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People in the News: Jan 28, 2009


Joan Ellis, a former judge at the US Patent and Trademark Office, has joined Proskauer Rose as a senior counsel in the law firm's patent law practices group.

Ellis will focus her practice on patent prosecution, patent interferences, and litigation, with a particular emphasis in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

Ellis joins Proskauer Rose from law firm Venable. Prior to this, as an administrative patent judge on the USPTO's board of patent appeals and interferences, Ellis adjudicated the majority of biotech patent interferences handled by the USPTO during her tenure.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ellis spent more than a decade conducting molecular biology, biochemistry, and immunology research, and was a part of the research team that developed a malaria vaccine at New York University, Proskauer said. She received her JD from George Washington University and her PhD from the NYU School of Medicine.

The Democratic Caucus of the Committee on Science and Technology in the US House of Representatives this week elected subcommittee chairs and selected subcommittee assignments.

Among the elected officials was Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.), who was re-elected chair of the subcommittee on technology and innovation.

Members of the subcommittee include Rep. Donna Edwards (D – Md.); Rep. Ben Lujan (D – N.M.); Rep. Paul Tonko (D – N.Y.); Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D – Ill.); Rep. Harry Mitchell (D – Ariz.); and Rep. Gary Peters (D. Mich.).

University of California president Mark Yudof this week appointed Paul Alivisatos as interim director of the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which is managed by UC.

The appointment takes effect immediately, subject to confirmation by the full UC Board of Regents at its next meeting in early February.

Alivisatos previously was deputy director of LBNL, and served as the lab's chief research officer, overseeing its research budget, initiatives, and technology transfer. Prior to becoming deputy director, Alivisatos was associate lab director for physical sciences.

Alivisatos has also been a member of the UC Berkeley staff since 1988, and is currently a professor of nanotechnology and materials science and chemistry at the school. He is a scientific founder of Quantum Dot, since acquired by Invitrogen, and now a part of Life Technologies. He also helped found Nanosys. He holds a PhD in chemical physics from UC Berkeley and a BA in chemistry from the University of Chicago.

Eastern Kentucky University said last week that it has named Ian Mooers as director of EKU's Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship, and Technology.

Mooers was previously director of entrepreneurial programs at George Mason University, where he also chaired the Emerging Business and Entrepreneur Committee for the Northern Virginia Technology Council. He also directed the NVTC's Invention to Innovation fund, which solicited donors to aid in the commercialization of early-stage research.

The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance at the University of Michigan this week announced the appointment of Erik Gordon as associate director.

Gordon will also join UM's Ross School of Business faculty this semester to teach courses on new venture creation and entrepreneurial marketing.

Previously, Gordon served as associate dean of the Stevens Institute of Technology, and has also served as director of the Graduate Division of Business and Management at Johns Hopkins University's Carey Business School.

Technology-commercialization services firm UTEK said last week that it has appointed Paul Teta as director of global technology licensing and commercialization.

Prior to joining UTEK, Teta served more than 20 years with BP and predecessor Amoco. Most recently, he was manager of intellectual asset management and intellectual capital management. Prior to this, he was chief operating officer of BP's IT technology incubator.

Teta holds a JD degree and a master of law degree in intellectual property from DePaul University, and is a licensed attorney in Illinois.

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.