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People In The News: May 14, 2010

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – James Flatt will join Synthetic Genomics as chief technology officer as of next week. Flatt formerly was executive VP of R&D and operations and acting president at Mascoma, where he led a team of 70 scientists and engineers studying yeast strain development and metabolic engineering. He also previously was senior VP of research for Martek Biosciences and VP of R&D at Omegatech.

SGI Founder and CEO J. Craig Venter said in a statement that Flatt's "expertise in the biofuels arena, his knowledge of microalgae-derived nutrition and food products and his sound scientific background will be a tremendous asset to SGI as we move toward future product development in these and other areas."

BioNanomatrix has named David Barker to serve on its board of directors. Barker was VP and CSO at Illumina between 2000 and 2006, and before that he was VP and chief science advisor at Amersham Biosciences and VP of research and business development at Molecular Dynamics. He also serves on the boards of Cell Biosciences, Integrated Diagnostics, IntegenX, and NextBio, and he is an advisor to Illumina, GenVault, Diagnostics for the Real World, Helixis, BiOptix, and DNA Direct.

Health Discovery Corporation has appointed Maher Albitar to be chief medical officer. Albitar was medical director of hematology and oncology and chief of R&D at Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute. Before working at Quest, Albitar was a professor at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Texas. In the new job Albitar will work to expand Health Discovery's pipeline of molecular diagnostic and medical imaging tests for cancer using the company's support vector machine technology.

Wendy Benson has been named CEO and president at AltheaDx, where she will take over for interim co-CEOs Francois Ferre and Magda Marquet. Benson, along with Ann Kessler, also will join the firm's board of directors.

Benson has more than 20 years of experience in the in vitro diagnostics market, including serving as president and CEO at HX Diagnostics and in a variety of positions at Roche Molecular Diagnostics. She also worked at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics as well as Genetic Systems.

Kessler was director of international project management and held other positions in R&D at Hoffman-La Roche.

Sigma-Aldrich said that David Julien, president of global supply chain, will retire at the end of June. He had served as president of the Research Specialties unit of the firm from July 2005 to January 2009, and before that as president of the Research Biotech unit. Joseph Porwoll has been promoted to VP of global supply chain and will take over the responsibilities held by Julien.

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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