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People In The News: Sep 18, 2009

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins and Craig Venter, founder, president, and chairman of the J. Craig Venter Institute, were named as recipients of the National Medal of Science this week by President Barack Obama.


MDS President and CEO Stephen DeFalco will step down from his position with the firm once it has completed the sale of its MDS Analytical Technologies and MDS Pharma Services businesses. Steve West, president of the firm's Nordion business, has been named COO and will become CEO of MDS after DeFalco leaves the firm.

MDS recently announced a deal to sell its Analytical Technologies business, which includes its mass spectrometry joint venture with Life Technologies, to Danaher.


Raymond Dittamore has resigned from Gen-Probe's board of directors. He had served on the board for the past seven years. The firm also announced that it had appointed John Martin, who is chairman and CEO of Gilead Sciences, to serve as a member of the audit committee of the board.


Investment and advisory firm RiversEdge BioVentures has been launched by Founder and Principal David Dodd, who most recently served as president, CEO, and chairman of BioReliance. Dodd also was an equity partner with Avista Capital, and he previously was president, CEO, and director of Serologicals, prior to that firm's acquisition by Millipore in 2006.


Health Discovery Corp. has appointed former Deputy FDA Commissioner John Norris as its new COO.


Clinical Data said that Scott Tarriff has joined the firm's board of directors. Tarriff is founder of Eagle Pharmaceuticals, and he previously served as president and CEO of Par Pharmaceutical.


Non-profit company London Genetics has appointed new members to its board and management team. It named Barrie Ward as its chairman, named Dominique Kleyn as its CEO, and named Mark Caulfield its clinical director.


Thomas Vogel has resigned his position on the board of directors at Pressure Biosciences, and Alan Rosenson has been elected to fill the seat. Vogel has been a director since 2004, and he will continue to provide consulting services to the company. Rosenson is president of ALJAR Investments.


Navigenics has appointed Michael Critelli to its board of directors. Critelli spent nearly three decades at Pitney Bowes, where he was CEO for 11 years and chairman for 12. He currently is chairman of the board for the Dossia Foundation.


BioNanomatrix has tapped Charles Lee and David Barker to serve on its advisory team. Lee is director of cytogenetics for the Harvard Cancer Center and an associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. Barker formerly was chief scientific officer at Illumina, and he was VP and chief science adviser at Amersham Biosciences, and VP of research and business development at Molecular Dynamics.


Kreatech's CEO, Lex Altink, is stepping down from his position with the company and will be replaced by Kees Moonen at an upcoming shareholder meeting, Altink said this week. Altink said that he is leaving the company because "I consider my mission completed." However, he noted that he will stay on the firm's board as an advisor.


The American Society of Human Genetics has awarded Huntington Willard its 2009 Allen Award. Willard is Director of the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy at Duke University, and he has been a faculty member at the University of Toronto, Stanford University, and Case Western Reserve University. He also has served as president of ASHG and has been co-founder and executive editor of Human Molecular Genetics.


Horizon Discovery said this week that is has formed a scientific advisory board, which will be chaired by Alberto Bardelli, and includes Daniel Von Hoff, Sabine Teipar, Ben Ho Park, and Chris Torrance.

Bardelli is a professor of oncological sciences at the University of Torino School of Medicine and Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment in Turin, Italy.

Von Hoff is physician in chief, senior investigator, and director of the Translational Research Division at the Translational Genomics Research Institute. Teipar is a professor in the digestive oncology unit at University Hospital Gasthuisberg. Ben Ho Park is an associate professor of oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University. Chris Torrance is CEO and scientific co-founder of Horizon.


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The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.