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Jim Ford, Cassandra Cranston, Elizabeth Call, Kristen Jeffers, Seth Harward, Jessica Hegele, Dhruv Patel, Evelyn Williams, Jennifer Camacho, Siddharth Advant, Lin Yang


NC’s Council for Entrepreneurial Development Adds Four Staffers, Promotes Four Others
The Council for Entrepreneurial Development, a private nonprofit group based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, has added four new staffers:
  • Jim Ford has been appointedchief operating officer. Ford has previously served as CFO of Covelight Systems; as senior vice president for finance and operations of Motricity; as vice president of finance and operations for OpenSite Technologies; as finance controller for the research and development unit of US operations for Ericsson Mobile Phones and Terminals; and as vice president of finance and operations for Ventana Communications. Ford holds a masters degree in management from Florida State University, and received his bachelors degree in accounting and finance from Gardner-Webb University.
  • Cassandra Cranston has been named senior manager of marketing and communications. Cranston graduated from Daemen College in Amherst, NY, with a BSci degree in marketing. Most recently, she was the general manager of CNS Software, a sales and software development company in Cary, NC. Before relocating to the Research Triangle region four years ago, she lived in Buffalo, NY, where she held several sales, marketing, and public relations positions. Cranston sits on the board of directors for the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and People Helping People Southeast.
  • Elizabeth Call has joined CED as program coordinator for conferences. Call earned a BSci degree in business management with a concentration in marketing and a minor in accounting from North Carolina State University. Prior to joining CED full-time, Call worked for the North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union as a financial services officer; completed an internship as a program manager at CED; and was a loan services counselor for Wachovia Dealer Services.
  • Kristen Jeffers has joined CED as program coordinator for entrepreneurial programs. Jeffers graduated with a BA degree in communications with a concentration in public relations from North Carolina State University. While earning her degree, Jeffers worked as a communication intern for NCSU’s department of computer science and industrial extension service.
Another four CED staffers have been promoted to new positions:
  • Seth Harward has been appointed director of business development. Harward joined CED in February 2004 as membership development manager and later worked as senior manager of business development. Previously he was a senior sales staffer at He earned a BA degree in communications from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
  • Jessica Hegele has been named senior manager of conferences and conference director. Hegele joined CED in January 2006 as an intern and joined the council full-time in July 2006 as program manager for conferences, responsible for executing CED’s annual industry-specific conferences. She also organizes CED’s Biotech Forums in collaboration with the state-funded North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
  • Dhruv Patel has been appointed manager of capital and technology development, overseeing all entrepreneurial education and capital programs. Patel joined CED in September 2006 as program manager for capital and technology development. Before joining CED, Patel served as director of research and roundtables for the Piedmont Triad Entrepreneurial Network. While earning his graduate degree at UNC Greensboro, Patel worked as a licensing associate in the school’s office of technology transfer. Patel completed his undergraduate degree while living in India, where he worked for the largest private sector bank in the country, ICICI.
  • Evelyn Williams has been named membership services manager. Williams has held various positions since joining CED in December 1997. Her duties have included managing the relationship between CED and its board of directors and major donors; providing benefits fulfillment to all sponsors of CED’s major conferences and entrepreneurial excellence awards; logistical planning for annual conferences and other events; acting as a liaison between CED and key external partners; and serving as staff proofer and general CED resource.

Patent Counsel for Synthetic Biotech Firm Returns to Law Firm as Partner

Jennifer Camacho, a veteran biotechnology and intellectual property lawyer, has returned to Proskauer Rose as a partner in its Boston office, where she will be a key member of the law firm’s patent law and life sciences practice groups.

Camacho previously served as chief patent counsel and vice president of intellectual property at Codon Devices, a global synthetic biotechnology company headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. Earlier, she was an associate in Proskauer’s patent practice group.
Camacho received her JD degree from Boston College Law School and her BSci in cell and structural biology from the University of Illinois. She also served as a research assistant in molecular biology and genetic engineering at Harvard University and the University of Illinois.

Management Consultancy Taps Diosynth Director to Run San Diego Office
Siddharth Advant has been appointed head of the San Diego office of Tunnell Consulting, a King of Prussia, Pa.-based consultancy that assists life science companies in the US and Europe by boosting the strategic, technical, process and organizational skills of managers.
Previously, Advant was a director for Diosynth Biotechnology, heading the company’s efforts in project management and business alliances, technology transfer and clinical operations, and pharmaceutical sciences and stability. He earlier worked as a scientist in the pharmaceutical development division at Protein Design Labs, and as a program manager for BioReliance, where he supervised a cGMP/GLP compliant formulation development business.
Advant earned a BSci degree in pharmacy from the University of Poona, India, and a PhD in pharmaceutics from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy. He chaired the 2008 WCBP Meeting and is a founding member of the CMC Strategy Forum Advisory Committee, which consists of representatives from industry and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Veteran China Market Developer Named to Run New Shanghai Office of Ohio-based CRO
Lin Yang has been named director of business development for the greater China region with the Smithers Group, an Akron, Ohio-based contract research organization serving designers of medical and other products, following its opening of an office in Shanghai [see Around the Regions, this issue].
Yang previously oversaw the development and implementation of a China market strategy for the synthetic fiber manufacturer Unifi, based in Greensboro, NC. During his 15-year career in manufacturing, corporate strategic planning, and new market development, Yang has held positions with IMC Chemicals, US Borax, and Rio Tinto.
Yang holds an MBA degree from the University of Southern California’s Marshall Business School, an MSci degree in chemical engineering from Lamar University in Beaumont, Tex., and a bachelors’ degree in chemical engineering from Nanjing University of Chemical Technology in Nanjing, China.

The Scan

Follow-Up Data Requests to Biobank Participants Ineffective, Study Finds

An effort to recontact biobank enrollees for additional information reports low participation in a new BMJ Open study.

Study Finds Widespread Transmission of Resistant Bacteria in Vietnam Hospitals

A sequencing study in The Lancet Microbe finds widespread transmission of drug-resistant Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii in two Vietnam ICUs.

Novel Brain Cell Organoids Show Promise for Autism Research

University of Utah researchers report in Nature Communications on their development of brain cell organoids to study SHANK3-related autism.

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.