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People in the News: New Appointments at NIH, Abbott, Talis Biomedical, More

NIH: Lawrence Tabak

US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced this week that Lawrence Tabak, principal deputy director of the National Institutes of Health, will serve as acting director of the NIH effective Dec. 20. Tabak will assume these duties from long-time Director Francis Collins, who said earlier this year that his last day in the position will be Dec. 19.

Tabak has served as principal deputy director and deputy ethics counselor of NIH since August 2010. He previously served as the acting principal deputy director of NIH in 2009, and prior to that as director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research from 2000 to 2010. Prior to joining NIH, Tabak was the senior associate dean for research and professor of dentistry and biochemistry & biophysics in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester. A former NIH MERIT recipient, Tabak's major research focus has been on the structure, biosynthesis, and function of glycoproteins. He continues work in this area, maintaining an active research laboratory within the NIH intramural program in addition to his administrative duties, HHS said.

Tabak is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academies. He received his undergraduate degree from City College of New York, his DDS from Columbia University, and a PhD from the University of Buffalo.

Abbott: Robert Ford, Miles White

Robert Ford, Abbott president and CEO, has been elected the company's chairman of the board, effective Dec. 10. Ford joined Abbott's Diagnostics division in 1996 as a business unit manager in diabetes care. Additionally, Executive Chairman Miles White is retiring from the board after 38 years at Abbott, effective Dec. 10. White had been the company's former CEO.

Talis Biomedical: Rob Kelley, Brian Blaser

Talis Biomedical has promoted Rob Kelley, its chief commercial officer, to CEO and director. He replaces Brian Blaser, who has stepped down as the firm's president, CEO, and director for personal reasons.

Kelley has served as the company's chief commercial officer since September 2020. Prior to joining Talis, he was vice president of sales and commercial development at Genalyte and vice president of marketing at Cardiff Oncology (formerly Trovagene). Earlier, Kelley held various positions of increasing responsibility with Illumina, including global sales manager for clinical applications of next-generation sequencing and director of market development for new and emerging opportunities.

In August, Talis had announced that Brian Coe, then its president, CEO, and director, was stepping down, and it appointed Kim Popovits as interim CEO.

And on Nov. 15, the point-of-care testing firm had announced Blaser as its director, president, and CEO effective Dec. 1.

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

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