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People In The News: Jan 11, 2013

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – AssureRx Health, a neuropsychiatric personalized medicine company, has formed a scientific advisory board, which will guide the company's R&D efforts on pharmacogenomic products.

The advisory board members include David Mrazek, pediatrics and psychiatry professor at the Mayo Clinic; Brian Athey, associate director of the Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research; Tracy Glauser, associate director of clinical, translational, outcomes and health services research at the Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation;James Kennedy, director of neuroscience research at the Tanenbaum Center for Pharmacogenetics, University of Toronto; Lawrence Lesko, director of the Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology, University of Florida College of Pharmacy; John Pestian, professor of pediatrics and computer science at the University of Cincinnati; Sheldon Preskorn, professor in the psychiatry and behavioral science department at the University of Kansas School of Medicine; and Wolfgang Sadee, chair of the department of pharmacology at the Ohio State University School of Medicine.

Life Sciences consumables company Diffinity Genomics said this week that it has named Joseph Marasco to be company president and that Jeffrey Helfer will step down from his posts as CEO and as a member of the board of directors.

Helfer will remain with the firm in a business development role and as an executive advisor. Helfer has been with Diffinity Genomics since 2008. Marasco also will take over Helfer's seat on the board.

Marasco has nearly three decades of experience in commercializing chemical and biochemical technologies. He previously was CEO and board member of Chiral Quest, a maker of active pharmaceutical ingredients, and he has held leadership roles at Dow Chemical, Beckman, and Kaneka.

Genome Prairie has tapped Reno Pontarollo, its current CSO, to succeed David Gauthier as president and CEO, effective April 1. Pontarollo has been with Genome Prairie since 2005, and his research efforts have focused on genomics, molecular biology, vaccine development, and immunology. Before he joined Genome Prairie, Pontarollo was a researcher at the Department of National Defense Medical Countermeasures Section and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, and he was director of Research for Pyxis Genomics.

Pathway Genomics has appointed Todd Johnson to be VP of sales and marketing. Johnson has held various sales and marketing positions at medical device and service firms, including Abbot Laboratories' Diagnostic Division, Ventana Medical Systems, Biocept Laboratories, Insight Health, and LabCorp.

Asuragen said this week that Rollie Carlson is now president and CEO. He had been president and COO.

Also, company founder and former CEO Matt Winkler will retain the positions of chairman of the board and CSO.

Carlson has been with Asuragen as its president since 2006 and he was a founder of Mirna Therapeutics, an Asuragen spin-off. He also held senior positions at Abbott Laboratories, including VP and GM of the Vysis molecular diagnostic business.

Atossa Genetics has appointed Kyle Guse to be company CFO, general counsel, and secretary. Guse has over two decades experience counseling life sciences and other companies, and has been a partner at the law firms Baker Botts, at McDermott Will and Emory, and at Heller Ehrman.

Under the hire agreement, Guse will receive an initial annual salary of $225,000 and an annual cash bonus of up to 40 percent of base salary.

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