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People in the News at Personalis, Roche, Massive Bio, SeqLL, More

Personalis: John West

Personalis CEO John West will retire from his position at the end of the calendar year, the company said. West has worked in the DNA sequencing field for over 40 years and cofounded Personalis with four Stanford professors in 2011. Prior to that, he was senior VP and general manager for Illumina's DNA sequencing business. He also served as CEO of Solexa until that company's acquisition by Illumina and was VP of DNA platforms at Applied Biosystems. West holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. and B.S. in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Effective Dec. 31, Personalis CFO Aaron Tachibana will serve as interim CEO, while Christopher Hall, the firm's senior VP and head of diagnostics, will be promoted to president. West will continue to serve as an adviser to the firm's board.

Roche: Bill Anderson, Mark Schneider, Silke Hörnstein, Akiko Iwasaki, Annette Luther

Roche has announced multiple changes to its board of directors and corporate executive committee, including the resignation of Bill Anderson, CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals, and the proposal to appoint Mark Schneider and Akiko Iwasaki to the board.

Anderson will resign effective Dec. 31, and Roche Diagnostics CEO Thomas Schinecker will take over as interim Roche Pharmaceuticals CEO on Jan. 1. The company previously announced that Schinecker will take over as the Roche Group's CEO from Severin Schwan in March, when Schwan will become chairman of the board. Matt Sause will become CEO of Roche Diagnostics on Jan. 1.

Anderson, who has served as CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals since 2019, joined Roche subsidiary Genentech as senior VP of the immunology and ophthalmology business unit in 2006 and then took over the BioOncology business unit. In 2013 he became the head of global product strategy and chief marketing officer for Roche Pharmaceuticals, and in 2016 he took over the North American operations for Genentech, later becoming CEO of the subsidiary.

Silke Hörnstein will become head of corporate strategy, secretary to the corporate executive committee, and will become a member of the enlarged committee in April. Hörnstein is currently the global head of strategy and transformation for Roche's diagnostics division. Hörnstein joined Roche in 2001 and has served as director of direct procurement, as well as diagnostics general manager for Denmark. She has also led multiple global programs for Roche, including digital transformation for the diagnostics business.

The board of directors will propose at Roche's annual meeting in March that Mark Schneider and Akiko Iwasaki be appointed as new members. Schneider has served as CEO of Nestle since 2017 and was previously CEO of the Fresenius Group, a German healthcare company. Iwasaki is a professor of immunobiology and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale University. She is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a nonprofit medical research organization.

Roche also announced that Annette Luther, secretary to the board of directors, will be appointed head of international government relations in April. Per-Olof Attinger, who is currently secretary to the corporate executive committee, will take over Luther's position.

Massive Bio: Özgür Huner, Erkan Terzi, Gretchen O'Neill, David Henka

Massive Bio, a New York City-based company using AI and molecular biology tools for cancer clinical trial matching, this week announced new C-Suite hires and executive director appointments.

Massive Bio appointed Özgür "Oz" Huner as its first chief product officer. Huner previously served as molecular products lead at Verily Life Sciences. He also has held roles in the areas of oncology and genomics for companies including Sema4, Qiagen, Genomic Health, Lifelabs, NexJ, and Deloitte.

The company also said that it promoted Erkan Terzi to the role of chief marketing officer. Terzi has developed and managed marketing programs for brands such as Allianz, Comcast Spotlight, LG Electronics, and Aselsan.

In addition, Gretchen O'Neill has joined Massive Bio as executive director of clinical operations, while David Henka has joined the company as director of global strategic partnerships.

SeqLL: Brian Paras

Brian Paras has joined single-molecule sequencing technology firm SeqLL as chief business officer. Previously, he held commercial leadership positions at Affymetrix, Covaris, Helicos BioSciences, Nabsys, and Caliper Life Sciences. Paras holds a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Bridgewater State University and an MBA from Suffolk University.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center: Joyce Ohm

Joyce Ohm has been appointed as chair of cancer genetics and genomics and as the John & Santa Palisano endowed chair of cancer genetics at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. She previously served as interim chair of the department. Ohm, an expert in epigenetics, joined Roswell Park in 2016 as associate professor of oncology. She holds a Ph.D. in cancer biology from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Sphere Fluidics: Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond has been appointed as chief technology officer of Sphere Fluidics. Previously, he held senior positions, including in product and technology development, at Alere, Cambridge Consultants, and DNA Electronics. Hammond holds MA and MEng degrees in engineering from the University of Cambridge.

Telo Genomics: Kris Weinberg

Kris Weinberg has been appointed as CEO of Telo Genomics, replacing Sherif Louis, who will become the Toronto-based telomere analysis company's president and chief technology officer. Weinberg most recently led commercial activities at Theralink Technologies. Previously, he held commercial leadership roles at Natera, Guardant Health, Biodesix, and Genomic Health.

ProtonDx: Leigh Howes

Leigh Howes has been appointed as head of sales of ProtonDx, an in vitro diagnostics company based in London. He has more than 20 years of experience in the life sciences, diagnostics, and clinical markets.

Pepper Bio: Simon Fricker

Transomic analysis-centric drug discovery company Pepper Bio has hired Simon Fricker as chief development officer. Fricker will work with the company's cofounders, CEO Jon Hu and CSO Samantha Dale Strasser, to push expansion of Pepper Bio's oncology pipeline. He comes to the startup after serving as VP of R&D at Phio Pharmaceuticals and previously was a distinguished scientific fellow at Sanofi's Genzyme subsidiary.

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.