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People In the News: Oct 15, 2010

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos BioSciences has tapped Ivan Trifunovich to be company CEO and president. Ron Lowy, who has been serving in the post as acting CEO since September will return to his role as a board member.

Trifunovich was senior VP of Third Wave Technologies, and was in marketing and R&D positions with pharmaceutical companies. Recently, Trifunovich was a strategic consultant to global life sciences companies.

The National Academy of Sciences has elected five executive staff members at the National Institutes of Health to the Institute of Medicine — Jeremy Berg, Linda Birnbaum, Ira Pastan, Thomas Wellems, and Carl Wu.

Berg is director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences where he oversees $2 billion in funding for genetics, bioinformatics, computational biology, cell biology, and other areas.

Birnbaum is director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, where she manages a budget of $850 million to fund biomedical research related to environmental influences on human health.

Pastan is chief of the cell biology lab at the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) at the National Cancer Institute.

Wellems is chief of the laboratory of malaria and vector research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and he heads the malaria genetics section at NIAID.

Wu is chief of the laboratory of biochemistry and molecular biology at NCI’s CCR, and he is noted for making important contributions to gene expression research.

Sequenom has formed a clinical advisory board that will focus on retinal diseases and conditions to help guide development of the company’s retinal care molecular diagnostics.

The board will be chaired by Gregory Hageman, a professor of Opthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Utah.

The board also will include Jeffrey Heier and Karen Gehrs. Heier is secretary of online education for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and formerly was president of the Center for Eye Research and Education Foundation. Gehrs spent a dozen years as a faculty member at the University of Iowa and she is a member of the Center for Retina and Macular Disease.

Prosolia said this week that Chairman Peter Kissinger has stepped down as interim CEO and that Justin Wiseman, who has been working as research director for four years, will take over the job. Kevin Boscacci, who formerly was COO at the company, has resigned from his position as president. The company also has named John Hertig, executive director of AMIPurdue, to serve on its board.

WaferGen said this week that former Illumina sequencing developer Gary Schroth has joined the firm as senior VP of Genomics Research and Applications, a new position at the company. Schroth recently was Illumina’s senior director of R&D, and he also held management jobs at Life Technologies' company Applied Biosystems, Genelabs Technologies, and Gen-Probe. At Wafergen, Schroth will oversee the company’s biology and chemistry research, development of new genomic applications, and the SmartChip Gene-Expression Profiling Services.

Richard Scott Tobin has now stepped down from all of his positions at Health Discovery Corporation. Tobin has served as HDC’s president, general counsel, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer, and director since he joined the company in 2009. Under the terms of his employment agreement, HDC will pay Tobin $271,000 and allow Tobin to pay with a portion of his HDC share up to $170,000 related to any option conversion tax liability. The firm expects to incur an expense of $127,000 in the fourth quarter to pay for the release agreement. The company said it expects that Thomas Gallagher, HDC’s executive VP who has taken over Tobin’s role since August will be appointed president, general counsel, principal financial officer, and principal accounting officer.