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Mark Allen, Charlie Liotta, Robert Coughlin, Thomas Finneran

Georgia Tech’s Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs has named Mark Allen the new senior vice provost for research and innovation.
Allen joins the provost’s office after serving as a professor of microelectronics in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He is also founder of CardioMems, a Georgia Tech spinout biotech developing cardiovascular sensors based on micro-electro-mechanical systems technology developed in his lab.
GT said that Allen will be responsible for setting the school’s research and economic development agenda and strategic direction, and will manage its $458 million research portfolio.
Allen replaces Charlie Liotta, who has returned to Georgia Tech as a faculty member.

Robert Coughlin, Massachusetts’ undersecretary for business development, has been named president of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, the organization announced Aug. 13. He will take over the position by October.
Coughlin succeeds Thomas Finneran, the former Massachusetts House of Representatives speaker who resigned from the council’s helm in January, soon after he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice during a redistricting lawsuit.
In his most recent position, Coughlin oversaw agencies tasked with developing Massachusetts businesses, including the Office of Business Development, the International Office of Trade and Investment, and the Office of Travel and Tourism.
Coughlin previously served three terms in the state House of Representatives and was vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Revenue, where he worked on tax code stability, economic stimulus legislation, and streamlined permitting for business.
Earlier, he was a principal at MC Solutions, a corporate consulting and capital management firm, and Susquehanna Capital, where he managed a portfolio of five companies. He held business development positions, including regional sales and marketing manager, for Clean Harbors Environmental Services.
Coughlin is a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.