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Karen Nelson has been named director of the J. Craig Venter Institute campus in Rockville, Md. She joins Robert Friedman, who became director of JCVI's San Diego facility last year. Both report to Craig Venter, the institute's founder and president.

Nelson replaces Bob Strausberg, who is leaving JCVI on Jan. 8, 2010, to join the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research as director for collaborative sciences. He will maintain a joint appointment at JCVI and will continue cancer genomic collaborations between JCVI and LICR.

Nelson joined JCVI's predecessor, the Institute for Genomic Research, in 1996 and was most recently director of JCVI's human microbiology and metagenomics group. She holds a PhD in microbiology from Cornell University, an MS in animal science from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and a BS in animal science from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago.

Strausberg joined JCVI in 2003 as vice president for research at TIGR after leaving the National Cancer Institute. He then led the human genomic medicine team at JCVI in their efforts to sequence, analyze and publish Venter's genome. At LICR, he will be overseeing initiatives on melanoma, brain, breast, and colon cancers.

Howard Goldstein has joined Microchip Biotechnologies as executive vice president of commercial affairs, a new position. He will direct marketing, business development, sales, and customer service for the company as it transitions into commercial operations.

Before joining MBI, Goldstein was CEO and later CCO of Arcxis Biotechnologies and also a managing partner of the biotech business consulting firm Practical Marketing and Sales. Goldstein holds an MBA in organizational development from Temple University and an MS in biochemistry from the University of Dayton in Ohio.

Sidney Stolz has been named chief growth officer at Pathway Genomics, where he will help expand Pathway's consumer genetic testing services. Stolz joins the firm from Healthcare Solutions, where he served as executive vice president. Prior to that, he held a number of senior management positions, including executive vice president at AdvancePCS, which was acquired by Caremark in 2004.

Stolz holds an MBA from the University of Texas, Austin, and a BA in economics from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Ks.

Affymetrix has appointed Andrew Last to chief commercial officer. Last joins Affymetrix from BD Biosciences, where he served as vice president of global marketing and strategic planning and general manager for Pharmingen Business. Last has also held management positions at Monsanto, Incyte Genomics, Applied Biosystems, and Becton Dickinson.