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People In The News: Oct 21, 2011

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Wafergen Biosystems CEO and President Alnoor Shivji has resigned from both of those positions as part of a transition to a new role as a consultant to the company. He also will remain as chairman of the firm.

The firm also entered into a consulting agreement with former Helicos Biosciences President Steve Lombardi, who the company is considering to be its next CEO.

In addition, the board of directors has approved the formation of an office of the president that consists of COO Mona Chadha and CFO Donald Huffman. The consulting agreement with Lombardi and the formation of the office of the president took effect this week.

Chris Kaiser has been chosen to succeed Jeremy Berg as the next director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Berg had held the top post at NIGMS since 2003, and after his departure in July Judith Greenberg became the institute's acting director. Kaiser is a professor and head of the Department of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He will take over the NIGMS job next spring.

Caris Life Sciences has appointed Kathleen Danenberg, founder and former president, CEO, and CSO of Response Genetics, to serve on its executive team as senior VP of professional affairs. In the newly created position, Danenberg will develop and expand the company's molecular profiling clinical trial strategy.

Response Biomedical said this week that it has appointed David Wang to serve on its board of directors, that Jonathan Wang has resigned as a director, and that it has promoted Barbara Kinnaird to be VP of operations and Patricia Massitti to be VP of administration and corporate communications.

GenomeQuest has appointed Heidi Rehm, Madhuri Hegde, and Shashikant Kulkarni to its clinical advisory board. Rehm is a molecular geneticist and assistant professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. Hegde is an associate professor at the Emory University School of Medicine Department of Human Genetics and scientific director of the Emory Genetics Laboratory. Kulkarni is medical director of genomics and pathology services and medical director of cytogenomics and molecular pathology at Washington University School of Medicine.

Sequenom has named Suber Huang to serve on its ophthalmology clinical advisory board. Huang is president of the American Society of Retina Specialists and he is vice-chair and a professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Case Western Reserve University.

The Institute of Medicine this week announced the names of a number of new members, including several researchers involved in genomics, genetics, and molecular biology including Claire Fraser-Liggett, director of the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland, who previously was president and director of the Institute for Genomic Research; Vivian Cheung, a pediatrician at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine who focuses on genetic diseases and gene expression in disease; Daniel Geschwind, the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Chair in human genetics and a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, who studies the genetics of autism and neurodegenerative diseases; Joe Gray, chair of the department of biomedical engineering at the Oregon Health and Science University, whose work is focused on using next-generation sequencing to identify cancer biomarkers; Richard Gibbs, the director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at the Baylor College of Medicine, which he helped establish in 1996; Frederick Alt, an investigator at HHMI and a professor of pediatrics and genetics at Harvard Medical School, and director of the program in cellular and molecular medicine at Children's Hospital, Boston; Carlo Croce, who holds the John W. Wolfe Chair in Human Cancer Genetics and is director of the Institute of Genetics at Ohio State University Medical Center; and Jeremy Nathan, an HHMI investigator and professor of molecular biology and genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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