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Bob Welch, Axel Ullrich, Randel Marfin, Gregory Gosch, Darin Leigh, Patrick Balthrop, David Macdonald, Kimberly Popovits

Bob Welch, who directed operations at the National Cancer Institute's Core Genotyping Facility, died last month at the age of 35.

Axel Ullrich, director of molecular biology at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, has been awarded the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research. Ullrich won the award for his work in the translation of genomics discoveries into cancer therapeutics approaches.
Ullrich will receive a cash award of €75,000 ($113,000) at a ceremony in Trengo, Italy, in May and he will give an award lecture in San Diego in April.

Luminex has promoted Randel Marfin to the new position of vice president of strategic development, named Gregory Gosch as the new vice president of the Luminex Bioscience Group, and named Darin Leigh as vice president of sales and marketing.
These management changes “were made to help us explore new applications for xMAP Technology, expand our business, and increase our market share in diagnostics and life science research,” Patrick Balthrop, Luminex CEO, said in a statement this week.
Marfin joined Luminex in June 1998 and previously served as vice president of the LBG, as well as vice president of sales and business development.
Gosch will replace Marfin as vice president of LBG, and Leigh will replace Gosch as vice president of sales and marketing. Leigh was previously senior director of sales and marketing for diagnostics at Luminex. Before joining Luminex, Leigh held a number of positions at Abbott Laboratories in Europe and in the US.

Althea Diagnostics announced this week that David Macdonald is its newly appointed CEO. Before coming to Althea, Macdonald served as CEO of Nanomix and President and COO of Nichols Institute Diagnostics, a division of Quest Diagnostics. He also held various positions at Progeny Systems, Nanogen, Behring Diagnostics, and Nova Biomedical.

Kimberly Popovits, president and chief operating officer of Genomic Health, has been named 2008 "Woman of the Year” this week by the Women Health Care Executives of Northern California.
Popovits will be honored at a dinner June 12 in San Francisco. At Genomic Health, Popovits helped commercialize the breast cancer recurrence test Oncotype DX, the company’s flagship product.
Prior to Genomic Health, Popovits spent 15 years as head of commercial operations at Genentech, where she oversaw the commercialization of 14 new therapies, including breast cancer drug Herceptin.
The WHCE represents women healthcare professionals in the Bay Area.

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The Scan

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Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.