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People In The News: Jul 13, 2012

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Edison Liu has been elected to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health's board of directors. His term began on June 19.

Liu is the president and CEO of the Jackson Laboratory and president of the Human Genome Organization. He joined the Jackson Laboratory from the Genome Institute of Singapore, where he was the founding executive director. Prior to that, he was the scientific director of the National Cancer Institute's division of clinical sciences.

Knome has appointed Heidi Rehm to its scientific advisory board. She is a board-certified clinical geneticist who is currently chief laboratory director of the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine at Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine and also an assistant professor of pathology and director of the Clinical Molecular Genetics Training Program at Harvard Medical School.

Matthew Strobeck has been appointed to Accelr8 Technology's board of directors. Strobeck recently was a partner and board member at Westfield Capital Management, and he currently is a board member at Biodesix.

Dirk Laukien has resigned from Bruker's board of directors, the company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Laukien resigned for personal reasons, the company said, and a replacement for his post on the board has not yet been appointed.

Great Basin said this week that it has hired several new employees to support commercialization of the company's first molecular diagnostic assay, a test for Clostridium difficile.

To support its US commercialization efforts, Great Basin hired as regional business directors Ron Rohrer and Rhonda Saxton. Rohrer will direct sales efforts in the Midwest region of the US. He most recently served as regional business manager for infection prevention and management in Becton Dickinson's infectious disease division. He has also held sales executive roles at GeneOhm (now part of BD), Transgenomic, Gen-Probe, and Abbott. Saxton will direct Great Basin's sales efforts in the Northeast region of the US. She previously worked for BD Diagnostics, and has managed sales accounts at Quest Diagnostics, Paragon Research, Wendover, and Novus Services.

Great Basin also hired Miquel Vernet as its European representative responsible for sales, development, and maintenance of relationships with Great Basin's European distributors. Vernet previously served as managing director of Europe for MicroPhage. He also served as business development director of Southern Europe at BD Diagnostics and GeneOhm.

Mark Gittleman has joined Agendia's medical advisory board, the company said this week. Gittleman currently is medical director of Breast Care Specialists and Advanced Care Imaging, and he formerly was president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons and a board member on the ASBS Coding and Reimbursement Imaging Technology committee.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology said this week that Judith Bond started her one-year term as FASEB president on July 1. Bond is a professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State College of Medicine, and she formerly was president of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

FASEB also said that Margaret Offerman is the new president-elect, and will succeed Bond, Joseph Haywood is VP for Science Policy, and Lynn Wecker is treasurer.

Gene synthesis company Gen9 has appointed Kevin Munnelly to be president and CEO and Martin Goldberg to be chief operating officer.

Munnelly previously was general manager in Life Technologies' global next-generation qPCR business, and he was VP and GM of Biotrove, which Life Technologies acquired in 2009. Goldberg spent 17 years at Affymetrix, where he most recently oversaw the company's technology and product development efforts.

The International Society for Computational Biology has elected seven of its members as ISCB fellows. The program honors members that have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics. The 2012 ISCB fellows include:

Bonnie Berger, a professor of applied math and computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests include algorithms for network inference, protein folding, comparative genomics, and medical genomics.

Peter Karp, the director of the bioinformatics research group at the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI International. He is involved in the BioCyc database collection; the Encyclopedia of Escherichia coli Genes and Metabolism database; the Metabolic Pathway Database; and Pathway Tools software system.

Jill Mesirov, the associate director and chief informatics officer at the Broad Institute, where she directs computational biology and bioinformatics. She is also a member of the Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and adjunct professor of bioinformatics at Boston University. Her current research efforts focus on algorithms and analytic methodologies for pattern recognition and discovery with applications to cancer genomics and infectious disease.

Pavel Pevzner, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California, San Diego. His research efforts focus on developing algorithms for pattern finding, DNA sequencing, DNA arrays, genome rearrangements, and computational proteomics.

Ron Shamir, a professor of bioinformatics at Tel-Aviv University. His lab develops algorithms and tools for analyzing gene expression, protein and genetic interactions, SNPs, modeling, dissection and inference of biological systems, among other applications.

Martin Vingron, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics and head of the computational molecular biology department. His current research interests include using gene expression data and evolutionary data to study gene regulatory mechanisms.

Gunnar von Heijne is a professor in Stockholm University’s biochemistry and biophysics department. His lab’s research efforts focus on membrane protein assembly and structure.

The fellows will be recognized for their contributions to computational biology and bioinformatics at the annual international conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology that will be held in Long Beach, Calif., this week.

The UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has appointed Melanie Welham to be director of science. Welham, a professor of molecular signaling at the University of Bath, recently was co-director of the Bath Centre for Regenerative Medicine and she has served on BBSRC peer review committees for more than four years. She will step into the new post at the beginning of October.

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.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.