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People in the News at Jackson Laboratory, ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine, More

Jackson Laboratory: Paul Flicek

The Jackson Laboratory has appointed Paul Flicek as its first-ever chief data science officer. Flicek will join Jax this summer to create and execute an organization-wide data science strategy, as well as lead and manage relationships with Jax's data and analytics partners. He most recently was associate director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), an organization he maintains an affiliation with. Flicek is known for leading development of the Ensembl genome browser, as well as for his involvement with projects including the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE), the 1,000 Genomes Project, and the International Human Epigenome Consortium.

ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine: Sucheta Bhatt, Rong Mao

The American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine has elected Sucheta Bhatt and Rong Mao to its board of directors. Each will serve a two-year term beginning Feb. 1, 2023.

Bhatt is a senior medical director in medical affairs at Illumina. Prior to that, she was at noninvasive prenatal testing startup Verinata. She has also served as medical director and director of the prenatal diagnostics center at Genzyme Genetics (now Integrated Genetics). She received her medical degree from the University of Bombay and completed a fellowship in clinical genetics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. She also serves as an adviser to the Board of Genetic Counseling in India.

Mao is board-certified in clinical molecular genetics, and is a tenured professor and medical director of molecular genetics and genomics at University of Utah/ARUP Laboratories, where she was also section chief of molecular genetics and genomics from 2016 to 2021. She joined the DNA Diagnostic Laboratory in the department of obstetrics and gynecology in 2000 and department of pathology at University of Utah/ARUP Laboratories in 2003, after completing a clinical molecular genetics fellowship at Mayo Clinic. She is also a member of the steering committee for the University of Utah site for the National Institutes of Health Undiagnosed Disease Network. Mao holds an M.D. from Capital University of Medicine in Beijing and an M.S. degree in molecular pathology from Beijing Union Medical College.

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

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.