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People In The News: Mar 15, 2013

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Vermillion has tapped Thomas McLain to be president and CEO, replacing interim CEO Bruce Huebner, who will retain his position as a company director.

McLain formerly was CEO and CFO of Claro Scientific, an early-stage diagnostic company, and he held senior management positions at Nabi Biopharmaceuticals and was a member of the board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Quest Diagnostics said this week that Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer Robert Hagemann plans to leave the company at the end of May, and the firm is now searching internally and externally for a new CFO.

Becton Dickinson has appointed Ellen Strahlman to be chief medical officer, a newly-created position, and senior VP of research and development. Strahlman previously was senior VP and CMO at GlaxoSmithKline, and before her time at GSK she held executive posts at Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, and Bausch and Lomb.

CombiMatrix said this week that Mark McGowan, chairman of the board of directors, has resigned from his position. The company also said that former CEO Judd Jessup, who had previously said that he planned to resign from the board, has changed his mind and has been appointed board chairman.

Biocartis has hired Stefan Scherer to be its Chief Medical Officer.

Scherer previously worked at Hoffman-La Roche/Genentech, where he held several positions, most recently as global biomarker head of oncology. Before working at Genentech, Scherer worked at Grunenthal, a development partner of Johnson and Johnson, as an international clinical project leader and clinical expert, and he was a scientist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and at the University of Wuerzburg.

Germany's Paul Ehrlich Foundation has awarded a €100,000 ($130,000) award to Mary-Claire King, a professor in the Department of Genome Sciences and Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, for outstanding research achievements in genetics.

King was awarded the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for demonstrating that there is a genetic predisposition to breast cancer, specifically mutations found in the BRCA1 gene. The Foundation said her efforts have a larger impact beyond breast cancer because she helped to show that genes are involved in complex, multi-factorial diseases that also can be impacted by environmental and lifestyle factors.

King's research also has centered on forensic applications. She has used genetic technologies to expose human rights violations, including the search for children in Argentina who were kidnapped by the military junta over 30 years ago and were put up for adoption, and efforts to identify victims of war and torture around the world.

The March of Dimes has given its 2013 Prize in Developmental Biology, which carries with it a $250,000 award, to Eric Olson, professor and chair of molecular biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Olson received the award for his discovery of genes and pathways that govern the formation of the heart and other muscles.

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