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Andrew von Eschenbach, Lester Crawford, Douglas Throckmorton, Walter Narajowski, Gustavo Salem, Cheri Walker, Chuck Piazza, Don Daut, David Haussler, David Castle, Daniel Von Hoff, and more

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Andrew von Eschenbach has been named acting commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, following the resignation of former commissioner Lester Crawford last week.

Von Eschenbach has been director of the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, since January 2002. Before that, he worked as a doctor and executive at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Von Eschenbach has said that he intends to act as both head of the FDA and director of NCI.

The appointment ends the tenure of Crawford who resigned last Friday.

Crawford, a veterinarian and expert on food safety, was named deputy commissioner of the agency in early 2002 before his tenure as acting commissioner began last year.

In a message to colleagues, Crawford cited his age, 67, as a factor in his decision to step aside.


Douglas Throckmorton has been named deputy director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research by the FDA. Throckmorton joined the FDA in 1997 and has been acting deputy director of CDER since May 2004.

Before joining the FDA, Throckmorton practiced medicine and held academic appointments at the Medical College of Georgia and the VA Medical Center in Augusta, GA.


Walter Narajowski has been named president and CEO of Pathways Diagnostics, the assay development company said this week. He will also join the firm's board of directors.

Narajowski was formerly the vice president and general manager of Focus Diagnostics' infectious disease reference lab. Prior to Focus, Mr. Narajowski spent over 20 years at Abbott Laboratories where he was most recently vice president and general manager of critical care products and vice president and general manager of the infusion pump business.

Narajowski holds an MS in bioengineering from the University of Utah and a BSc in electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology.


Assay Designs has appointed Gustavo Salem as its new president and CEO, the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based biotech firm said last week.

Prior to joining Assay Designs, Salem held a variety of positions at Bio-Rad Laboratories, including division manager of protein separations and business unit manager for biomaterials. Prior to this, he held a series of sales and marketing positions at PerSeptive Biosystems, Beckman Instruments, and Amersham.


Cheri Walker has been named vice president of mergers and acquisitions of Qiagen. Walker joined the firm last week from Invitrogen, where she most recently held the position of vice president of proteomics. She had joined Invitrogen in December 2003 as vice president, corporate development. Prior to working at Invitrogen, Walker was an equity analyst with Deutsche Bank covering the life sciences tools industry.

Invitrogen promoted Chuck Piazza to the position of vice president and general manager of proteomics, following Walker's departure. Piazza had held the position of vice president and general manager of protein arrays before the promotion. Invitrogen also named Don Daut vice president and general manager of its Antibody Center of Excellence.


Carnegie Mellon University will award its prestigious Dickson Prize in Science to David Haussler, a professor of biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Haussler will receive an award of $50,000 and will deliver a public lecture as part of the prize ceremony to be held at Carnegie Mellon University in March 2006.

Haussler is the director of the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at UCSC and is scientific co-director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3).

Since 1970, Carnegie Mellon has awarded the Dickson Prize to prominent researchers in such areas as mathematics, cell biology, civil engineering, metallurgy, computer science, genetics, and physics.


Sciona has appointed David Castle to chair its new ethics advisory board, the Boulder, Colo.-based company said this week.

Castle is currently an associate professor at University of Guelph, a member of the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto and a member of McGill University's Centre for Intellectual Property Policy. He is also a principal investigator on three large-scale Genome Canada funded Genomics, Ethics, Law and Society research programs.

He holds a BS in biology from the University of Alberta, an MA in philosophy from McMaster University and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Guelph.


Daniel Von Hoff has been named to Innovive Pharmaceuticals' scientific advisory board, the New York-based company said this week.

Von Hoff is currently the senior investigator and head of translational research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in its translational drug development division. He also is chief scientific officer for US Oncology.


Genomic Profiling Systems this week named David Jones to the position of director of technical services, the Bedford, Mass.-based firm said.

Jones joins GPS from Wyeth Biopharma, where he served as manager of Microbial Test Technologies since 2003. He has also held positions at Chemunex from 1997 to 2002 and Anagen.

He holds an MS from Brunel University in applied biochemistry and a PhD in steroid endocrinology from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London.

GPS also named Tracey Wielinski as vice president of quality assurance and regulatory affairs this week. She formerly was VP of corporate quality and compliance at Oscient Pharmaceuticals.

Wielinski holds a BA in biology and communications from University of Toledo.

 

New Releases

Expression Analysis said last week that it has developed a new two-group comparison analysis for differential expression called permutation analysis for differential expression, or PADE.

The tool will enable researchers to detect and estimate changes in expression between two experimental groups of three or more samples. EA recommended PADE for experimental designs that involve a baseline group and an experimental group such as control vs. treated, negative vs. positive, mutant vs. wild-type, or any two conditions from a multi-condition experiment.


Gene Logic recently launched its Microarray Data Generations and Analysis services labs.

According to a statement, the services offered include gene expression data generation from tissue, cells, blood, or RNA; optimized gene expression profiling of whole blood using Gene Logic's protocol to reduce globin interference; RNA isolation from low-yield tissues or samples that are difficult to process; custom bioinformatics analysis for biomarker or drug target identification and mechanisms of toxicity; custom platform development; and SNP genotyping from DNA, blood, or tissue.

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The Scan

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PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.