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John Sternlicht, Richard Dyer, Mahmood Shivji, Henry (Rick) Costantino, Abdelali Haoudi

Economic Development Veteran Joins SRI’s Shenandoah Valley Leadership Team
John Sternlicht has joined the biosciences division of SRI International as senior director of strategic projects based at its Shenandoah Valley facility. Sternlicht will focus on operations as well as business development and marketing opportunities for SRI Shenandoah Valley, and will work closely with executive director Krishna Kodukula, who also heads SRI's new Center for Advanced Drug Research in Harrisonburg, Va.
Sternlicht previously was general counsel and legislative director for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and before that served a Virginia’s deputy secretary of commerce and trade and assistant attorney general. Earlier, he was an attorney with Graham & James.
Sternlicht received his BSc in foreign service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and his JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law. He has also received a Certification in Economic Development.
Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., SRI is an independent nonprofit research and development organization.

Velcura Therapeutics Taps Former Pfizer Director to Lead Inflammatory Disease Initiatives
Richard Dyer has been named executive vice president of product development for Velcura Therapeutics, an early stage biotechnology company focusing on therapies for bone diseases. In his new role he will also lead initiatives on inflammatory diseases.
Dyer previously was vice president of scientific affairs and development at TCH Pharmaceuticals. Before TCH, Dyer held positions at Pfizer global research and development in Ann Arbor, Mich., advancing to director of inflammation molecular sciences and technology. While at Pfizer, Dyer also served as a research fellow in both biochemistry and inflammation pharmacology.
Dyer completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Purdue University, where he was a National Institutes of Health predoctoral trainee in environmental toxicology and radiation health. He earned a doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin, where he was both an NIH and Ford Foundation predoctoral trainee in endocrinology/reproductive physiology. He was an NIH postdoctoral trainee in endocrinology and hypertension at the Medical College of Ohio before joining the pharmaceutical products division of Abbott Laboratories, where he played a key role in the discovery and development of the asthma treatment Zyflo.

Guy Harvey Research Institute Director Honored by Florida’s Broward Alliance
Mahmood Shivji, director of the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Professor of Marine Biology and Genetics at Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center and NSU’s Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, has been named by the Broward Alliance as the recipient of its world-class faculty award.
Shivji also teaches genetics in Farquhar College’s biology program, and operates a research lab at the NSU’s Oceanographic Center, where he mentors graduate students. Shivji’s research focuses on marine conservation biology and biotechnology, having developed rapid DNA forensic methods to identify fish body parts – a technique used worldwide by US and international fisheries management agencies to reduce illegal fishing of threatened species.
The award was announced during the Oct. 10 annual meeting of the Broward Alliance, the public-private economic development agency serving Florida’s Broward County. The award is part of the alliance’s “Educational Excellence Builds Business” campaign, launched last year to improve the perception of business leaders about the quality of Broward’s education system and workforce.

Nastech Promotes its Pharma R&D VP to Chief Scientific Officer of Delivery
Henry (Rick) Costantino has been promoted by Nastech Pharmaceutical of Bothell, Wash., to chief scientific officer of delivery. His new responsibilities include leading the company’s development of new drug delivery technologies for peptide and protein therapeutics. Costantino succeeds Paul Johnson, who retired Oct. 5 after serving as CSO since 2003.
Costantino advanced earlier this year to vice president of pharmaceutical research and development after serving as director of formulations since June 2003. Before joining Nastech, he spent five years at Alkermes, developing new technologies for enhanced delivery of peptide and protein therapeutics, as well as playing a key role in managing external collaborations. Earlier, he spent three years at Genentech as a research scientist in its pharmaceutical R&D group.
Costantino received his BSc and MSc degrees from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Eastern Virginia Med School Professor Joins Qatar Foundation as VP for Research
Abdelali Haoudi has been named the head of the new research division of the Qatar Foundation. As vice president for research, Haoudiwill play a key role not only in coordinating communication between foundation members, but in facilitating collaborative research with the wider Qatari scientific community, private companies and with institutions beyond Qatar.
Haoudi was previously a faculty member in the department of microbiology and molecular cell biology at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Haoudi has also served as scientist and visiting professor at the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Institute of Proteomics, the National Institutes of Health, and France’s Pasteur Institute. In 2001, he was the founding executive editor of the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology and became a member of the National Royal Academy of Sciences.

Haoudi founded and served as president of the International Council of Biomedicine and Biotechnology; and has acted as a scientific advisor to the United Nations Development Program, the UN Office for Project Services, and the US Department of Defense Medical Branch.

Haoudi holds a doctorate in cellular and molecular genetics, and an MSc honors degree in human, quantitative and population genetics, from Paris VI and Paris XI University in France.

The Scan

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.

Study Points to Synonymous Mutation Effects on E. Coli Enzyme Activity

Researchers in Nature Chemistry saw signs of enzyme activity shifts in the presence of synonymous mutations in a multiscale modeling analysis of three Escherichia coli genes.

Team Outlines Paternal Sample-Free Single-Gene Approach for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening

With data for nearly 9,200 pregnant individuals, researchers in Genetics in Medicine demonstrate the feasibility of their carrier screening and reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal screening approach.

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.