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People In The News: Oct 25, 2013

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Epigenetics-based cancer test developer PrognosDx has named Joseph Vallner to be its new CEO. Vallner, who formerly was president and COO at Cell Genesys, will succeed founding President and CEO Kamran Tahamtanzadeh, who will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors.

The company is preparing to launch its PrognoScore test to predict clinical outcomes and assess risk probabilities for prostate cancer.

Vallner has held leadership roles at SEQUUS Pharmaceuticals, ORUUS Pharm,
Lumera, and Capnia. He has served on the board of directors at the California Healthcare Institute, and at other companies.

Oxford Gene Technology has named Bob Holland to be its new chief medical officer, the company said this week.

Holland helped to create and was VP and head of AstraZeneca's Personalized Healthcare and Biomarkers division.

In his new role, Holland will lead clinical affairs across OGT's business areas, including working with R&D and commercial teams to develop clinical development programs to expand the company's next-generation sequencing and microarray cancer profiling solutions, and its biomarker programs for prostate and colorectal cancers.

Theradiag has named the four members of its newly formed scientific advisory board who will help the company develop a microRNA-based diagnostic for characterizing HIV tropism.

Members of the SAB include Vincent Calvez, a virologist at Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris; Diane Descamps, a researcher at Paris-Diderot University who specializes in HIV resistance; Jacques Reynes, a professor at the University Hospital of Montpellier who studies HIV/AIDS; and Mark Wainberg, director of the McGill AIDS Center at Quebec Jewish General Hospital.

Horizon Discovery said this week that David Evans has stepped down from his post as chairman of the board.

Ian Gilham, who was recently named a non-executive director at the firm, will serve as interim chairman while the company seeks "a high-profile non-executive" to take over the chairman role.

Gilham also is non-executive chairman at Biosurfit and Multiplicom, and he formerly was VP of Pharmacogenetics and Diagnostics at GlaxoSmithKline, CEO of Axis Shield and has held various positions at Abbott Laboratories.

Former US Vice President Dan Quayle has been elected to the TGen Foundation's board of directors.

The foundation is the fundraising branch of the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Quayle is chairman of the private equity firm Cerberus Global Investments. He is a resident of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and he grew up in Phoenix.

Sid Taubenfeld has joined Arrayit's board of directors.

Taubenfeld has served as an analyst for a number of Wall Street hedge funds, including Balyasny Asset Management, RH Capital, and PAW Partners. Additionally, Taubenfeld served as director of communications and strategic initiatives for Celsion Corp

Fei Lu, previously the CEO of SeqWright, which was bought by GE Healthcare last year, is now an independent consultant. Prior to her position at SeqWright, she was president and CEO of BioWright and general manager of Wilbury Partners.

Justin Johnson is now the principal translational genomic scientist at AstraZeneca.

Previously, Johnson was director of bioinformatics, genomic services, and IT at EdgeBio where he was responsible for constructing data analysis pipelines and infrastructure. Other jobs he held prior to that include bioinformatics manager at J. Craig Venter Institute and project manager at the Institute for Genomic Research.

Genewiz has expanded its European operations, opening Genewiz Germany. The firm has appointed Biserka Bacic-Toplek as sales executive to lead the company's Germany business operations.

The Global Genes Rare Project has named Andrea Epstein as its new executive director. Epstein was previously the regional VP for the Southern California region of the American Cancer Society and has held many executive marketing and business development positions at various organizations. At the Global Genes Rare Project, Epstein will be in charge of daily operations, program development, income growth strategies, and long-term strategic planning.

Global Genes RARE Project has also announced that Barbara Lavery, president of Zoomedia, is its first chairman of the board of directors. In her role, Lavery will lead the board and work with organization President and Founder Nicole Boice to develop and implement next year's strategic plan.

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