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Hakon Hakonarson, Tomas Sigurdsson, John West, Drew Fromkin, Caesar Belbel, Israel Stein, Mark Shooman, Kevin Rakin, Thomas Colatsky, Betty Dragon, Jean-Michel Cossery, Michael Jones, and more



Hakon Hakonarson, DeCode Genetics' vice president of business development, is leaving the company to pursue other interests, the company said in a statement this week. Hakonarson served the firm in various positions for more than eight years.

Tomas Sigurdsson, DeCode's vice president of the treasury and new alliances, will assume responsibility for the company's business development.

Solexa's board of directors approved changes to CEO John West's bonus structure earlier this month, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week. West is now eligible to receive one of two alternative one-time bonuses.

The board also approved an increase in West's annualized base salary to $367,500 per year retroactive to Jan. 1.

In the event that the closing price of Solexa's common stock goes above $27.60 per share for 25 consecutive trading days, West can receive a one-time bonus of 308,605 shares of Solexa common stock. Solexa reserves the possibility of paying an equivalent amount of cash to West instead.

In the event of a change in control, West will receive one percent of the amount received by stockholders that exceeds $150 million.

Clinical Data filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week outlining salaries for the newly appointed CEO and president, Drew Fromkin, and executive vice-president and chief legal officer Caesar Belbel.

Fromkin replaced Israel Stein, who resigned May 12 as CEO and president. Stein will be the interim CFO, replacing Mark Shooman, whose resignation will take effect May 31.

Fromkin will receive a minimum annual base salary of $400,000 and a potential annual bonus equal to up to 200 percent of the base salary, depending on performance. Fromkin's severance package will be the amount of his then-current base salary for twelve months, a pro-rated bonus, and all premiums for health and other benefits for the year. If Fromkin leaves on his own, his outstanding unvested options become fully vested.

Belbel will receive a minimum annual base salary of $260,000 and a potential annual bonus equal to up to 100 percent of the base salary depending on performance. Belbel's severance package will be the amount of his then-current base salary for the twelve months, a pro-rated bonus, and all premiums for health and other benefits for the year. Belbel's outstanding unvested options will also be fully vested if he leaves on his own.

The board also granted 304,515 shares of common stock to Fromkin and 60,000 shares to Belbel. The stock options all have exercise prices of $18.55 per share and a term of 10 years.

The filing also said Kevin Rakin, a member of the board and former president and chief executive officer of Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, before its purchase by Clinical Data, received 70,000 shares of Clinical Data common stock. The company settled with Rakin the amount he claimed was due under his agreement with Genaissance with a one-time lump sum of $100,000 and an additional aggregate amount of $472,406.25.

Fromkin was recently president and CEO of DoctorQuality, before the firm was acquired by Quantros. He was also president and CEO of Endo Surgical Devices and vice-president, business development and sales for Merck-Medco Managed Care, a subsidiary of Merck & Co.

Thomas Colatsky has joined the executive team at PharmaDirections, the company said last week.

Prior to joining the Cary-based company, he served as senior vice-president and chief scientific officer at Icoria, and as vice-president of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Colatsky received his PhD in physiology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Betty Dragon has joined Sequenom as senior vice-president of research and development, the company said.

Dragon was at Roche Molecular Systems from 1990 to 2006. Her most recent position at Roche was senior vice-president of global standardization and vice-president of diagnostics development.

GE Healthcare announced new positions for two officers this week: Jean-Michel Cossery and Michael Jones.

Chief marketing officer Jean-Michel Cossery is now also vice-president. The former executive vice-president of global marketing at Amersham Health since 2000, he joined GE Healthcare after GE acquired Amersham in 2004.

Cossery has five post-graduate degrees, including an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management. He received his PharmD in pharmacology and PhD in nuclear chemistry & neurology from the University of Paris in 1987 and 1986 respectively. He received his Masters' in Organic Chemistry in 1984 and in Pharmacy in 1983, also from the University of Paris.

Jones is now vice-president, business development. He has been a general manager at GE since 1998. Prior to joining GE, Jones spent 10 years on Wall Street in a variety of M&A, private equity and investment banking roles.

TLV Kumar has been appointed president of the Asia-Pacific operations at Applied Biosystems, Applera said this week. He will report directly to Applied Biosystems' president, Catherine Burzik.

Kumar comes to ABI from Philips Medical Systems, where he was chief operations officer for Asia Pacific.

David Molnar joined eGene as director sales, the company said on Wednesday.

Molnar was previously a national sales manager of Matsuo Electronic of America, a subsidiary of Japan's Matsuo Electric. Before that he was senior sales representative at Fisher Scientific, formerly Curin Matheson, and a sales manager at LabMart.


New Releases

Sigma-Aldrich this week launched its Panorama Signal Transduction Functional Protein Array for high-throughput functional screening. The company recommends using the array for monitoring cellular response to external or internal stimuli.

The array uses a fusion tag to confer protein functionality and serves to select, tether, and uniformly orientate proteins on a streptavidin-coated glass slide, and enables the high-throughput analysis against 259 human cell signaling proteins, Sigma-Aldrich said. The array was co-developed with Procognia.

The analysis system includes buffers and software, according to the company.

Finnzymes this week launched its Phusion Site-Directed Mutagenesis Kit for introducing point mutations, insertions, or deletions in plasmid DNA. The product requires "minimal" starting plasmid template and the procedure requires no template-destruction step. The kit is compatible with all strains of competent E. coli cells, the company said.

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EHR Quality Improvement Study Detects Demographic-Related Deficiencies in Cancer Family History Data

In a retrospective analysis in JAMA Network Open, researchers find that sex, ethnicity, language, and other features coincide with the quality of cancer family history information in a patient's record.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome Community Structure Gradient in Meta-Analysis

Bringing together data from prior studies, researchers in Genome Biology track down microbial taxa and a population structure gradient with ties to ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

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By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.