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People in the News: Jan 7, 2009

The United States Patent and Trademark Office said this week that John Doll, the acting deputy under secretary of commerce for intellectual property, will become interim director of the organization when current director Jon Dudas leaves the position next week.
The USPTO said Dudas will serve as director until January 20, when President-Elect Barack Obama’s administration takes over. Doll will serve as interim director of the USPTO until a new permanent director is appointed.
Most recently, Doll was the commissioner for patents, responsible for all aspects of the patent-granting process for the US. Previously, Doll served as deputy commissioner for patent resources and planning, and on a detail assignment as special assistant to Dudas.

Life sciences venture capital firm Clarus Ventures said this week that Emmett Cunningham has been promoted to partner and Scott Requadt to transactional partner.
Cunningham joined Clarus in 2006 and represents the firm on the board of SARcode and as a board observer at FerroKin, Pearl, Taligen, and Zogenix. He is also a member of the scientific advisory boards of ESBATech and CoMentis. He joined Clarus from Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, where he was senior vice president of medical strategy.
Requadt joined Clarus in 2005 and represents the firm on the board of TyRx Pharma and as a board observer at Biolex, Oxford Immunotec, Link Medicine, and Variation. He joined Clarus from TransForm Pharmaceuticals after the company was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2005. Prior to TransForm, Requadt was an attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions at the New York-based law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Vicki Chandler, director of the University of Arizona's Bio5 Institute, is leaving her post to become chief program officer, science, with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in San Francisco. The new position is effective Feb. 17.
Chandler will run the foundation's science program, which promotes collaboration across scientific fields. Chandler will also continue to devote about 20 percent of her time on her research program at the University of Arizona, including her involvement in the iPlant Collaborative, a project administered by Bio5 and funded through a $50 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
A professor in the departments of plant sciences and molecular and cellular biology, Chandler holds the Weiler Endowed Chair for Excellence in Agriculture and Life Sciences, a position she will retain along with her UA research activities.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.