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People in the News: Broad Institute's Eric Lander Named White House Science Advisor; More

Broad Institute: Eric Lander, Todd Golub

Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, has been named White House science advisor to incoming US President Joseph Biden. He will specifically be nominated as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and serve as Presidential Science Advisor. Biden is designating the Presidential Science Advisor as a member of the Cabinet for the first time in history. Lander was a principal leader of the Human Genome Project, and served as external co-chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology during the Obama Administration.

Lander will step down from his roles at Broad, Harvard, and MIT and take an unpaid, academic leave of absence.

The Broad Institute's board has appointed Todd Golub, current chief scientific officer at the institute, as director. Golub is a founder and core member of the institute and serves on its executive leadership team. He is also the Charles A. Dana Investigator in Human Cancer Genetics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Golub joined the Dana-Farber and Harvard faculty in 1997, and served as a key scientific leader of the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research, the precursor organization of the Broad Institute. He has also been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and has served as chair of numerous scientific advisory boards, including at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the National Cancer Institute.


Agilent Technologies: Allison Ballmer

Agilent Technologies has named Allison Ballmer as senior vice president of strategy and corporate development, reporting to President and CEO Mike McMullen.

Ballmer joined Agilent in May 2018 as vice president of business development and strategy for the company's Diagnostics and Genomics business. Prior to that, she worked for more than a decade at Roche. She is currently lead director of the board of directors at Mission Bio.


Exact Sciences: Andrew Slavitt

In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Exact Sciences said that Andrew Slavitt submitted his resignation as a member of the company's board on Jan. 11 after having been been appointed by President-elect Joseph Biden as a White House Senior Advisor for COVID Response.


Sema4: William Oh

Sema4 has appointed William Oh to the position of chief medical science officer, where he will drive strategy, scientific collaborations, clinical development, and adoption of the firm's technology.

Oh comes to Sema4 from Mount Sinai Health System, where he was chief of hematology and medical oncology and the deputy director of the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine. He will continue to see patients at Mount Sinai.

Oh holds an MD from the New York University School of Medicine.


C2i Genomics: Mark Oldroyd, Ravi Kandasamy, Alex Parker

C2i Genomics has appointed Mark Oldroyd as its chief business officer, Ravi Kandasamy as VP of research and development, and Alex Parker as a member of the firm's board of directors.

Oldroyd previously served as senior VP at Tempus. Prior to Tempus, he was a senior director at Foundation Medicine.

Kandasamy most recently served as director of genomics at Bristol-Myers Squibb. In addition, he has previously served as manager of research and development in precision medicine at GlaxoSmithKline.

Parker currently serves as senior VP for clinical product strategy at Thrive Earlier Detection. Prior to Thrive, he spent more than seven years in leadership positions at Foundation Medicine.


For additional recent items on executive appointments and promotions in the omics and molecular diagnostics industries, please see the People in the News page on our website.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.