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Laurence Lasky, Bryant Fong, Greg Young, Tiba Aynechi, Jackie Tay, Pamela Simonton, Kevin Boggs, Hamish Cameron, Geoffrey Matus, William White, Gordon Nixon, Howard Alper, Felix Chee, Ron Venter

US Venture Partners said last week that Laurence Lasky has joined the firm as a venture partner.
Lasky was a founding scientist of Genetics Institute, now part of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Lasky has also been a scientific fellow at Bay Area biotech Genentech, and founded Latterell Venture Partners, where he served as general partner from 2002 to 2007.
He holds a BA and PhD in molecular biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed his postdoc at the California Institute of Technology.

Burrill and Company last week announced the promotion of Bryant Fong to managing director; Greg Young to director; Tiba Aynechi to senior associate; and Jackie Tay to associate.
Fong joined Burrill in 1998 after working with two early-stage companies as a biochemist and molecular biologist. Young joined the firm in 2000 and also previously worked as a molecular biologist. Aynechi joined Burrill in 2006 after serving as a postdoc at University of California, San Francisco. Tay joined the company in 2006 after working in the healthcare investment banking group at Lehman Brothers and at Stanford University’s office of technology licensing.

Exelixis last week announced that Pamela Simonton has been promoted to executive vice president and general counsel.
Simonton previously held the position of senior vice president of patents and licensing since 2004. Prior to that, she served as vice president of corporate technology development. She joined Exelixis from Bayer’s pharmaceutical division, where she served as vice president of licensing and acquisitions.
She holds a BS in chemistry from Barry College, an MS in physics from the University of Miami, and a JD from Nova University.

The University of MemphisFedEx Institute of Technology last week said that Kevin Boggs has been named as director of the institute’s new technology transfer department. Boggs is a former researcher at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and has served as assistant director of the University of Florida office of technology transfer.

SV Life Sciences this week said that Hamish Cameron has been appointed as venture partner.
Cameron will focus on therapeutic investments in Europe and the US, and will be based in the SVLS London office. Prior to joining SVLS, Cameron was CEO of Cambridge Antibody Technology following its acquisition by AstraZeneca in 2006. He previously had held several management positions with AstraZeneca.

The MaRS Discovery District in Toronto this week said that Geoffrey Matus, William White, and Gordon Nixon have joined the non-profit’s board of directors.
Matus is president of Mandukwe and chairman of Cidel Bank and Trust, Tricon Capital Group, NexGen Financial Services, and Biltrite Industries. White is president of DuPont Canada, and has held a variety of global business unit management positions with DuPont since joining the company 33 years ago. Nixon is president and CEO of RBC, and is chairman of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.
Stepping down from the MaRS Discovery District board are Howard Alper, Felix Chee, and Ron Venter.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.