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People in the News: Christine Castro, Neil Rothstein, Jonathan Ward, Patrick Terry

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Direct-to-consumer genetic testing firm 23andMe announced several new appointments to its executive team, including Christine Castro as VP of communications, Neil Rothstein as VP of marketing, and Jonathan Ward as VP of strategic alliances.

Before joining 23andMe, Castro was VP of corporate relations at Genentech, chief communications officer for Yahoo! Inc., and VP of corporate communications at The Walt Disney Company.

Rothstein worked at Netflix for 11 years before coming to 23andMe. Most recently, he served as VP of online marketing at Netflix.

Ward was interim chief marketing officer at eHarmony.com before coming to 23andMe and has held marketing and business development positions at America Online, McKinsey & Company, as well as Ogilvy, Adams & Rinehart.


Patrick Terry this week announced he is leaving consulting firm Scientia Advisors, where he was head of the pricing, reimbursement, and market access practice.

Upon his departure from Scientia, Terry plans to take some personal time, and then depart for a speaking tour through China in November. Hebei United University in Tangshan, China, has awarded Terry with an honorary post as professor of medical sciences. Terry will be speaking throughout the country about personalized medicine.

Terry is best known for having started a number of life sciences-focused organizations and companies. In 2000, Terry was among a group of life sciences leaders that founded the molecular diagnostics firm Genomic Health.

After this, Terry plans to return to founding and investing in new healthcare and technology companies.

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

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.