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People in the News: Jan 21, 2009

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Robert MacWright has resigned as executive director of the University of Virginia Patent Foundation, the university said this week.

MacWright, who will remain with UVPF through January, will become a partner in the Washington, DC, office of law firm Frommer Lawrence & Haug.

Prior to joining UVPF, MacWright served as an associate attorney in the IP department of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom; and as a legal intern and associate attorney in the IP department of Kenyon & Kenyon. Prior to this, he was associate director and then director of the Rutgers University Office of Corporate Liaison and Technology Transfer.

He holds a joint PhD in biochemistry from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; and a law degree from Rutgers. He is also a registered US patent attorney.

UVPF said that Marie Kerbeshian, associate director of the foundation, has been named interim executive director and CEO of UVPF, while a search is conducted to find a permanent successor to MacWright.

Kerbeshian joined UVPF in 1998 and has served as associate director since 2006. She conducted her postdoc at UVA and earned a PhD in zoology from the University of Texas.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.