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People in the News: Dec 10, 2008

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz said last week that it has expanded the life sciences division of its intellectual property practice group by adding Susan McBee and Teresa Lavenue as shareholders; Gautam Prakash as an associate; and Mridula Pottathil as a patent agent in its Washington, DC, office.
McBee is a former examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office and has over twenty years of experience in assisting clients in all facets of intellectual property concerns, particularly in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, and material science, Baker Donelson said. She holds a BS in chemistry and a JD from George Mason University School of Law.
Lavenue has focused on biotech patent prosecution, opinions, due diligence, and IP portfolio management counseling for over ten years. She has clerked for Glenn Archer, Jr., chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Lavenue holds a law degree from American University Washington College of Law, and a BS in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University.
Prakash has previously worked as an associate for Klarquist Sparkman. He earned his JD from George Washington University, and also holds a PhD in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Pottathil is a registered patent agent, and has more than five years of experience in patent drafting and prosecution, patentability assessments, technology and IP competitive landscape analysis, due diligence, and strategic planning of IP portfolios for business development, Baker Donelson said. She holds a PhD in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles; and a BS in animal physiology/neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego.

SV Life Sciences said this week that it has appointed three new venture partners in the area of biotechnology and health care services.
The new partners are Sarah Bodary, focused on biotechnology and based in the San Francisco office; Gary Velasquez, focused on health care services and based in the San Francisco office; and Kevin Barrett, focused on health care services and based in the Boston office.
Most recently Bodary was responsible for licensing at Schering-Plough Biopharma, the biologics subsidiary of Schering-Plough. Bodary also previously worked as a biologist at Genentech. She received a BS in molecular biology from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland; a PhD in biology from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland; and completed her postdoc in molecular neurobiology at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of the University of California, San Francisco.
Velasquez rejoins SVLS as a venture partner having previously left that role in 2004 to join SVLSFIII portfolio company Synarc as president and CEO. Velasquez currently serves on the board of directors of SVLS portfolio company Socios Mayores. Previously, he was a senior executive at Health Net, a large publicly traded healthcare services company. Velasquez has a BA from California State University, Fullerton, and an MBA from University of California, Los Angeles.
Barrett was previously a founding partner of Commonwealth Health Partners. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president and chief development officer of PolyMedica, which was acquired by Medco Health Solutions for $1.6 billion in October 2007. Prior to PolyMedica, he was a founder and senior vice president of BG Medicine. He has also held executive roles with the Synergy Informatics division of Quintiles Transnational, PrincipalCare, and MedAlliance. Barrett received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

OVP Venture Partners has promoted venture partner Carl Weissman to the role of managing director, the early-stage investment firm said last week.
Weissman will succeed John Hull, who is leaving the company to pursue other interests, OVP said in a statement.
Weissman joined OVP in February 2007 to focus on investments in digital biology, as well as the convergence of IT, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. Since then, he has continued to serve as president and CEO of Accelerator Corporation, a joint investment vehicle for a syndicate of venture capital investors that invest in and manage emerging biotechnology companies.
At Accelerator, Weissman will become chairman and CEO, while current chief business officer David Schubert will also take on the position of president.

The Scan

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More than a dozen researchers penned a letter in Science saying a previous investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2 did not give theories equal consideration.

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In a new poll, slightly more than half of US adults have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hill reports.

Identified Decades Later

A genetic genealogy approach has identified "Christy Crystal Creek," the New York Times reports.

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In Science this week: a novel RNA structural element that acts as a splicing enhancer, and more.