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Ken Welsh, Vladimir Vapnik, Jeffrey Stafford, and Steadman Harrison


Ken Welsh has been appointed to the scientific advisory board of Health Discovery Corporation, a biotechnology company focused on biomarker and pathway discovery for diagnostic markers and drug targets. Welsh is currently a professor of clinical genomics at Royal Brompton Hospital and Imperial College in London. He is also a science advisor to the West London Transplant Center, and a visiting professor at Oxford University and the University of Utrecht. He received a BSc, PhD, and DSc from Newcastle University.

Health Discovery Corporation also has named Vladimir Vapnik to its scientific advisory board. Vapnik, who won the Humboldt Research award in 2003, is currently a senior researcher at NEC Research. He has worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories and AT&T Labs-Research.

Syrrx has promoted Jeffrey Stafford to vice president of chemistry. Stafford joined the company in 2002 as senior director of chemistry following an 11-year tenure at Glaxo SmithKline, where he held the position of director of chemistry in oncology. Syrrx said Stafford’s team will primarily concentrate on structure-based, small-molecule lead generation and optimization.

Steadman Harrison has been named senior research director and executive director of research and development at PPD’s Piedmont Research Center for preclinical cancer research. Harrison’s responsibilities will include designing, conducting, and interpreting research studies in the areas of tumor biology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, the company said.

Harrison was previously the executive director of experimental medicine and executive director of business development at EMD Pharmaceuticals (Merck KGaA). He has served on the faculties of the University of Kentucky Center for Toxicology and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Duke University. Harrison holds a PhD in pharmacology from Indiana University.


The Scan

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.

Coronary Artery Disease Risk Loci, Candidate Genes Identified in GWAS Meta-Analysis

A GWAS in Nature Genetics of nearly 1.4 million coronary artery disease cases and controls focused in on more than 200 candidate causal genes, including the cell motility-related myosin gene MYO9B.

Multiple Sclerosis Contributors Found in Proteome-Wide Association Study

With a combination of genome-wide association and brain proteome data, researchers in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology tracked down dozens of potential multiple sclerosis risk proteins.

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.