Prism VentureWorks; Luke Evnin, general partner of MPM Capital; and James Barrett, general partner of New Enterprise Associates. Departing from the board were independent directors Robert Carpenter, Hugh Rienhoff, Alan Walts, and David McLachlan; and Robert Ulrich, general partner of Vanguard Ventures.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Peptimmune is a developer of peptide therapies to improve the management of chronic autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.

ForteBio Names New CEO; Founding Chief Executive Continues on Board of Directors
Joseph Keegan has been named president and CEO of ForteBio, a Menlo Park, Calif., provider of analytical systems to accelerate the development of therapeutics, effective Sept. 24. He succeeds founding CEO Winnie Wan, who will continue to serve on the board of directors.
Keegan was most recently president and chief executive officer of Molecular Devices before it was acquired by MDS earlier this year. During his nine-year tenure at MDC, Keegan grew the company's revenues from $30 million to $190 million. Earlier this year he oversaw its acquisition by MDS for $615 million.
Previously, Keegan worked at Becton Dickinson, where he was president of worldwide tissue culture and vice president, general manager of worldwide flow cytometry. Keegan earlier was vice president of the microscopy and scientific instruments division of Leica.
He currently serves on the board of directors of Alpha Innotech, BioImagene, and Seahorse Bioscience. Keegan holds a PhD in physical chemistry from Stanford University.

Cadwalader Names New Special Counsel Specializing in Biotech, Pharma
Dorothy Auth has joined Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft as special counsel in the law firm’s intellectual property group. She is based in the firm’s New York office.
Auth concentrates on biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device patent matters. Previously she was a partner with the New York law firm Morgan & Finnegan. She earned a JD from St. John’s School of Law, a PhD in biochemistry from Tufts Medical School, and a BA from Rutgers University.
Auth is one of three IP professionals Cadwalader has added over the past month. The others are special counsel John Moehringer, a patent lawyer specializing in the electrical engineering, telecommunications, and computer science fields; and Christopher Hughes, the head of Cadwalader’s IP practice, who came to the firm last month.

RPI Professor Honored with American Chemical Society’s Highest Biotech Honor
Jonathan Dordick, the Howard P. Isermann professor of chemical and biological engineering and chairman of the department of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has received the American Chemical Society’s Marvin J. Johnson Award in Microbial and Biochemical Technology. The award, given annually, is the ACS’s highest biotechnology honor and is designated for a researcher who has made a substantial impact over his or her career.
The ACS said the award “recognizes many of Professor Dordick’s achievements leading to functional bioengineered materials, enzyme-based nanocomposites, and bioactive agents that impact human health and bioprocesses.” After accepting the award, which was sponsored by Pfizer, Dordick presented the lecture “Molecular Bioprocessing: From Design to Discovery to Dreams.”
Dordick received his award at ACS’ 234th Meeting, held in late August in Boston, and attended by more than 13,500 scientists.
Dordick also received the ACS Biochemical Technology Division’s 2006 Elmer Gaden Award, recognizing his article “Controlled Hierarchical Assembly of Switchable DNA-Multiprotein Complexes” as the top paper published that year in the journal Biotechnology & Bioengineering. The paper was co-authored by Grazyna Sroga, a postdoctoral researcher who worked under Dordick and is now with associate professor Wilfredo Colon in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
Dordick received his doctorate in biochemical engineering in 1986 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and joined the Rensselaer faculty in 1998. He is a fellow of both the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

ArQule President/CEO Named Non-Executive Chairman of Novelos Therapeutics Board
Stephen Hill, the president and CEO of ArQule, has been elected as non-executive chairman of Novelos Therapeutics, a Newton, Mass., biopharma company focused on therapeutics to treat cancer and hepatitis. His election increases the number of board directors to eight, six of then independent directors.
Hill has served as ArQule's President and CEO since April 1999. Previously he spent a decade at Roche, serving in a variety of positions, including head of global development from 1997 to 1999. Prior to Roche, Hill served seven years with the National Health Service in the United Kingdom in General and Orthopedic Surgery. Hill is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and holds scientific and medical degrees from St. Catherine's College at Oxford University.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.