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People in the News: Mostafa Ronaghi, Stephen Moore, Alex Aravanis, More

Grail: Mostafa Ronaghi

Mostafa Ronaghi has joined Grail's board of directors. Ronaghi is currently Illumina's senior vice president of entrepreneurial development, and previously served as the company's senior VP and chief technology officer, a role in which he led internal research and technology and cofounded Grail. He also cofounded the Illumina Accelerator.

In 2007, Ronaghi cofounded Avantome, a privately held sequencing company that was acquired by Illumina in 2008. Before this, he cofounded NextBio, a search engine for life science data that was acquired by Illumina in 2013. In 2001, Ronaghi cofounded ParAllele Bioscience, which was eventually acquired by Affymetrix, and was involved in the development and commercialization of highly multiplexed technology for genetic testing. In 1997 he cofounded Pyrosequencing AB, which was renamed Biotage in 2003. Ronaghi earned his PhD from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and was a principal investigator at Stanford University from 2002 until 2008, focused on the development of novel tools for molecular diagnostic applications. He also serves on the board of directors of BaseHealth and Clear Labs.


Illumina: Alex Aravanis, Mostafa Ronaghi

Illumina announced that Alex Aravanis will join the company in June as Chief Technology Officer. He will be responsible for leading the firm's R&D functions as well as translation of next-generation sequencing into the clinic. He will report to CEO Francis deSouza.

Aravanis returns to Illumina from Grail, where he was chief scientific officer and head of R&D; he was also a cofounder. At Grail, he led development of that firm's multi-cancer early detection test. While at Illumina, he developed clinical assays and bioinformatic pipelines for the analysis of RNA and DNA from fixed tissues, whole-exome analysis, massively parallel single-cell transcriptomics, and liquid biopsy using cell-free nucleic acids. He holds both an MD and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Aravanis will replace current CTO Mostafa Ronaghi, whom Illumina has appointed to lead global entrepreneurial development. Ronaghi is also a Grail cofounder and launched the Illumina Accelerator program in 2014, and was recently appointed to Grail's board of directors.


Personalis: Stephen Moore

Personalis has appointed Stephen Moore as general counsel. Prior to this new role, Moore spent a decade at Pacific Biosciences, where he also served as general counsel. Before that, he was general counsel at Navigenics, a consumer genomics company that was later acquired by Life Technologies (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific). Prior to Navigenics, he worked for over eight years at DNA microarray company Affymetrix (also acquired by Thermo Fisher). Moore holds a BA degree in political science from San Jose State University, and a law degree from the University of California, Davis.


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.

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