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People in the News: Dec 31, 2008

Mark Crowell, head of economic development and technology transfer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been appointed vice president for business and technology development at the Scripps Research Institute, the UNC General Alumni Association said this month.
Crowell will lead technology transfer; pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry relations and research partnerships; and business development initiatives for Scripps' campuses in La Jolla, Calif., and Jupiter, Fla., the UNC General Alumni Association said.
Crowell, who has served in his position at UNC since 2000, will leave his post at the end of this month.
Prior to his position with UNC, Crowell served as assistant vice chancellor and director of technology administration and development and, later, as associate vice chancellor for technology transfer and industry research at North Carolina State University. In 2005, Crowell served as president of the Association of University Technology Managers, and is the founding president of the AUTM Foundation.
Crowell holds a bachelor's degree in international studies and a master’s degree in regional planning from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said this week that president and CEO Nava Swersky Sofer will be leaving the company after a three-year term.
Swersky Sofer was appointed to her position at Yissum in December 2005. During her tenure, Yissum’s revenues rose by 60 percent, its product pipeline grew by 50 percent, and its number of commercial agreements more than doubled, Yissum said.
Swersky Sofer joined Yissum from the venture capital industry, where she held a series of senior roles with companies in Israel and internationally, Yissum said.
She will continue to assist the company as needed until a new CEO is appointed; and will continue to serve on the board of directors of several Yissum portfolio companies and as joint chairperson of NanoIsrael 2009, which she initiated.
Yehuda Yarmut, executive vice president of licensing and IP, will act as interim CEO until a permanent CEO is appointed, Yissum said.

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.