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People in the News at QuidelOrtho, Immunovia, Ultima Genomics, PreludeDx, Pixelgen, Foresight, More

QuidelOrtho: Brian Blaser

QuidelOrtho has appointed Brian Blaser as president and CEO, effective May 6. Blaser will also join the company's board of directors effective May 15, and the board will be expanded from 10 to 11 members. Blaser most recently served as executive VP of diagnostic products at Abbott Laboratories, where he was in charge of that firm's global core laboratory, point-of-care, rapid diagnostics, and molecular diagnostics businesses. He also previously held leadership positions at the Ortho Clinical Diagnostics division of Johnson & Johnson. Blaser currently serves on the board of directors of Quanterix and Meridian Biosciences.

Immunovia: Lisa Ford

Pancreatic cancer early detection firm Immunovia has appointed Lisa Ford as its new clinical laboratory director. In that role, Ford will lead lab operations as well as research and development of the next generation of Immunovia's pancreatic cancer test. She has decades of experience leading laboratory project teams through research, development, validation, and implementation of diagnostic tests. She holds a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from Duke University and a B.S. from the University of California in chemistry. She is also board-certified as a high-complexity clinical laboratory director by the American Board of Bioanalysis.

Ultima Genomics: Mark Stevenson

Mark Stevenson has been appointed to the board of directors of sequencing technology company Ultima Genomics. Most recently, he was executive VP and chief operating officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific, where he continues to serve on the scientific advisory board. He joined Thermo Fisher in 2014 as president of the Life Sciences Solutions unit after the company acquired Life Technologies, where he was president and chief operating officer.

PreludeDx: Pat Whitworth

PreludeDx has appointed Pat Whitworth as chief medical officer. He has more than 30 years of clinical expertise and has served as breast surgical oncologist and director at the Nashville Breast Center, medical director of Aptitude Health, and associate professor in the surgery department of the University of Tennessee. Additionally, he was chair of the board of directors for the American Society of Breast Surgeons. Laguna Hills, California-based PreludeDx aims to launch a multiomic test for determining which early-stage breast cancer patients may benefit from radiotherapy.

Pixelgen Technologies: Mostafa Ronaghi

Mostafa Ronaghi has joined the scientific advisory board of Pixelgen Technologies, a Swedish company developing methods for highly multiplexed spatial analysis of membrane proteins on single cells. He is a cofounder and executive board member of Cellanome. Previously, he served as chief technology officer and senior VP of entrepreneurial development at Illumina, where he also cofounded liquid biopsy company Grail. Before that, he was a principal investigator at Stanford University's Genome Technology Center.

Foresight Diagnostics: David Kurtz

Foresight Diagnostics has appointed David Kurtz as chief medical officer and head of research. As one of the company's cofounders, Kurtz led the development of Foresight's PhasED-seq technology for cancer minimal residual disease detection. Previously, he was an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University. He was one of the earliest investigators to explore the utility of tumor-derived cell-free DNA in lymphomas, with a focus on improving the clinical utility and analytical sensitivity of circulating tumor DNA detection methods. Kurtz plans to continue his clinical practice as a medical oncologists part time.

Agilent Technologies: Simon May

Agilent Technologies has named Simon May as president of the company’s diagnostics and genomics group. May previously served as executive VP and president of Bio-Rad Laboratories' life science group. He has also held positions at Thermo Fisher Scientific and MWG Biotech, a subsidiary of Eurofins.

Epigenomics: Jens Ravens, Hansjörg Plaggemars

Jens Ravens has left the executive board of Berlin-based Epigenomics after the company transferred almost all of its assets to New Day Diagnostics. He initially served as the firm's CFO and took on other executive functions after CEO Greg Hamilton left in June 2023. Starting May 1, Hansjörg Plaggemars will manage Epigenomics as the sole member of its executive board.

Sphere Fluidics: Frank Craig, Dale Levitzke

Frank Craig has retired as CEO of Cambridge, UK-based single cell analysis firm Sphere Fluidics after cofounding and leading the company for 14 years. He is succeeded by Dale Levitzke, who was previously senior VP of global sales and support at Vizgen. Before that, he was VP of worldwide sales and marketing at Dropworks, which was acquired by Bio-Rad Laboratories for $125 million. He also held senior positions at NanoString Technologies, Illumina, and Helixis. Levitzke holds a B.Sc. in molecular biology and genetics from La Trobe University in Australia.

Genetic Signatures: John Melki, Neil Gunn

John Melki has stepped down as CEO of Australian molecular diagnostics firm Genetic Signatures after leading the company for 21 years. Neil Gunn, a member of the company's board of directors, is taking over as interim CEO until a permanent CEO is appointed. Melki will remain as an adviser to the CEO during the transition.

Bio-Techne: Judith Klimovsky

Bio-Techne has appointed Judith Klimovsky as an independent director of its board, effective April 24. She will serve on the company's science and technology committee. Bio-Techne's board is now temporarily comprised of 11 directors, including 10 independent ones. Klimovsky is currently the executive VP and chief development officer at Genmab. Before that, she held several senior global clinical and research positions at Novartis Oncology including senior VP and global head of oncology clinical development. She was also regional medical director of Latin America at Merck and held several R&D positions at Bristol Myers Squibb.

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.