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Steven Engle, Robert Walsh, Cynthia Davis, Ian Mehr, Mike Menadue, David Sidransky, Edward Wolynic

Steven Engle Named President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of XOMA
Steven Engle has been named president, chief executive officer and a director of XOMA, a Berkeley,Calif., developer of antibody therapeutics for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Engle succeeds Jack Castello, who announced his retirement plans earlier this year. Castello will remain with the company as non-executive chairman of the board during a transition period expected to run through October.
Engle previously served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of La Jolla pharmaceutical Company. He joined La Jolla in 1993, became president and a director in 1994, CEO a year later, and chairman of the board in 1997. Earlier, Engle held executive-level positions at Cygnus Therapeutic Systems, a developer of drug delivery systems; Micro Power Systems, a manufacturer of high technology products, including medical devices; the Strategic Decisions Group, and the Stanford Research Institute.
Engle is a graduate of the University of Texas with BSc and MSc degrees in biomedical engineering.

Biofuels Company LS9 Names Oil Industry Veteran Robert Walsh as New President
Robert Walsh has been named president of LS9, a hydrocarbon biofuels company in San Carlos, Calif. Walsh succeeds Doug Cameron of Khosla Ventures, the company’s acting CEO during the past year, who the company said will remain active in LS9 as a board member and a member of its scientific advisory board.
Walsh will lead the company’s commercialization effort for its products, including a pilot facility. LS9 products are fuels produced by microbes and originating from natural sources of sugar, such as sugar cane and cellulosic biomass.
Walsh has 28 years of global petroleum industry experience, all but two of them at Royal Dutch Shell. From 2001 to 2005, he was general manager of supply for Shell Europe oil products, accounting for $30 billion in annual revenue.

Caris & Company Names Vice President to its Health Care Investment Banking Group
Cynthia Davis has been named a vice president in the health care investment group of Caris & Company, working from the investment bank’s headquarters in Del Mar, Calif. Davis will focus on the capital needs of the biotechnology and healthcare community, the company said. Previously, Davis served as director of valuation and pricing services for the Aequitas Group.

Golden Pine Ventures Names Qualyst Exec as Managing Director
Ian Mehr has joined Golden Pine Ventures, a venture capital firm in Durham, NC, as a managing director. Golden Pine, which was launched in 2004, looks to commercialize technologies developed by the region’s researchers as the basis of new biotechnology and biomedical companies.
Mehr was vice president of business development at Qualyst, a biotech firm focused on drug discovery and development. He also held business development positions at Paradigm Genetics and Laboratory Corporation of America. A graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Mehr earned an MBA at Cornell and his PhD at Northwestern University.
Golden Pine’s portfolio companies include Pique Therapeutics, Kylin Therapeutics, and Exigent Pharmaceuticals.

Diversified Project Management Hires Michael Menadue as Project Executive
Mike Menadue has joined Diversified Project Management, a construction management, facilities, and move-planning firm, as a project executive. The firm is based in Newton, Mass., with offices in Hartford, Conn., and Stamford, Conn.
Menadue will lead the firm’s healthcare team, drawing on 22 years of experience in design and construction management with a focus on healthcare as well as biotech, corporate, high tech, hospitality, and manufacturing projects. He has managed more than 200 healthcare and hospitality projects in over 20 different states totaling over $500 million and 3.2 million square feet, including projects for Brigham & Women's Hospital, Mediplex, Sun Healthcare Corporation, and others.  
Menadue previously served as director of operations for the Red House Design Company, a business focused on design, architecture, facilities management, purchasing management, and construction consulting. He managed many of the firm’s healthcare and hospitality projects, including Kindred Healthcare, and the 184-room Sheraton JFK Airport Hotel in Jamaica, NY.
Earlier, Menadue served as vice president of construction for Caswell Construction Company, a Waltham, Mass., general contractor, focusing on healthcare, biotech, and high-tech projects, While at Caswell he led development of a new facilities management division and a special projects division. Menadue also held vice president and director of construction positions with Frontier Healthcare Group and Sun Healthcare.

David Sidransky Joins Board of Champions Biotechnology
David Sidransky has been named to the board of directors of Champions Biotechnology, a development-stage biotechnology company in Alexandria, Va. Sidransky — the largest shareholder in Champions — is director of the Head and Neck Cancer Research Division at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Sidransky has served as the board’s vice chairman, and presently is vice chairman of Alfacell and a director of ImClone and Xenomics. Sidransky also serves as a director of the American Association for Cancer Research; and the chairperson of the second AACR International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development: Maximizing Opportunities for Individualized Treatment, set for Setepmber.

Edward Wolynic Named to Board of Directors of Immunomedics
Edward Wolynic has been named to the board of directors of Immunomedics, a Morris Plains, NJ, biopharmaceutical company focused on developing monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer and other serious diseases.
Wolynic served as chief technology officer and group vice president of strategic technologies at Engelhard Corporation, prior to its 2006 acquisition by BASF. Prior to joining Engelhard, Wolynic was the vice president of research and development at International Specialty Products and at UOP, where he served in the same capacity. He previously held positions with Union Carbide and Merck.
Wolynic is also a member of the board of directors of the Garden State Cancer Center Foundation. He holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, and a MSc in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University.

The Scan

Science Confidence Boost

The New York Times reports that a new poll finds trust in science and scientists has increased with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Appeal and Funds

Some grant applications denied funding due to an Australian Research Council rule change have now been funded following an appeal, the Guardian reports.

Surveillance for Variants

Vox writes that the detection of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant highlights the need for improved viral genomic surveillance.

Nature Papers Examine Taxonomic Gaps in Plant Sequencing, SARS-CoV-2-Human Interactome

In Nature this week: plant genome sequencing dominated by affluent countries, and more.