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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

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.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.