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Rob Friel, Mary Beth Thomas, Thomas Scanlan

Rob Friel will become PerkinElmer’s new CEO on Feb. 1, the company announced this week.
Friel, who joined the company as chief financial officer in 1999, became vice chairman and president of the firm’s Life and Analytical Sciences business in 2006. Last year, he was promoted to president and chief operating officer. He also will retain the title of president after assuming the role of CEO.

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center announced this week that Mary Beth Thomas has accepted the newly created position of senior director of Centers of Innovation operations.
Prior to joining COI, Thomas served as statewide director of technology commercialization with the Small Business and Technology Development Center in Raleigh, NC.
Before working at the SBTDC, Thomas was assistant director of the neurosensory program at Tranzyme Pharma in Research Triangle Park, NC. She was also assistant director of the neuroprotection program at Cogent Neuroscience in Durham. 

Znomics has appointed Thomas Scanlan to its scientific advisory board, the company announced this week.
Scanlan is currently the director of the chemical biology program at Oregon
Health and Science University, where he is also a professor of physiology and pharmacology. He was previously a faculty member of the University of California, San Francisco.

Scanlan received the American Chemical Society’s Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award in July.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.