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People In The News: Aug 1, 2014

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Epic Sciences has appointed Greg Lucier as chairman of its board of directors. Lucier was previously chairman and CEO of Life Technologies. He joins Epic as the company focuses on commercializing its circulating rare cell analysis platform, including products and services to detect circulating tumor cells.

Illumina said this week it has appointed Google Senior Vice President Jeff Huber to serve on its board of directors. Huber, who works with the Google X research branch, joined Google in 2003 and led development of Google Maps, Google Apps, and Google Ads. He also formerly was VP of architecture and systems development at eBay, and senior VP of engineering at Excite@Home.

NantHealth Founder and CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong will serve as Providence Health and Services' global director for cancer services and bioinformatics. The appointment is related to a new clinical genome sequencing partnership between NantHealth, The Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine, and Providence Health and Services. In the role, he will work with oncologists and researchers across the five-state Providence system.

Soon-Shiong has developed treatments for cancer and diabetes, and developed a supercomputer-based system and network for analyzing genetic data from tumor samples in under a minute. He also is a professor of microbiology, immunology, molecular genetics, and bioengineering at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Human Longevity, a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic startup, has hired Franz Och as chief data scientist. Previously, Och was a distinguished research scientist and head of Google Translate at Google. Och will head the new Mountain View facility of Human Longevity and report directly to Co-founder and CEO J. Craig Venter.

MolecularHealth has added three new members to its US sales team: Matt Brunner, Bruce Mrachek, and Lee Stuart. Brunner will be regional VP for the western region of the US, while Mrachek and Stuart will serve as senior account directors for the southwest and southeast regions, respectively.

All three are former employees of Life Technologies and bring with them years of experience in pharmaceutical and diagnostics sales. According to MolecularHealth, the company is expanding its sales team in response to increasing demand for its TreatmentMap cancer therapy decision support offering, launched in April.

Bill Moffitt has joined in vitro diagnostics developer HemoSonics as chairman of the board of managers.

Moffitt, who retired as president and CEO of Nanosphere in 2013, has 40 years of experience in the medical device and diagnostics industries. He previously was president and CEO of i-STAT, which was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2013, and he held executive posts at Baxter Healthcare and American Hospital Supply.

Cypher Genomics has appointed Adam Simpson as president and chief operating officer. Previously, he served as an executive adviser to life sciences investors and companies, including Cypher Genomics. Before that, he was co-founder and chief business officer of Meritage Pharma and was general counsel at Verus Pharmaceuticals, where he led its sale to AstraZeneca and Shionogi.

Cypher Genomics has also appointed Henry Nordhoff as executive chairman of its board and Herbert Boyer and Andrew von Eschenbach as directors.

Nordhoff was CEO of Gen-Probe for 15 years until retiring in 2009. He also held senior positions in his 16 years at Pfizer. Boyer is co-founder of Genentech and served as a director of the company until it was bought by Roche in 2008. He was also a professor at the University of California, San Francisco and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Von Eschenbach is currently president of Samaritan Health Initiatives and an adjunct professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Previously, he served as a commissioner to the US Food and Drug Administration and was also the director of the National Cancer Institute.

Bioinformatics software and services firm Eagle has appointed a new vice president of ales and has named a new chief scientific officer and chief technical officer.

The company has named Michael Reynolds, formerly of Pilgrim Software, Smart Analyst, APC Pharma, and Etrials, to be VP of global sales.

Will Spooner has been promoted to the CSO spot, a newly created job. He previously worked on Ensembl, BioMart, Gramene, and WormBase at the European Bioinformatics Institute, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Glenn Proctor has been promoted to CTO. Proctor formerly led the software development of Ensembl at EBI.

Inform Genomics has named Carl de Moor as chief technology officer.

De Moor formerly was a senior principal and lead investigator at the Epidemiology Center of Excellence at IMS Health, and he was VP of epidemiology at MAPI, a clinical research organization, and executive director of epidemiology and health outcomes at PPD. He has more than 25 years of experience in epidemiology, biostatistics, and health outcomes research, with expertise in pharmacoepidemiologic study designs, patient-reported outcome analysis, predictive modeling, longitudinal and time varying modeling, and other disciplines.

Dotmatics has appointed Shikha O'Brien as VP of strategic sales and marketing. O'Brien has been responsible for growth in Dotmatics' North American business, and in her new role she will focus on expanding the company's user base and establishing new markets and strategic alliances.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Director Story Landis will retire from her post in two months, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said this week.

Story began working at NIH in 1995 as NINDS scientific director, and before that she was a researcher at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. During her time heading NINDS, Landis re-engineered the institute's intramural research program, co-chaired the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, chaired the NIH Stem Cell Task Force, and served as a co-leader on the BRAIN Initiative.

While NIH searches for her replacement, Deputy Director Walter Koroshetz will serve as acting director.

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