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People In The News: Mar 16, 2012

WaferGen Biosystems said this week that it has appointed Ivan Trifunovich as president, CEO, and director. Trifunovich is currently executive chairman, president, and CEO of Helicos Biosciences, and will continue in that role part-time. Previously, he served as senior vice president of Third Wave Technologies, now part of Hologic. Before that he held several sales and marketing and R&D positions with large pharmaceutical companies.

Mona Chadha, WaferGen's COO and executive vice president of marketing and business development; and Donald Huffman, WaferGen's CFO, had been performing the duties of CEO since October, when former CEO Alnoor Shivji resigned.

Biocompare has appointed Joan Boyce as publisher. In the post, Boyce will be responsible for managing the firm's sales and content teams. She has more than 23 years of experience in publishing, sales, management, and editorial leadership, and recently was executive director and group publisher of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News. She also previously worked at the life science trade magazines Genomics and Proteomics, Bioscience Technology, and Drug Discovery and Development.

Virginia Tech said this week that Harold Garner will step down from his role as executive director of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, which he has led since 2009, to head VBI's Medical Informatics Systems division and to focus on research. Dennis Dean, executive director of the school's Fralin Life Science Institute, will immediately take on the interim executive director position at VBI. Garner's current research includes projects involving applied computational biology, advanced instrumentation development, and genetics, genomics, and proteomics research that involve text mining and DNA microsatellite analysis.

Gen-Probe said this week that it has made three changes to its executive team. It has promoted Brian Hansen to be senior VP of global sales and service, Michael Watts to be VP of LifeCodes and Prodesse, and it has hired Albert Kildani to be senior director of investor relations and corporate communications.

Hansen, who has held roles of increasing responsibility at the company for six years, will oversee its global expansion and commercialization efforts. Watts has managed investor relations and corporate communications for more eight years. Kildani has spent 14 years as a healthcare business analyst with a focus on molecular diagnostics and as an investment banker.

The Genetic Disease Foundation, which raises funds to support research into the prevention and treatment of genetic diseases, has named Eric Schadt to its medical and scientific advisory board. Schadt is chair of the department of genetics and genomic sciences and director of the Institute for Genomics and Multi-scale Biology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

GDF said in the release that it has granted millions of dollars to support science and genetic counseling at the Mount Sinai genetics department that Schadt runs. Schadt currently is CSO at Pacific Biosciences and a founding member of Sage Bionetworks, an open access genomics initiative to design and build databases and an accessible platform for creating disease models.

Genomics software company Biomatters has promoted Brett Ammundsen from managing director to CEO, where he will lead the company as it moves from research applications into the clinical and consumer markets.

The lab information system developer PathCentral has appointed Shelley Gunn, a genomic pathologist and researcher, to be associate medical director of clinical genomics. Gunn is the founder and medical director for the Oncopath Laboratory and the Start Center for Cancer Care in San Antonio, Texas. She also was an assistant clinical professor in the department of pathology at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Kenneth Nussbacher will not stand for reelection to the board of directors at Fluidigm when the company's shareholders meet in May, the company said in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He has been a member of the firm's board since 2003.

Cleveland Clinic's Chief Information Officer C. Martin Harris has been elected to Thermo Fisher Scientific's board of directors, and to serve on its nominating and governance committee, effective March 30.

MDxHealth said this week that company CFO Philip Devine will leave his position at the end of this month, and that it has appointed Francois Ota to be VP of finance. Devine, who is a company co-founder, will continue to work with the firm as an advisor. His duties will be taken over by Ota and Director of Finance Jean-Michaël Scelso. Ota, who will be based at the company's US headquarters in Irvine, Calif., was recently CFO of Captek Holdings, and formerly was senior director of finance at Focus Diagnostics. He held senior finance roles at Medtronic and Hewlett Packard.

Molecular diagnostics firm Pronota has appointed Carol Greve-Philips to be chief business officer and Els Hubloux as CFO. Greve-Philips comes to Pronota from Genzyme, where she was VP of corporate development, and has held sales, marketing, and management positions at Amersham, Chemsyn Science Laboratories, Watson Laboratories, and Toxikon. Hubloux recently was at Capricorn Venture Partners, and her career has focused on clinical research and development, equity research, and venture capital investing.

Mark Rieder has been appointed to senior vice president of operations at Adaptive Biotechnologies, which is developing sequencing based-assays for the adaptive immune system. Rieder was previously a research professor in human genomics at the University of Washington and also technical director of the Northwest Genomics Center.

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