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Jonathan Dordick, Richard Hull, Joe Koepnick, John Kavanagh

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this week said that Jonathan Dordick, professor of chemical and biological engineering, has been named director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies. He replaces Robert Linhardt, who has served as acting director since 2007.
As director, Dordick plans to use the center to direct faculty and student research toward discoveries “that can be easily translated to actual lifesaving technologies and medicines,” RPI said in a statement.
Dordick is the inventor of a biochip that may eliminate the need for animal testing in the chemical and cosmetics industry, and curtail its use in drug discovery. He has co-founded a pair of companies: Solidus Biosciences, a venture-stage biotech company that is further developing the biochip technology; and EnzyMed, a drug-discovery firm.
Dordick joined the RPI faculty in 1998, and served as chair of the chemical and biological engineering department for four years. He was also worked as an assistant professor at the University of Iowa. He holds a PhD in biochemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The University of Southern California Stevens Institute for Innovation has named Richard Hull as senior director of innovation advancement and business development for the Stevens Institute Health Sciences campus office.
In this role, Hull will promote innovation and start-up creation by providing entrepreneurial support to faculty, staff, and students. Hull joins USC from biomedical consultancy Metaphase Group, where he served as chairman and CEO.
Hull has also served as chairman and CEO of Spotlight Health, a healthcare communications company. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from Oxford University, and a BA in natural sciences from Cambridge University.
The USC Stevens Institute also said this week that Joe Koepnick has been promoted to senior director of innovation advancement and business development for the University Park campus. Koepnick formerly served as director of licensing for the institute.

John Kavanagh has joined the National University of Ireland Galway as director of technology transfer.
Kavanagh will work with the university’s Ignite program to commercialize the work of researchers on campus, and to strengthen the school’s industry ties.
Kavanagh joins NUI Galway from Irish biotech firm Bioniche Teoranta, where he served as managing director for five years. He has also occupied senior positions at Abbott Laboratories, Sandoz/Novartis, and Schering-Plough. He holds a PhD in organic chemistry from University College Dublin.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.