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People in the News: Aug 31, 2011

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Harry Ostrer will join Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University as a professor of pathology and genetics and Montefiore Medical Center as director of genetic and genomic testing. The appointment begins Sept. 2.

At his new positions, he will lead development and clinical implementation of genetic testing at the two institutions, as well as focus on identifying new genetic markers for disease and treatment outcomes that can be turned into genetic tests. He will focus on cancer susceptibility and metastatic risk and sensitivity to radiation.

For the last 21 years, Ostrer has been the director of the human genetics program and professor of pediatrics, pathology, and medicine at New York University School of Medicine. He completed clinical fellowships at Johns Hopkins Hospital in medical genetics and at the National Institutes of Health in molecular genetics. He holds an MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.


Complete Genomics has appointed Keith Raffel as chief commercial officer and Jill Hagenkord as chief medical officer.

Raffel will focus on identifying new growth opportunities for the company, including using cloud computing and software tools to deliver information to customers. Raffel was the founder and chairman of cloud-computing firm UpShot. He holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard College, a master's degree from the University of Oxford, and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Hagenkord is charged with expanding Complete Genomics' sequencing services into the translational medicine market and for use by customers in clinical diagnostic development. She joins Complete Genomics from iKaryos Diagnostics, a cancer diagnostics company, and from Creighton University, where she was an associate professor and director of molecular pathology and clinical genomics. Previously, she was a pathologist at Deltagen. She holds an MD from Stanford University School of Medicine and did residency training in pathology at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Iowa. She also did fellowships in pathology and oncology informatics and molecular genetic pathology at the University of Pittsburgh.


Beth Tarini and Robert Saul have been selected to serve as co-medical directors of a three-year Genetics in Primary Care Institute grant awarded to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The initiative will seek to improve genetic-based services in the primary care setting by helping physicians to understand emerging genetic tests and technology. It will also address policies to incorporate genetic medicine into residency training programs.

Tarini is currently an assistant professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases at the University of Michigan Medical School and a faculty member with the University's Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit, and her research focuses on genetic testing in children. She holds an MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Saul is a senior clinical geneticist at the Greenwood Genetic Center, a chairperson of the AAP's Committee on Genetics, and a member of the board of directors for the American College of Medical Genetics. He is board certified in pediatrics and clinical genetics and holds an MD from the University of Colorado, Denver.

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.