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Sam Fiorello, Marisa Lago, Dennis Mullen, Nicholas Robbins, Greg Anglum, Steven Burke, David Finch, Vipin Garg, Brian Handley, Kevin Johnson, Karen LeVert, Chris Lynch, Greg Owen, John Paris, Jack Sheffield, David Spitz, Ted Zoller, Stephen Wiehe, Mary Mu

First President Named for St. Louis-Area Bio-Research & Development Growth Park at Danforth Center
Sam Fiorello has been appointed the first president of the Bio-Research & Development Growth Park, a new biocampus at the Danforth Plant Science Center in the St. Louis suburb of Creve Coeur, Mo. Fiorello will also continue to serve as the Danforth center’s chief operating officer and senior vice president for administration and finance.
BRDG Park is scheduled to open the first of three buildings in April 2009 with a new 118,000 square-foot multi-tenant, wet laboratory and office facility.
Fiorello joined the Danforth center nine years ago. Previously, he was chief of staff at Monsanto Company's office of the president, where he helped put together the business plan and initial funding for the Danforth center.
Earlier, Fiorello was a senior trade and investment policy analyst with Walker/Free Associates in Washington, DC, where he was actively engaged in the NAFTA legislative campaign. His career also includes having worked at Cargill Investor Services and for Confindustria, an Italian industrial policy research center.
Fiorello earned a graduate degree in public administration from the University of Texas, and a BBA degree from the University of Wisconsin.

New York Gov. Paterson Names Two to Top Roles at Empire State Development Corp.
New York Gov. David Paterson has nominated two professionals to leadership positions at the state’s economic development agency, the Empire State Development Corp., as of Sept. 15.
Marisa Lago, global head of compliance at Citi Markets & Banking, has been named ESD’s president and CEO, at an annual salary of $215,000, subject to state Senate confirmation. Lago, who will be based in New York City, will oversee economic development issues throughout the state. Lago will also work with ESD Chairman Robert Wilmers – who is based in Buffalo – to identify a new Downstate President of ESD. Wilmers took office on July 14, as part of a Paterson effort to end two years of turf battles and slow decision making for the agency [BRN, July 21].
As the Global Head of Compliance for Citi Markets & Banking, Lago oversaw all compliance matters for Citi’s capital markets, investment and corporate banking, and transaction services businesses, which operate in more than 90 countries around the world.

Prior to joining Citi Markets & Banking, Lago worked at the US Securities and Exchange Commission as director of the Office of International Affairs. Lago earlier served as chief economic development officer of the city of Boston, and director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, as well as general counsel of the New York City Economic Development Corp.

Lago graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1982, and earned a BSci degree in physics from Cooper Union.

Dennis Mullen, president and CEO of the public-private Greater Rochester Enterprise, has been named ESD’s upstate president overseeing all of the agency’s offices and policies in the Upstate New York region. He will be paid an annual salary of $200,000, and work from offices in Rochester.

In an interview with Gannett News Service, Mullen said he expected to develop a plan for improving the upstate economy by year’s end: “We need 60 to 90 days to evaluate what we have," he said. Mullen told the news service the assets of the Upstate region include an agricultural sector that could grow in part due to demand for ethanol, while its high taxes are a steep challenge.
Mullen joined GRE on an interim basis in 2005, and a year later was named to its top day-to-day position. At GRE, Mullen has worked to draw new businesses to the region by marketing its biotechnology industry, as well as its alternative energy, food and beverage manufacturing, and optics industries.
Before joining GRE, Mullen worked for more than 28 years in food industry leadership positions, most recently for a decade as the chairman, president and CEO of Birds Eye Foods — where he doubled the company’s size through a series of acquisitions before unhappy shareholders persuaded the company’s board to dismiss him in 2005. Earlier, he served as president and CEO of three other food enterprises including Globe Products Cos., Nalley’s Fine Foods, and Comstock Foods.

Mullen earned a bachelor’s degree in education from St. Leo University in Florida.


Corporate Attorney Appointed Board Chairman of Angel Investment Forum of Florida
Nicholas Robbins, a corporate attorney with the law firm Gunster Yoakley & Stewart, has been named chairman of the board of directors of Angel Investment Forum of Florida. The not-for-profit organization — on whose board he served last year — helps introduce angel investors to entrepreneurs, and promotes business growth statewide. The organization recently moved its meetings to Jupiter, Fla., to be closer to three institutions that anchor the region’s emerging life sciences cluster, including Max Planck Society, Scripps Florida, and Florida Atlantic University.
A member of Gunster Yoakley's technology and emerging companies practice group, Robbins has worked on venture capital financing rounds, mergers and acquisitions, as well as corporate and strategic guidance for technology companies in South Florida. He has completed more than $200 million in venture capital transactions, and more than $1 billion in M&A work.
Robbins previously worked at UBS Financial Services in Boston, and before that worked at the law firm Testa Hurwitz & Thibeault, which he joined as a summer associate. While in law school, he clerked at SoftKey, a leading software publisher that evolved into The Learning Co. and was later acquired by toy giant Mattel.
Robbins received a JD degree from Boston University School of Law, and previously earned a BA in US history from Connecticut College.

