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People In The News: May 15, 2009

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Stem cell engineering company Novocell has appointed former Solexa boss John West to be president and CEO and a member of the its board of directors. West was CEO of Solexa between 2004 and 2007, and before that he was VP of DNA platforms at Applied Biosystems.

Thomas Frieden will take over the top job at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House said today. Frieden, who has served as Commissioner of the New York City Health Department since 2002, will take over for Acting Director Rich Besser, who ran the agency after the January departure of former Director Julie Gerberding.

"Dr. Frieden is an expert in preparedness and response to health emergencies, and has been at the forefront of the fight against heart disease, cancer and obesity, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS, and in the establishment of electronic health records," President Barack Obama said in a statement.

Besser will resume his previous role as director of the CDC's Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, which he has held for four years, the president said.

Kevin Conroy has joined Prodesse's board of directors. Conroy recently became president and CEO of Exact Sciences. He previously held the top post at Third Wave Technologies, which was acquired by Hologic last year.

Affymetrix has named Gary Guthart to its board of directors. Guthart is president and COO of Intuitive Surgical, and he was on a team involved in developing computer- enhanced surgery technology at SRI International.

MDRNA has appointed Beverly Davidson and Carl Novina to its scientific advisory board.

Davidson is a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa. She also is the Roy J. Carver Biomedical Research Chair and is director of the Davidson Laboratory, which focuses on genetic diseases related to the central nervous system. Novina is an assistant professor in Harvard Medical School's Department of Pathology and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He also is an associate member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. His research is focused on applications of mammalian RNAi.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has named Kent McKelvey to be the inaugural recipient of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Chair in Clinical Genetics. McKelvey is a founding member of the new UAMS Division of Genetics, and he is director of Cancer Genetics Services at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.

AltheaDx has appointed Eric Topol to serve on its scientific advisory board. Topol is currently director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. Topol formerly was a professor of genetics at the Case Western Reserve University and chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic for 15 years.

NextBio has appointed Jim Merryweather to be VP of business development. Merryweather recently was VP of strategic planning and business development at Applied Biosystems and before that he was an executive VP at Ciphergen.

The Obama Administration has nominated Tara O'Toole to serve as under secretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security. O'Toole is CEO of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She was a founding member and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies.

The medical diagnostics company NanoLogix has named several members to its new scientific advisory board, including company co-founder Robert Ollar, who has resigned his seat on the company's board of directors in order to serve as SAB chairman. Ollar is director of the Core Molecular Biology Program of the Department of Surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital and he is an assistant professor at New York Medical College.

The other new SAB members include: Nanologix VP of R&D Sergey Gazenko; Brian Caplin, who is president of Flouresentric; T. Dorai, who is an associate professor and director of Research in the department of Urology at St. Vincent's Hospital and New York Medical College, Manhattan; Texas A&M Assistant Professor Sushil Duddempudi; Deepak Mendiratta, who is chairman of the Department of Microbiology at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences; P. Narang, who is former dean of the Gandhi Institute and chairman of its microbiology department; Ravinder Narang, a surgeon and educator who has expertise in oncology and infectious disease; Cliff Watts, who has been an emergency room physician for 35 years; and Chris Novak, who is director of Intellectual Property at NanoLogix.

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