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People Transfer: Aug 19, 2009

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Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, a recent Yale University cancer therapeutics spinout, this week announced that it has elected Axel Bolte, Peter Hirth, Thomas Neff, and Jonathan Soderstrom to its board of directors.

Bolte is an investment advisor to HBM Partners, whose HBM BioVentures branch contributed to the $40 million Series A investment closed by Kolltan this week. Previously he was an investment manager at Swiss healthcare VC firm NMT New Medical Technologies. Bolte has also held various research and development positions with Serono.

Hirth is CEO and director of Plexxikon, which he co-founded in 2000. Previously, Hirth was president of Sugen until Pharmacia and Upjohn acquired the company in 1999. Prior to this, he was vice president of research immunopharmacology and virology at Boehringer Mannheim.

Neff is chairman, founder, and CEO of FibroGen.

Kolltan also said this week that it has appointed Stanley Choy to the newly created position of vice president finance and treasurer; and Bradford Middlekauf to the newly created position of chief legal officer, general counsel, and secretary.

Choy most recently served as chief financial officer at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. Previously he was finance controller at Shearman & Sterling. Prior to this, Choy held various positions at Pfizer, most recently as finance director for business planning of the consumer health care division. Choy holds a BS in accounting from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and an MBA from Syracuse University's Graduate School of Management.

Middlekauf most recently served as senior vice president of strategic planning at Medarex. Prior to that, he was senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary at Medarex for more than seven years. Middlekauf has also served as vice president of business development and general counsel at Algos Pharmaceutical; and an associate at Cooley Godward. He holds a bachelor's degree from Brown University and a JD degree from Yale Law School.


The University Funds said this week that Cliff Monlux has joined its management team as president and managing board member.

Monlux was formerly founder and managing partner at Ramp Equity Partners. Prior to that, he founded Paradigm Technology Partners, a corporate development and M&A consulting firm with enterprise software and media technology clients. Monlux also was the founder, CEO, and later chairman of CapitalStream.

Founded in 2008, the University Funds is a venture-development firm that focuses on commercializing academic research.


The Ontario Centres of Excellence said this week that it has appointed Molly Shoichet to its board of directors.

Shoichet holds the Canada Research Chair in tissue engineering and is a professor of chemical engineering and applied chemistry, chemistry, and biomaterials and biomedical engineering at the University of Toronto.

Prior to joining UT in 1995, Shoichet worked at CytoTherapeutics. She holds a PhD in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

The OCE partners with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors, and governments to help drive research commercialization across the province.


Ruth Ben-Yakar has recently been appointed chief business officer of Yeda Research and Development, the tech-transfer arm of Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science.

Ben-Yakar most recently served as vice president for project management at Gamida Cell. Prior to that, she was vice president for development and applications at Procognia. She has also served as a senior project manager at QBI. Ben-Yakar holds a PhD from the Weizmann Institute, where she studied in the department of molecular cell biology.

Ben-Yakar replaces Einat Zisman, who served as CBO of Yeda for eight years, and will soon become president and CEO of Hadasit, the tech-transfer company of the Hadassah Medical Organization.


The Council for American Medical Innovation recently named Debra Lappin as its president.

Lappin, an attorney, is a senior vice president at B&D Consulting in Washington, DC. She has also served as a senior advisor to the directors of both the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lappin is also the former chair of the Arthritis Foundation, and serves on the board of Research!America.


The California Healthcare Institute announced recently that John Stobo and Carl Hull have been elected to its board of directors.

Stobo currently serves as senior vice president or health sciences and services at the University of California system. Prior to this, Stobo was executive director for academic programs in the University of Texas system and president of the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Stobo has also served as chairman of the department of medicine and physician chief at Johns Hopkins University; chair of the department of rheumatology and clinical immunology at UC, San Francisco; and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Institute. He holds a BA degree from Dartmouth College and an MD from the State University of New York in Buffalo.

Hull is president and CEO of Gen-Probe, which he joined in 2007 as executive vice president and chief operating officer. He previously served as vice president and general manager of the SDS/arrays business unit of Applied Biosystems. Prior to that, Hull held a number of positions with Applied Imaging, most recently CEO. He received a BS in political science and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.