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People in the News: Dec 3, 2008

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation last week said that Alan Lewis has been named president and CEO. He will join JDRF in January.
Lewis will join JDRF from Novocell, where he currently serves as president and CEO. He has also served as president of the signal division of Celgene; president and CEO of Signal Pharmaceuticals; and vice president of research at Wyeth Laboratories.

Seattle’s Accelerator Corporation, in conjunction with its announcement that it has led an undisclosed Series A financing round in California Institute of Technology spinout GPC-Rx (see News Briefs, this issue), said that Bard Geesaman has joined GPC-Rx as chief scientific officer.
Most recently Geesaman served as executive director, life sciences, of the X Prize Foundation. Prior to that, Geesaman was a venture partner at MPM Capital, where he co-founded Solasia, an oncology-focused pharmaceutical company located in Tokyo. Prior to MPM, Geesaman was vice president of medical development for Elixir Pharmaceuticals, and general partner at F2 Ventures. He has also served as chief technical officer of Catalyst Medical Solutions.
Geesaman has a PhD in systems and computational neurobiology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and MD from Harvard Medical School; and a BS in systems neurobiology from the University of California, Berkeley.

John Collar, chief operating officer of startup DNA testing firm Matrilinex, has been named executive director of the Colorado Bioscience Association, CBSA said last month.
Prior to Matrilinex, Collar was chief operating officer for Neuromark, and early-stage company in the genetic diagnostics field. He has also served as corporate vice president for Octagon Systems, and president of Industrial Laboratories.
Collar holds an MBA from Barry University.

The Southern Research Institute has named Andrew Penman as vice president of drug development. Penman will lead Southern Research’s preclinical contract research operations in toxicology, bioanalytical sciences, infectious diseases, cancer therapeutics, and immunology.
Before joining Southern Research, Penman served as vice president of preclinical development for Canada’s Angiotech. Prior to that, Penman was president of preclinical technologies at Aptuit. He has also held scientific management positions at Pharmacia, Cephac Europe, and Quintiles Scotland.
Penman earned his PhD from the University of Kent in the UK; and his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.