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Joshua Boger, Craig Burson, John Igoe, Richard Brandywie, Jack Rybicki, Louis TM Conti, Wayne Hunter, Paul Andre, Lisa Kobialka


Massachusetts High Tech Council Names Biotech President/CEO as New Chairman
Joshua Boger, the president and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, has been named board chairman of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, which represents the state’s life sciences, defense technology and other tech-based industries.
Boger founded Vertex, the Cambridge, Mass.-based small-molecule biotech giant, in 1989. He is also chairman of BIO, the biotechnology industry's national trade organization. 
From 1997 to 2006, Boger additionally served as Vertex’s chairman. Before launching Vertex, Boger was senior director of basic chemistry at Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories. Boger began his industry career at Merck in 1978.
Boger holds a BA degree in chemistry and philosophy from Wesleyan, and MSci and PhD degrees in chemistry from Harvard University.

Florida Venture Forum Elects Officers for 2008 Term
The Florida Venture Forum board of directors recently elected officers for its 2008 term:
  • Craig Burson, managing director with HIG Ventures of Miami, will serve as board chair.
  • John Igoe, partner with Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge of West Palm Beach, Fla., vice chair.
  • Richard Brandewie, managing partner and co-founder of Ballast Point Ventures of St. Petersburg, Fla., program chair.
  • Jack Rybicki, principal with LarsonAllen, of Tampa, Fla., treasurer.
  • Louis TM Conti, partner with Holland & Knight of Orlando; and Wayne Hunter, managing partner with Harbert Venture Partners of Richmond, Va., conference co-chairs for the venture forum’s 2009 Florida Venture Capital Conference, to be held Feb. 3-4, 2009, at the Naples (Fla.) Grande Resort. Hunter served as conference co-chair for the 2008 Florida Venture Capital Conference, held earlier this month.
The venture forum is a statewide group for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs created in 1984.

International Law Firm Adds Two Partners In California Expansion
International law firm King & Spalding has hired two partners from the Menlo Park, Calif., office of Perkins Coie for its new Silicon Valley office in Redwood shores (see Around the Regions, this issue). Both will specialize in intellectual property and high-technology litigation:
  • Paul Andre has represented clients on issues including biotechnology, medical devices, software and computer hardware. He received a JD degree from Fordham University School of Law, an MSci degree in Immunology and BSci degree in biology/physics from Middle Tennessee State University, and he was a PhD candidate in cellular and molecular biology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
  • Lisa Kobialka, the former head of Perkins Coie's Menlo Park commercial litigation practice, has handled commercial litigation matters. She earned a JD degree at the University of San Francisco Law School, an MM degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a BA degree at the University of California, Davis.

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.