Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

People Transfer: May 6, 2009


Sherrill Neff, founding partner of venture capital firm Quaker BioVentures, has been named to the board of directors of the National Venture Capital Association.

Neff founded Quaker BioVentures with Brenda Gavin and Ira Lubert in 2002. Prior to that, he was president and chief operating officer of Neose Technologies, senior vice president of corporate development at US Healthcare, and managing director in the investment banking division of Alex Brown & Sons. He also worked as a corporate attorney at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

At Quaker BioVentures, Neff's portfolio-company board responsibilities include Amicus Therapeutics, Biolex Therapeutics, Neuronetics, Optherion, and Regado Biosciences. He is also a board observer for Argolyn.

Neff previously served as chairman of the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group, now the Mid-Atlantic Capital Alliance, and president of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association, now PA Biotech.

Joel Papernik, a member in the corporate practice in the New York office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, has been named secretary of the New York Biotechnology Association and a member of the executive committee of the board of directors.

Papernik will hold the position of secretary for a two-year term.

Papernik is a member of Mintz Levin’s policy committee, co-chair of the firm's mergers and acquisitions practice, and a member of its opinions committee. He holds a BA from Yale University and a JD from Columbia Law School.

George Scangos, president and CEO of Exelixis, has been elected vice chairman of the California Healthcare Institute, a non-profit public policy research organization that represents California's academic institutions and biotechnology, medical device, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical firms.

As vice chairman, Scangos will be next in line to serve as chairman of the board after the term of the current chairman — John Martin, president and CEO of Gilead Sciences — ends in January 2010.

Scangos has been president and CEO of Exelixis since 1996. Prior to that, he held several positions at Bayer, including senior vice president of research and development for Bayer’s pharmaceutical division, and president of Bayer Biotechnology.

Scangos also served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, where he is currently an adjunct professor. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts.

Hunter Baker has joined the Boston intellectual property firm Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks as counsel in the firm's pharmaceutical group. He will focus on patent prosecution and strategic counseling in the areas of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, chemistry, materials, and medical devices.

Baker was previously a partner with Choate Hall & Stewart, where he represented universities, research centers, startups, and medium-sized companies in developing intellectual property strategies, conducting patentability searches and freedom-to-operate studies, prosecuting patent applications, drafting opinions, and counseling clients on licensing.

Baker received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from MIT, a master's degree in chemistry from Harvard, and his law degree from Boston College Law School.

Mark Yudof, president of the University of California, will recommend Susan Desmond-Hellmann to be the new chancellor of UCSF and Linda Katehi to be chancellor of UC Davis, UC said this week.

Yudof will make his recommendations at next week’s meeting of the UC Board of Regents, according to UC.

Desmond-Hellman most recently served as president of product development for Genentech, while Katehi is currently provost of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Desmond-Hellmann would replace Michael Bishop, who is stepping down after 10 years as UCSF chancellor. Katehi would replace Larry Vanderhoef, who will have served 15 years as UC Davis chancellor when he steps down this summer.

Both appointments are subject to approval of the UC Board of Regents and, if approved, would take effect in August.

The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.