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Jean-Francois Formela, Linda Buck, David Flanders, Vicki L. Sato, John Berriman, Patricia Allen, Gregory May, Jim Huntley, Steven Day, Sue Pandey, Gianfranco DeFeo, and more



Jean-Francois Formela, a DeCode Genetics director and a partner at the Atlas Venture group of funds, will resign from DeCode's board of directors to devote more time to a new Atlas fund. Formela's resignation will be effective as of Dec. 30. He has been with DeCode for nine years.

DeCode elected Linda Buck as a class I director to replace the late Sir John Vane. Buck, who will serve until the 2008 annual meeting of stockholders, has not yet been named to serve on any committee of the board, and the company has not yet decided on her assignment.

David Flanders has been named as chief operating officer of Biosystems Informatics Institute and its commercial trading arm, Turbinia, the company said this week.

Flanders has more than 20 years of international experience in life sciences software tools and database management development. He spent more than four years with Lion Bioscience as head of basic technologies. He earned his PhD in cell and development biology from Australian National University and a BSc in agricultural botany from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Vicki L. Sato joined Alnylam Pharmaceutical's board of directors, the company said late last week.

Formerly president of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from 2000 to 2005, Sato also served as the company's chief scientific officer and chair of the scientific advisory board. Prior to joining Vertex, she held numerous leadership positions at Biogen (now BiogenIdec) and served as both assistant and associate professor in the Department of Biology at Harvard University from 1976 to 1983.

She is on both the board of directors and the scientific advisory board of Infinity Pharmaceuticals and is a member of the board of directors of PerkinElmer. She received her Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degrees from Harvard.

Along with Sato's appointment, Alynlam announced John Berriman's resignation from the board. No reason was provided.

Alnylam also announced that Patricia Allen, the company's vice-president of finance, has been named as the treasurer and an executive officer of the company, effective Jan. 1, 2006.

The National Center for Genome Resources announced three senior appointments earlier this week: Gregory May as leader of the Nutritional Biology Program, Jim Huntley as senior research scientist, and Steven Day as director of software engineering.'

Previously, May was associate scientist and head of the Medicago Genomics Program at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Okla. for six years and assistant scientist at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University for four years. He holds a PhD in plant physiology and biotechnology from Texas A&M University and a BS in biology from Southeast Missouri State University.

Huntley was assistant professor at New Mexico Highlands University and director of the NMHU Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions program prior to NCGR. Huntley holds a PhD in biochemistry from Arizona State University, an MS in medical physics and a BA in physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Before joining NCGR, Day was director of information technology at the Molecular Profiling Institute, Phoenix. Prior to this, he led the software engineering unit within the Translational Genomics Research Institute and worked for SRA International. Day holds a BA in chemistry and an MS in computer science from Johns Hopkins University.

NuGen Technologies, announced several executive appointments earlier this week, adding Nancy Pecota as chief financial officer, Sue Pandey as vice-president of commercial operations, and Gianfranco DeFeo as senior director of customer solutions to the company.

Pecota has more than twenty years of financial management experience, having spent the last few years as an executive financial consultant specializing in early and mid-stage life science companies. Previously, she served as vice president of finance and administration at Signature Bioscience and as a senior director of finance and accounting at Aclara BioSciences. Pecota held senior finance roles at DpiX, Xerox, and Westinghouse.

Pandey has over twenty years of life science experience, as a research scientist at Chevron, field sales with Zymark, management at Hewlett Packard/Agilent Technologies, and as the global head of sales at GE Healthcare. She holds a PhD in chemistry from University of California, Irvine, and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

DeFeo has over fifteen years of life science experience, beginning with PE/ Applied Biosystems as a field applications scientist after completing his postdoctoral work at University of California, San Francisco. In 1998, he joined Affymetrix. Most recently, DeFeo managed the global technical support organization at Quantum Dot. Gianfranco holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles.

California Healthcare Institute elected Benjamin E. Bulkley, Invitrogen's president of commercial operations to its board of directors, the non-profit public policy research organization said last week.

Bulkley joined Invitrogen in October of 2003. Prior to Invitrogen, he held leadership positions at General Electric, most recently as vice president of global services. He received his BS in from the University of Connecticut, and MS in systems engineering from Gannon University.

The Whitehead Institute's board of directors elected faculty member David Page as the institute's fourth director, Whitehead said last week.

Page was appointed as interim director in December 2004.

A biology professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Page graduated from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program in 1984 with a concentration in genetics. He came to Whitehead as one of the institute's first fellows in 1984 and became a faculty member in 1986.

Page received the MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship in 1986, the Searle Scholar's Award in 1989, the Amory Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997, and the Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics in 2003.


New Releases

Nanogen this week launched two molecular reagent products to detect genetic sequences for respiratory viral pathogens.

The company now offers its NGEN RVA Analyte Specific Reagent product that it claims can be used to develop and validate assays to detect the sequences of and differentiates among influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza 1, 2, and 3.

The RVA product was co-developed with Prodesse and has been CE marked in Europe, Nanogen said. It added that the ASR is "available in the United States as an ASR for which analytical and performance characteristics are not established."

Nanogen also launched its MGB Eclipse Flu A/B Primer and Probe Set, which it claims can provide melt curve analysis that enables differentiation of two viral strains for each sample tested.

The San Diego-based company also said both sets and reagents target a nucleic acid sequence also found in the H5N1 strain of the influenza A virus, also known as avian flu.

Stratagene this week launched StrataClone PCR cloning kits, which feature "easy, fast, and reliable" DNA topoisomerase I PCR cloning at an "affordable price," the company said in a statement. The kit incorporates DNA topoisomerase I from Vaccinia virus covalently bound to the cloning-vector arms and Cre recombinase from bacteriophage P1. The ligation step is reduced from two hours to five minutes, the company said.

Applied Biosystems last week launched its Power SYBR-Green Reagents for real-time PCR, which demonstrate "sensitivity down to two copies per target," to near-TaqMan levels, but at a lower cost, the company said in a statement.

The product replaces the SYBR Green PCR master mix in existing Applied Biosystems protocols, with the same reaction preparation and thermal cycling conditions.

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