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People In The News : May 10, 2013

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BG Medicine has tapped Paul Sohmer to be president, CEO, and a member of its board of directors, effective immediately, the company said this week.

Sohmer previously was CEO of several medical device and diagnostics companies, including Pathway Diagnostics, Viracor-IBT Laboratories, and Orthocon, and he was chairman, president, and CEO of TriPath Imaging before it was acquired by Becton Dickinson.

Early in his career, Sohmer also was CEO of Genetrix, a genetic testing lab that was acquired by Genzyme.

Paradigm, a non-profit joint venture between the University of Michigan Health System and the International Genomics Consortium, has formed a scientific advisory board.

The five members of the SAB include Robert Penny, founder and CEO of Paradigm, and co-founder and CEO of the International Genomics Consortium; Arul Chinnaiyan, a professor at the U of M Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics and director of the Michigan Center for Translational Patholgoy; Jay Hess, a U of M professor and chair of the Department of Pathology and a founding chair of Paradigm; Maha Hussain, a professor and associate director for clinical research at U of M; and John Niederhuber, CEO at the Inova Translational Medicine Institute and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network.

Hologic has appointed former Beckman Coulter head Scott Garrett to its board of directors, where he will serve on the corporate development committee.

Garrett currently is an operating partner with Water Street Healthcare Partners, a private equity firm. Garrett spent 10 years at Beckman Coulter, where he was chairman, president, and CEO.

Intrexon said this week that it has appointed four executives to head different market sectors as part of the firm's strategy to organize around its synthetic biology programs.

The Germantown, Md.-based firm has named Samuel Broder, executive director of the Intrexon Institute for Biomedical Research and former Director of the National Cancer Institute, to lead its Health sector; Thomas Kasser, formerly of Monsanto, will be head of Food; Robert Walsh, who spent 26 years with Royal Dutch Shell, will lead Energy; and Environment will be led by Nick Macris, who has 15 years experience in the specialty chemical, water treatment, agricultural chemical, and biopesticide industries.

The National Institutes of Health appointed 10 individuals to its Council of Councils, which advises the NIH Director on policies and activities of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives.

Among those appointed was Carlos Bustamante, a professor of genetics at Stanford University and co-founding director of the Stanford Center for Computational, Human, and Evolutionary Genomics.

Atossa Gentics has re-elected Steven Quay and John Barnhart to serve on its board of directors until the firm's 2016 annual meeting.

Quay is CEO and has been chairman of the board of directors since 2009, when the firm was incorporated, and Barnhart also has been a director since 2009.

Agilent Technologies has named Jindan Yu, an assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University, winner of its Early Career Professor Award. The accolade will provide Yu with $100,000 in unrestricted research funding.

In her research, Yu aims to use genomics and bioinformatics to understand the progression of prostate cancer, with the goal of developing novel prognostic and diagnostic tools and treatment strategies.

Danaher has re-elected seven directors to continue serving on the board until their terms expire in 2014, including Steven Rales; Donald Ehrlich; Linda Hefner Filler; Teri List-Stoll; Walter Lohr; John Schwieters; and Alan Spoon.

Baylor College of Medicine researcher Christian Schaaf has won the 2013 William K. Bowes Award in Medical Genetics.

The award is given annually by the Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine to recognize an early-career scientist or physician who has a track record of accomplishments in the research and clinical spheres. Schaaf's research centers on the genetics of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. He has proposed a new model of how autism can be inherited.

Provista Diagnsotics' stockholders have re-elected the members of its board of directors, including Anne Busquet; Jeffrey Gilman; Robert Hariri; Jack Levine; John Macaskill; David Reese; and John Zicarelli.

James Lupski has been named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Lupski holds the Cullen Endowed Chair in Molecular Genetics at the Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also vice chair and professor of molecular and human genetics. He has discovered several disease genes, including the first gene for Charcot-Marie Tooth syndrome, as well as the gene for the form of the disorder that affects him through next-generation sequencing. He holds a BS and PhD from New York University and an MD from New York University Medical School.

The Canadian Gene Cure Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institute of Genetics have awarded Faraz Farooq a $90,000 Champions of Genetics: Building the Next Generation Grant.

Farooq, a researcher at the Children Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, aims to study the effects of drugs, currently in the clinic, on spinal muscular atrophy.

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