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BioRegion Newsmakers: Dec 8, 2008

Chemical Services Provider Names John Elmo New CEO; Promotes John Hollenbach
John Elmo has been named CEO of Doe & Ingalls of North Carolina, a Durham-based provider of chemical services for biotechnology and microelectronics companies. Elmo co-founded the company in 1986 and was previously executive vice president, with Tom Merrick serving as CEO. Merrick will retire from his position, but remain on the board.
Doe & Ingalls said Elmo will oversee a planned expansion of the company, which will include the opening of a California office early next year. The company has 59 workers, including 36 in Durham, with offices in Richmond, Va.; Jessup, Md.; and Tampa, Fla.
The company has also named John Hollenbach vice president and general manager, a position in which he will work with Elmo to implement strategic initiatives and oversee departmental objectives, including those within operations, finance and sales and marketing. Hollenbach most recently served as director of sales and marketing and has more than 15 years experience with the company.

OVP Venture Partners Promotes Carl Weissman to Managing Director, With Expanded Digital Biology Investment in Mind
Carl Weissman has been named a managing director at the Seattle early-stage venture capital firm OVP Venture Partners as of next year. Weissman will succeed John Hull, who is leaving the company “to pursue other interests,” OVP said in a press release.
Weissman joined OVP in February 2007 to focus on investments in digital biology, as well as the convergence of IT, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. Since then, he has continued to serve as president and CEO of Accelerator Corp., a joint investment vehicle for a syndicate of venture capital investors that invest in and manage emerging biotechnology companies.
At Accelerator, Weissman will be promoted to president and CEO, while current chief business officer David Schubert will add the position of president to his responsibilities.
OVP makes early stage investments in communications, software, security, digital media, semiconductor, digital biology, cleantech, and nanotechnology companies in the Pacific Northwest. The firm has over $750 million in capital under management, and is currently investing its seventh fund.

Life-Sci Investment Firm Kearny Venture Partners Hires Andrew Jensen as CFO

Andrew Jensen has been appointed chief financial officer of Kearny Venture Partners, a San Francisco investment firm focused on the medical technology, biotechnology, specialty pharma, and diagnostics sectors.

As CFO, Jensen will oversee investor relations, legal, finance, information technology, and human resources, and will assist the investing team with transaction structuring and financial “due diligence” reviews.

Jensen was previously CFO of Liquid Realty Partners, a real-estate secondaries firm he joined in 2005. Earlier, he served as senior controller of Gryphon Investors, director of finance at Sanderling Ventures, and an audit manager with Arthur Andersen.

A certified public accountant, Jensen earned a BA in finance and accounting with honors from the University of California, Berkeley.


Boston-Area Commercial Brokers Group Taps Joseph Flaherty for President
Joseph Flaherty, an executive vice president with the commercial real estate firm Colliers Meredith & Grew in Boston, has been elected president of the Commercial Brokers Association for 2009. He succeeds Mark Stevens, principal of the Stevens Group.
Flaherty’s clients have consisted of both landlords of life-sci space, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Forest City Development, and tenants such as Alkermes, Parexel, and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and the Whitehead / MIT Center for Genome Research.
The CBA is a division of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board representing about 390 commercial real estate brokers who practice in eastern Massachusetts.

BioMed Realty CEO Alan Gold Wins Real Estate/Construction Entrepreneur Honor
Alan Gold, the president and CEO of BioMed Realty Trust, has won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 Award in the real estate, construction and hospitality category.
EoY is designed to recognize entrepreneurs who have built, and who lead, dynamic, high-growth businesses on a regional, national, and global level. Gold was selected as a national winner from approximately 300 regional EoY winners in more than 25 US cities. Winners were selected by an independent judging panel made up of business, community, and academic leaders, Ernst & Young said.
Winners were announced at a Nov. 15 awards gala in Palm Springs, Calif., that is the culminating event of the Ernst & Young 2008 Strategic Growth Forum.

Biotechnology Institute Taps Science Education Specialist to Oversee Professional Development Programs
Thomas Keller has joined the Biotechnology Institute, a national nonprofit biotechnology education organization, as vice president for education. Keller oversees the institute’s professional development programs for biotech teachers, life science curriculum development, state and school systems biotechnology education initiatives, and minority talent development programs.

Keller was most recently program officer of the National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Science Education. Earlier, he served as science supervisor for the state of Maine, and a former president of the Council of State Science Supervisors, a professional organization representing science education specialists serving in state government positions. Keller started his career as a science teacher at Cony High School in Augusta, Me.

Keller holds an EdD degree from the University of Massachusetts.


Scientific Properties Founder-President Honored By NC Group Downtown Durham
Andy Rothschild, founder and president of Scientific Properties, was honored by Downtown Durham (NC) Inc. at its annual meeting on Dec. 2. The former New York physician turned developer was cited for forming his involvement in the organization as well as the broader cause of redeveloping the North Carolina city.
Rothschild founded Scientific Properties in 2000 to provide growing biotech companies in the area with wet lab space, then expanded the activity of his company to mixed-use projects. The company’s portfolio has grown to about 2 million square feet of lab/R&D space as well as mixed-use, office, residential, retail, restaurant, and entertainment properties.
In September, Rothschild and his family relocated to New York City. According to a press release at the time, he did so “to direct his attention to opportunities in the global real estate investment market.”

Stony Brook (NY) University Dean Yacov Shamash Joins NYSTAR Board
Yacov Shamash, vice president for economic development and dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University, has been named to the board of the New York State Science and Technology Foundation, the state agency charged with awarding life-sci faculty research grants and other activities aimed at promoting the sciences in the Empire State.
His duties include supervising the university’s three incubators, two state-created Centers for Advanced Technology, the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology, the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, the Small Business Development Center, and the workforce development programs of the Center for Emerging Technologies.
In 1994 he helped establish the state-wide Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence program, which has enabled the college to partner with more than 220 companies, to assist them with more than 1,150 projects. Also during his Stony Brook tenure, its research expenditures have increased five-fold to $25 million per year.

Before joining SUNY Stony Brook in 1992, Shamash served as the director of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University.

The Scan

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.