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Steven Casper, Robert Tijan, Joseph Mitola

The University of Prince Edward Island and the Canada-US Fulbright Program this week introduced Steven Casper as the university’s inaugural Fulbright Visiting Chair in Biomedical Sciences.
During his stay at UPEI, Casper, who is currently director of the master of bioscience program at the Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, Calif., will investigate whether public policy can successfully create biotechnology clusters in Prince Edward Island. He will begin his appointment in April 2009.
Casper, who has formerly been a university lecturer in innovation and entrepreneurship for the Judge Institute of Management Studies at the University of Cambridge, released preliminary findings in March of a study of the role of academic IP portfolios and licensing deals in the formation of bioclusters (see BTW, 3/12/2008).
He holds a PhD in government from Cornell University.

Robert Tijan has been elected president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, succeeding Thomas Cech, who had served as the institute’s president since January 2000.
Tijan is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been an HHMI investigator since 1997. He is also currently the director of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center, and faculty director of the Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences.
He joined the faculty of UC-Berkeley in 1979, after obtaining a PhD from Harvard University and completing his postdoctoral fellowship with James Watson at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Joseph Mitola has been appointed vice president for research enterprise at the Stevens Institute of Technology, the school said last week.
Mitola has also been appointed as a distinguished professor at the institute. He will be responsible for promoting large-scale, cross-disciplinary research initiatives among Stevens’ research centers, laboratories, and contract research projects.
Mitola has served as chief scientist of the Department of Defense Federally Funded R&D Center for Mitre. He holds an MS from Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in teleinformatics from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

The Scan

Possibly as Transmissible

Officials in the UK say the B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be as transmitted as easily as the B.1.1.7 variant that was identified in the UK, New Scientist reports.

Gene Therapy for SCID 'Encouraging'

The Associated Press reports that a gene therapy appears to be effective in treating severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.

To Watch the Variants

Scientists told US lawmakers that SARS-CoV-2 variants need to be better monitored, the New York Times reports.

Nature Papers Present Nautilus Genome, Tool to Analyze Single-Cell Data, More

In Nature this week: nautilus genome gives peek into its evolution, computational tool to analyze single-cell ATAC-seq data, and more.