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People In The News: Mar 21, 2014

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The American Association for Cancer Research has named personalized breast cancer treatment expert Jose Baselga as its new president-elect. Baselga, physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will become president-elect this coming April and assume the presidency in April 2015.

Baselga has been involved with AACR for two decades in many capacities, including as a member of the board of directors from 2009 to 2012. He is a leader of the Stand Up To Cancer Dream Team: Targeting the PI3K Pathway in Women’s Cancers. Before joining MSKCC, Baselga headed the division of hematology/oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and was a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Additionally, AACR elected five new members to its board of directors, including James Allison, chair of the immunology department at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Ronald Evans, chair of molecular and developmental biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Scott Lippman, director of the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center; Guillermina Lozano, chair of the department of genetics at MD Anderson; and M. Celeste Simon, scientific director at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania.

Exact Sciences' board of directors has appointed company President and CEO Kevin Conroy to serve as chairman of the board and David Thompson, a director since 2010, to serve as lead independent director.

Conroy will replace James Connelly, who has been chairman since 2010 and has now resigned for personal reasons.

MolecularHealth has appointed three new members to its advisory board.

Armin Weinberg is CEO of the Life Beyond Cancer Foundation, a clinical professor at Baylor College of Medicine, and an adjunct professor at Rice University and Texas A&M School of Public Health. He was cofounder of the Intercultural Cancer Council and a member of the founding board of C-Change.

Leonard Kalman is a practicing oncologist and serves as chairman of the board of managers of Advanced Medical Specialties.

Michael Kolodziej is the national medical director of oncology strategy at Aetna and was a practicing oncologist for 23 years.

The International Human Genome Organization will give Jackson Laboratory President and CEO Edison Liu the Chen Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in Human Genetic and Genomic Research. The award honors the achievements of a biomedical scientist who has made significant contributions to genetics and genomics. Liu will receive $10,000 and a plaque and will present a lecture at HUGO's annual meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

Liu joined the Jackson Laboratory in 2011 from the Genome Institute of Singapore, where he was founding director. Previously, he was the scientific director of the National Cancer Institute's Division of Clinical Sciences and served in faculty and leadership roles at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Cancer Genetics has appointed Edward Sitar as its new CFO, effective April 1.

Sitar joins the company from Aetna subsidiary Healthgen, where he held the same role. He was also CFO at ActiveHealth Management, Cadent Holdings, and Bioscrip.

Sitar replaces outgoing Elizabeth Adkins Czerepak, whose resignation from the position will be effective March 31

HTG Molecular Diagnostics said this week that Lewis Shuster has joined its board of directors.

Shuster, formerly was president of Invitrogen's Genomics division, CEO of Kemia, and CFO of Human Genome Sciences and Pharmacopeia. He now is CEO of Shuster Capital, a strategic and operating advisory firm for life sciences executives.

Jennifer Van Eyk has been named the inaugural director of Cedars-Sinai's Advanced Clinical Biosystems Research Institute, Cedars-Sinai said this week. She also will lead basic research at the Cedars-Sinai Barbara Streisand Women's Heart Center.

Van Eyk joins Cedars-Sinai from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. A proteomics investigator, she is known for developing lab tests to determine the presence of proteins or amino acids in blood that could indicate whether a patient has experienced a heart attack or has heart disease. She will remain director of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Proteomic Innovation Center on Heart Failure, a contract NHLBI awarded to her group at Johns Hopkins.

CompanionDx Reference Lab has appointed Lee Schwartzberg to serve on its scientific advisory board.

Schwartzberg has been a practicing oncologist for 20 years, and currently is a professor of medicine and division chief of hematology/oncology at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and medical director of The West Clinic, the practice arm of the West Cancer Center.

Veracyte has named Julie Brooks to be its executive VP, general counsel, and secretary, and Andy Thorson as EVP, corporate strategy and business development.

Brooks has 23 years of experience as general counsel and an executive at medical device, biotech, and healthcare IT companies. She most recently was EVP, GC, and secretary for Conceptus.

Thorson has more than 20 years' experience in senior business development and finance roles, including as corporate VP, finance and business development at Varian Medical Systems.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center said this week it has named Andrew Jay to a post on its 24-member scientific advisory board.

Jay is fund head for the Healthcare Fund at Siemens Venture Capital, and has worked with a number of portfolio companies, including Sequenom, Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Zonare, RadPharm, ViewRay, and UR Systems.

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