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People in the News: Alan Sachs, Ronnie Andrews, Stephen O'Brien

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Life Technologies has named Alan Sachs as head of global research and development and Ronnie Andrews as president of medical sciences.

Sachs was previously the vice president of exploratory and translational sciences for Merck Research Laboratories, where he spent 10 years in various leadership roles. Prior to that Sachs served an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a Whitehead fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Andrews joins Life Tech from GE Molecular Diagnostics, where he served as a segment leader following GE's 2010 acquisition of Clarient, where Andrews was CEO. Andrews has also held executive positions with Abbott Diagnostics, Roche Diagnostics, and Immucor.


Stephen O'Brien has left the National Cancer Institute's Laboratory of Genomic Diversity after 25 years. His next project will be to help launch a genome bioinformatics program at St. Petersburg University in Russia. O'Brien received a $5 million grant from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science last year under a program that aims to lure big-name researchers to Russia. Over the coming three years, O'Brien will spend at least four months per year in Russia working at the center, which is scheduled to open in May.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.