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People Transfer: Mar 11, 2009

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Arizona State University said last week that it has appointed Alan Nelson as director of the Biodesign Institute.

Nelson is currently president and CEO of VisionGate, a Washington state biotech firm developing a screening test for lung cancer. Previously, Nelson founded NeoPath, which developed automated cervical cancer screening tests. As president and CEO of the company, he completed an IPO in 1996.

Nelson has also retained various academic roles throughout his career, including professorships at the University of Washington, Harvard, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Nelson succeeds George Poste, who last summer was tapped to head ASU’s new Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative.

Also, last month ASU said that it has appointed Joshua LaBaer as director of the ASU Biodesign Institute's Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics.

LaBaer also becomes ASU’s first Virginia G. Piper chair of personalized medicine, and will have an academic appointment in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as a professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry.

LaBaer most recently served as director of the Harvard Institute of Proteomics.

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