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People In The News: Feb 5, 2010

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – RainDance Technologies has appointed Sirshendu Roopom Banerjee to be company president and CEO. Banerjee most recently led the Life Science Tools and Diagnostics sector at investment bank Leerink Swann, and he advised healthcare companies at McKinsey and Goldman Sachs. He also formerly worked at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the Whitehead Institute/MIT Human Genome Project, and at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.

Myriad Genetics said this week that Gregory Critchfield will retire from his job as president of the company's Myriad Genetic Laboratories. Critchfield, who will leave his job at the end of February, will receive $565,000 at his departure after 11 years with the company.

Mark Capone, who is COO at MGL, will take over Critchfield's position and will receive an annual base salary of $435,000 plus a potential bonus of up to 65 percent of his salary. Myriad Genetics also said that Mark Skolnick will step down from his post as a member of the board of directors, but he will remain with the firm in a part-time capacity as senior scientist emeritus.

Saul Kravitz has joined CLC Bio as head of its North American consulting organization. Previously, he was director of bioinformatics software at the J. Craig Venter Institute. Before that, he was at Celera Genomics, where he helped develop algorithms and software infrastructure for high-throughput protein identification and quantitation from mass spectrometry data, and contributed to the development of Celera's whole-genome shotgun assembler.

Illumina said this week that Jack Goldstein will not stand for re-election to the company's board of directors at the firm's next annual stockholders meeting in May.

NanoString Technologies has tapped William Young to serve as executive chairman of its board of directors. Young currently is chairman of the board at Biogen Idec, a director and chairman emeritus for BayBio, and a director at Theravance. He formerly was CEO and chairman at Monogram Biosciences, and he was COO at Genentech.

Kim Blickenstaff has taken a spot on Predictive Biosciences' board of directors. Blickenstaff was chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Biosite, which was bought by Inverness Medical Innovations in 2007, and earlier in his career was involved in finance, operations, research, sales, and marketing at Hybritech and at Baxter Healthcare.

NextBio has appointed Kevin Cronin to serve as VP of sales. Cronin most recently was senior VP of sales at Symyx Technologies, and he formerly was involved in sales at MDL Information Systems.

Newly formed microRNA drug shop Mirrx Therapeutics has named its senior management and board of directors.

The company's CEO is Palle Schelde, who is currently investment director at Mirrx investor Inventure Capital. He previously served as research assistant at the National Cancer Society in Denmark, and held positions at Bayer and Akzo Nobel.

Mirrx's CSO is Thorlief Moller, who also is a founder of the company. Moller previously served as an intellectual property consultant and had founded Stealth Biotech, out of which Mirrx was spun. Moller and Schelde are also company directors.

Sitting on Mirrx's board is John Riis Mortensen, investment director of Vecata, another group that has invested in Mirrx; Finn Cilius Nielsen, a professor of clinical molecular biology at the University of Copenhagen Rigshospitalet; and Ole Bitsch-Jensen, investment director at Seed Capital, which also invested in Mirrx.

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals has appointed Daniel Kisner as its new chairman. He will replace Michael Forrest, who was appointed chairman in 1998 and has resigned from the company. The company has also named Frank Karbe and Kenneth Galbraith as new independent directors.

Kisner is currently a venture partner at venture capital firm Abington Ventures. He previously served as CEO of Caliper Technologies and COO of antisense shop Isis Pharmaceuticals. He also has held positions with Abbott Laboratories and SmithKline Beckman Pharmaceuticals.

Karbe is currently executive vice president and CFO of Exelixis. Before this, he worked at Goldman Sachs, specializing in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. Galbraith is currently a general partner at venture capital group Ventures West. He served as chairman and interim CEO of AnorMed prior to its sale to Genzyme. Before that, he was executive vice president and CFO of QLT.

Expressed RNAi shop Benitec has named John Chiplin as a director. Previously, he was CEO and managing director of Arana Therapeutics, which was acquired by Cephalon. Before that, he was head of UK investment fund ITI Life Sciences.

Arden Bement, is leaving his post as director of the National Science Foundation to lead Purdue University's new Global Policy Research Institute. Bement will begin his new post as the director of GPRI on June 1. Bement was appointed to his six-year term as director by President George W. Bush in November 2004.

Promoted? Changing jobs? GenomeWeb wants to know. E-mail [email protected] to appear in People In The News, a weekly roundup of industry comings and goings.

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