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Irena Melnikova, Roderick (Rick) Williams, Marisa Lago

Irena Melnikova Joins TVM Capital as Senior Associate on Boston Life-Sci Team
Irena Melnikova recently joined TVM Capital in Boston as a senior associate. She will assist the venture capital firm’s life science team with US-based investments and due diligence.
Before joining TVM Capital, Melnikova launched and produced “Future in Focus,” a series of syndicated reports for healthcare investment bank Leerink Swann, and was a member of the biopharma investment banking team where she supported due diligence and opportunity assessment activities that resulted in public and private financings as well as mergers-and-acquisitions transactions.
Melnikova has held positions as a research manager at Life Science Insights, a subsidiary of technology market research company IDC; and as a project leader at TransForm Pharmaceuticals, a company acquired by Johnson & Johnson, where she was responsible for running several programs including engineered tissue constructs and amyloidoses.
Melnikova holds a PhD in molecular medicine/molecular biology from the University of Texas, and an MSci with Honors in Chemical Engineering from the Russian University of Chemical Technology. In addition, she is a regular contributor to the Analyst Couch section of the journal Nature Reviews in Drug Discovery, and is the co-inventor on a filed patent for methods of identifying conditions affecting a cell state.

K&L Gates Adds Commercial, IP Litigation Partners in Austin, Texas, Office
Roderick (Rick) Williams has joined the law firm K&L Gates as a partner based in the firm’s Austin office. Williams joins the firm’s intellectual property litigation practice from Vinson & Elkins.

Williams has represented patent litigation clients in the biotechnology and medical device sectors, as well as in the mechanical, electrical, semiconductor, software, and business method industries.

Before practicing law, Williams was employed by Shell Development, and the Houston Fire Department.
Williams graduated magna cum laude with a JD degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 1990, and received a BA degree from the University of Texas in 1976.

NY Gov. Paterson Taps Empire State Development Acting President/CEO as Economic Development Commissioner

Marisa Lago
, the acting president and CEO of the Empire State Development Corp., New York state’s economic development agency, has been nominated by Gov. David Paterson as commissioner of the state Department of Economic Development. Lago would have complete oversight of economic development issues throughout the state in the new position, which is subject to state Senate confirmation.

Lago served as global head of compliance for Citigroup’s Markets & Banking unit until Paterson tapped her last month for the ESD position, at an annual salary of $215,000 [BRN, Sept. 2].

Earlier, Lago served as director of the office of international affairs for the US Securities and Exchange Commission, chief economic development officer for the city of Boston, director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and general counsel of the New York City Economic Development Corp.

Lago graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1982, and earned a BSci degree in Physics from Cooper Union.

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.