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People in the News: Feb 11, 2009

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Darby and Darby said this week that Michael Kirschner has joined the law firm's Seattle office as principal.

Specializing in biotechnology, Kirschner will join Darby's chemical and life sciences, and litigation and dispute resolution practices. Kirschner joins Darby & Darby from Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson. He has also served as a vice president of Immunex, and as head of Amgen's Seattle law office after the company acquired Immunex.

Kirschner has also held multiple positions with various law firms, and spent three years as a trial attorney in the US Navy, including serving as head prosecutor for the Naval District of Washington, which includes the US Naval Academy, the Pentagon, and the Bethesda Naval Hospital.

He holds a JD from the University of Utah College of Law and a BA in biology from Carleton College.


Boise State University has named Mary Givens as director of the school's newly formed Office of Technology Transfer within BSU's Division of Research.

Givens will be responsible for developing private-sector business opportunities based on faculty research and facilitating relationships with the technology industry and other partners. She began her career in the financial services industry with PricewaterhouseCoopers and later with the JR Simplot Company.

During the last 10 years, Givens has been integral to Idaho economic development initiatives, including the Idaho Department of Commerce’s Office of Science & Technology, Kickstand, and the Boise Angel Alliance, BSU said.

Givens is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of the University of San Francisco McLaren School of Business.


Antony Taubman, acting director and head of the Global Intellectual Property Issues Division at the World Intellectual Property Organization, has been named director of the World Trade Organization IP division, Intellectual Property Watch reported last week.

Taubman will start on May 1 and will be responsible for overseeing all of the WTO's IP-related activities, IP Watch reported. The position was vacated last year by Adrian Otten, who had directed the IP division since 1993 when it was created, according to the report.


MaRS Innovation, a technology-commercialization and innovation collaborative of 14 Toronto academic institutions, has announced its permanent board of directors.

Supported by Canada's government through the Centres of Excellence in Research and Commercialization program, and by its member institutions, MaRS Innovation is focused on providing technology-transfer assistance, funding, and expertise to commercialize research from its member institution's labs.

The newly appointed directors are:

Geoffrey Beattie, deputy chairman and president, Woodbridge Company, Thompson Reuters, Toronto
Christopher Capelli, vice president of technology-based ventures, Office of Technology Commercialization, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
Ron Close, entrepreneur-in-residence, MaRS; and executive entrepreneur-in-residence, The Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
Nicholas Darby, former director of physical sciences, corporate venture capital, Dow Chemical; president, Darby & Associates Consulting, Midland, Mich.
Mary Jo Haddad, president and CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
Jacqueline Le Saux, former general counsel, North America and corporate secretary, Patheon, Toronto
David Leslie, chair, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and former chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young, Toronto
Michael May, president and CEO, Rimon Therapeutics, Toronto
Chandra Panchal, founder, president, and CEO, Axcelon Biopolymers, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec (?)
Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District, Toronto
Donald Wright, president and CEO, the Winnington Capital Group, Toronto

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.