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People in the News: Mar 20, 2009

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Kevin Conroy has been named president and CEO and a member of the board of directors of Exact Sciences. Conroy most recently served as president and CEO of Third Wave Technologies, which was acquired last year by Hologic for $582 million. Prior to his tenure at Third Wave, he was intellectual property counsel at GE Healthcare.

In addition to Conroy, Exact also hired Maneesh Arora, former CFO of Third Wave, to be CFO of Exact.

Following the retirement of Steven Gutman as director of the US Food and Drug Administration's Office of In Vitro Diagnostics, Don St. Pierre is serving as the acting director of the division until a permanent director can be hired.

OIVD has been interviewing candidates and a permanent director is expected to be hired by this spring, according to Alberto Gutierrez, deputy office director of new product evaluation at OIVD, who spoke at meeting of the HHS Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society last week in Washington, DC.

David Blumenthal has been named National Coordinator for Health Information Technology for the Department of Health and Human Services. In the role, Blumenthal will lead the implementation of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure, as is called for in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Blumenthal has been director of the Institute for Health Policy at The Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System and he was a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. While at Harvard, Blumenthal also was director of the Harvard University Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement.

Dartmouth Medical School geneticist Jay Dunlap has been awarded the George W. Beadle Medal for outstanding contributions to the genetics community from the Genetics Society of America. Dunlap is being recognized for his research and for his mentorship and service in genetics. The award recognizes Dunlap's studies that led to the cloning of the first microbial clock gene, and to circadian molecular biology in general.

The International Society for Computational Biology has named Webb Miller, of Pennsylvania State University, winner of the Senior Scientist Award for 2009, and Trey Ideker, of the University of California, San Diego, winner of the 2009 Overton Prize.

The senior scientist award recognizes members of the computational biology community who have made major contributions to research, education, and service, and the Overton Prize recognizes outstanding accomplishment by an early-career or mid-career scientist involved in computational biology.

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The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.