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People In The News: Jun 10, 2011

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Harvard University professor and cancer institute director Ronald DePinho has been named the next president of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

DePinho currently is director of the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and he is a professor of medicine and genetics at Harvard. He will take over the position in September for John Mendelsohn, who announced he would step down from the presidency last December. Lynda Chin, DePinho's wife and Belfer's current scientific director, also will join the faculty at UT MD Anderson.

GenomeQuest said this week that Gerry Higgins will become the company's health innovation officer. Higgins is a research professor at Harvard Medical School and a mentor at the University of Maryland University College, and he has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, director of Translational Informatics at Johns Hopkins University, and VP for Hoffman-La Roche Pharmaceuticals. At GenomeQuest, Higgins will focus on applying the firm's technologies to develop whole genome and multi-gene diagnostics.

TessArae has named Tom Richards to be its new president. Richards has served on the faculty at Stanford University Medical Center, and he currently is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Before his career in medicin,e Richards was an investment banker working in mergers and acquisitions at Lazard Freres, UBS Securities, and SGCowen.

The Shaw Prize Foundation has named its Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine winners for 2011. This year's prize winners include Jules Hoffman, a professor at the University of Strasbourg; Ruslan Medzhitov, a professor at Yale University; and Bruce Beutler, chairman of the Department of Genetics at The Scripps Research Institute.

These prize winners received the award, which brings with it an equal split of $1 million, for their discovery of the molecular mechanism of innate immunity, the first line of defense against pathogens.

Glen Weiss will be the chief medical officer of the Cancer Research and Biostatistics-Clinical Trials Consortium, a Seattle-based cooperative research network of lung cancer investigators.
Weiss currently holds joint appointments as an assistant professor of Cancer and Cell Biology at The Translational Genomics Research Institute and as director of thoracic oncology for Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials, a partnership between TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare.

Ronald Davis has won the Gruber Genetics Prize, which is awarded for pioneering work in biotechnologies that advance the fields off molecular genetics and genomics.

Davis, who has been director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center since 1994, will receive the $500,000 award for his efforts in developing DNA mapping methods, for his studies of ways to sequence genomic variants in humans and other animals, for his contribution in developing the first microarray technologies, and the work his lab has done in sequencing yeast chromosomes, part of the E. Coli genome, and sequencing of other genomes.

Promoted? Changing jobs? GenomeWeb wants to know. E-mail [email protected] to appear in People In The News, a weekly roundup of industry comings and goings.

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