North Carolina’s CED Taps 13 New Members for its Board of Directors
Thirteen new members have joined the board of directors of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, a Research Triangle Park nonprofit entrepreneurial support organization, for the 2008-09 year:
  • Greg Anglum, a partner with the accounting/business advisory firm Grant Thornton.
  • Steven Burke, vice president of corporate affairs for the state-funded North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
  • David Finch, president and CEO, Atcom Business Telecom Solutions.
  • Vipin Garg, president and CEO of Tranzyme.
  • Brian Handley, senior vice president of sales for Microsoft.
  • Kevin Johnson, vice president of business development for the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina.
  • Karen LeVert, president and CEO of Southeast TechInventures.
  • Chris Lynch, an attorney with the law fim Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton.
  • Greg Owen, senior vice president and relationship manager with Wachovia.
  • John Paris, partner with the law firm Williams Mullen.
  • Jack Sheffield, a managing director with Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown.
  • David Spitz, vice president, ChannelAdvisor.
  • Ted Zoller, executive director, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School
Stephen Wiehe, CEO of SciQuest, will serve as CED’s chair for the year, succeeding Mary Musacchia in the position.
CED also said it has appointed Stephanie Dorko as its new director of development. Before joining CED, Dorko worked as a fundraiser on numerous political campaigns, most recently for state Treasurer Richard Moore. She also worked as vice president of government affairs for the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Trinity College in Washington, DC. Dorko is a native of Greensboro, NC.
The new board and staff appointments follow the appointment earlier this year of Joan Siefert Rose, the former general manager of WUNC radio, as president of CED. She started her new position Aug. 11, succeeding Monica Doss, who was CED’s first full-time leader and held the top day-to-day position for 22 years until this year [BRN, June 2].

New West Virginia Research Institute Names First Employee to Director/Scientist Role

Eric Kmiec has been named director and lead research scientist as the first employee of the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Huntington, WV.

Kmiec is a molecular medicine researcher at the University of Delaware, and earned his PhD from the University of Florida. He will head a team that will include up to eight members of his current team at UD.
MIIR will receive a $15 million one-time endowment from a new $50 million state program intended to draw top-flight researchers to state universities, known as both “Bucks for Brains” or “Bucks for Jobs,” signed into law by Gov. Joe Manchin earlier this year [BRN, March 17]. In return for the state cash, MIIR must raise at least as much in private funding. MIIR will use interest from the endowment to attract researchers to Marshall – each of whom would be required to generate half of his or her salary from grants or contracts within five years.

Ballard Spahr Adds Two Life-Sciences Lawyers to Philadelphia Office
Patrick Kelly and Marc Segal have joined the Philadelphia office of the law firm Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, effective Sept. 2.
Kelly will be a partner in the firm’s intellectual property department, and a member of the life sciences/technology and the biotechnology patent practices. Segal will be a member of the intellectual property litigation, biotechnology patent, and pharmaceutical patent practices.
Kelly holds a PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His background includes working as on-site intellectual property counsel to pharmaceutical and scientific instrumentation companies; conducting validity, due diligence, and freedom-to-operate studies; maintaining a biotech IP estate; and preparing and prosecuting patent applications related to molecular biology.
Segal's experience encompasses the spectrum of intellectual property law, including patent prosecution, litigation, counseling, and licensing. He has focused his practice on patents, copyrights, licensing disputes, and trade secrets for clients in industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, drug delivery systems, and computer hardware and software.
Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll has more than 550 lawyers in 12 US offices.

The Scan

Study Links Genetic Risk for ADHD With Alzheimer's Disease

A higher polygenic risk score for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is also linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, a new study in Molecular Psychiatry finds.

Study Offers Insights Into Role of Structural Variants in Cancer

A new study in Nature using cell lines shows that structural variants can enable oncogene activation.

Computer Model Uses Genetics, Health Data to Predict Mental Disorders

A new model in JAMA Psychiatry finds combining genetic and health record data can predict a mental disorder diagnosis before one is made clinically.

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.