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Julie Coons, Arthur Pappas, Patricia Morton, John Atkins, Jack Cecil, Leonard Betley, Shelly Sparrow, Shannon Hudson, Michael Berens, MaryAnn Guerra, Steve Phillips, Ray Harris, Kevin McHolland, and others

Tech Council of Maryland Chief CEO Resigns for Electronic Retailing Industry Group Post

Julie Coons,

CEO of the Tech Council of Maryland — the state’s technology umbrella organization that includes the state’s life-sciences group MdBio — is resigning her post effective at the end of November, to become the president and chief executive officer of the Electronic Retailing Association in Arlington, Va.

Details about a search for a replacement have not been finalized but the council's board will be meeting to discuss the process soon, TCM spokeswoman Michelle Ferone told the Baltimore Sun.

Coons joined TCM in 2004, and two years later oversaw the tech council’s merger with MdBio. During her tenure as CEO, TCM doubled its operating budget, created a charitable foundation, and established an investment fund.

Earlier this year, Coons led TCM in the successful campaign that persuaded Gov. Martin O’Malley to sign Senate Bill 46, which rolled back a 6-percent sales tax on computer services set to take effect July 1 — a tax the council contended would drive away many state businesses to neighboring Virginia — including life sciences and information technology companies now in Montgomery County [BRN, April 14].


Venture Capitalist Arthur Pappas Elected as NC Biotech Center Chairman; 3 Officers Named
Arthur Pappas, founder and managing partner of the Research Triangle Park venture capital firm Pappas Ventures, has been elected chairman of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center's Board of Directors. Pappas succeeds Sue Cole, a principal of Granville Capital of Greensboro, NC, who served as board chair from 2006 to 2008, and continues to serve on the board's executive committee.
Pappas’ venture firm manages more than $250 million and oversees investments in more than 40 portfolio companies. Before founding Pappas Ventures in 1994, Pappas was an executive member of the board of directors of Glaxo Holdings, for which he oversaw international operations, including research, development, and manufacturing. He also worked as vice president of commercial operations for Abbott International, and held various executive operating positions with Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals and Dow Chemical in the US and internationally.

He is the founding CEO and chairman of Durham-based CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, and serves as a director for several pharmaceutical companies, including Massachusetts-based Genstruct, LEAD Therapeutics of California, and New Jersey-based TyRx Pharma.

Pappas is also a member of the National Venture Capital Association's Medical Industry Group Advisory Board, and previously served on the boards of Embrex, Quintiles Transnational, and Valentis.

A graduate of the Ohio State University, Pappas earned an MBA in finance at Xavier University. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran, having served as an officer in the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division and the Special Forces. Pappas and his wife Karen live in Durham, NC. They have two children and two grandchildren.

In addition to electing Pappas chairman, the NC biotech center board also named three officers:
  • Patricia Morton, a partner with Franklin Street Partners, a private investment management firm in Chapel Hill, NC, was elected vice chair;
  • John Atkins, president and CEO of O'Brien/Atkins Associates in Durham, NC, was re-elected treasurer; and
  • Jack Cecil, president of Biltmore Farms in Asheville, NC, was re-elected secretary.

Indiana's Life Sciences Champion of The Year Announced
Leonard Betley, chairman and president of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and the Regenstrief Foundation, and Chairman of the Walther Cancer Foundation, was honored last week as the inaugural Life Sciences Champion of the Year for BioCrossroads, Indiana’s life sciences industry group, at its fourth annual Indiana Life Sciences Forum.
Betley was cited for his multiple roles within the life sciences community and his commitment to improve healthcare. Under his leadership, the Fairbanks Foundation attracted its second largest gift to date, totaling $10 million, for the creation of the Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities. Since its inception over 20 years ago, the Fairbanks Foundation has awarded grants totaling over $115 million primarily to local non-profit organizations, with nearly half of the grants related to health.
The Foundation has funded Fairbanks Hall, a joint project between Indiana University School of Medicine and Nursing and Clarian Health — an umbrella healthcare organization formed by of the Methodist Hospital, Indiana University Hospital, and Riley Hospital for Children — that has resulted in one of the largest simulation centers for medical and nursing school students in the country. The Foundation also funded the establishment of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering at Purdue.
Betley also was instrumental in establishing the Walther Cancer Institute (now the Walther Cancer Foundation) as a medical research organization. Through his leadership, the Foundation has supported cancer research at Notre Dame and Purdue, in addition to IU.

Betley served as managing partner with the law firm Ice Miller until 1996, capping a 36-year career spent practicing law.


BioCrossroads Awards I-STEM Professional Development Grants to Two Indiana Teachers
BioCrossroads, the life sciences industry group serving Indiana, has awarded grants to two teachers in the science, technology, engineering or mathematics disciplines to pursue professional development through the Indiana Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, or I-Stem, Resource Network:
  • Shelly Sparrow, a third grade teacher at Hums Schools in the city of Mishawaka, Ind.
  • Shannon Hudson, a science, health, and reading teacher in the Crawfordsville, Ind., schools.

Two TGen Officials Appointed to Arizona Technology Council’s Board of Directors
Michael Berens and MaryAnn Guerra, two top officials of the Translational Genomics Research Institute, have been appointed to new positions on the board of directors of the Arizona Technology Council, a private, not-for-profit trade association for the state's tech industries.
Berens, the director of TGen's cancer and cell biology division, was named chairman emeritus on the ATC board, one of four new executive officers named to two-year terms. Berens, who has served six years on the board — the past two as chairman of the nearly 500-member organization — also was one of five directors emeritus named to serve indefinite terms on the board.
Guerra, TGen's chief business officer and president of TGen Accelerators LLC, was one of 10 new directors appointed to three-year terms on the 33-member board, following its Oct. 23 meeting. The board is designed to represent the interests of Arizona's technology industries, and advise ATC in promoting research, education and access to a highly skilled workforce.
Three other newly appointed board executive officers:
  • Steve Phillips, CIO of the computer products distributor Avnet, chairman;
  • Ray Harris, director with the law firm Fennemore Craig, secretary; and
  • Kevin McHolland, a partner with Ernst & Young, treasurer.
Nine other newly appointed directors: David Beauchamp, a partner with the law firm Bryan Cave; Thomas Campbell, a partner with the law firm Lewis and Roca; Kathleen Collins, Mesa functional chief engineer, Boeing; John Cummerford, a shareholder in the law firm Greenburg Traurig specializing in intellectual property and technology, technology, media and telecommunications; Joe Drazek, a partner with the law firm Quarles & Brady; Carl Lytikainen, senior vice president of Technical services, Lumension Security; Jane Poynter, president, Paragon Space Development Corp.; R. F. "Rick" Shangraw, vice president for research and economic affairs, Arizona State University; and Judith Weiss, a partner with the law firm Perkins Coie Brown & Bain.
Four other directors emeritus were named: Joanne Carthey Bradley, chief operating officer, Namescape Corp.; Charles Jirauch, another partner with Quarles & Brady; Quinn Williams, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig; and Mark Schonau, chief financial officer of Insys Therapeutics.

Steven Zylstra, president and CEO of ATC, remains as an executive officer.

The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.