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Jorge Leon, Kimberly Popovits, David Stone, David Singer, Andrew MacDonald, David Persing, Stuart Lacock, Daniel Hartman, David Hermann, Peter Van Ess, Jun-Jei Sheu, Rob Hutchison, Takara Bio, Bayer HealthCare



Jorge Leon has been appointed acting chief scientific officer and vice president of business development of Orion Genomics, the St. Louis-based company said last week. In addition, he has joined the company's board of directors. Leon is president of Leomics Associates, a company he founded. Prior to that, he held different positions at Quest Diagnostics. Leon holds a PhD in cellular and molecular biology from New York University.

Nuvelo has appointed Kimberly Popovits to its board of directors. Popovits currently serves as president and chief operating officer of Genomic Health. She comes to Genomic Health from Genentech, where she served as senior vice president, marketing and sales. Popovits is a director at BayBio. She has a BA in business from Michigan State University.

David Stone has become chairman of the board of directors of Oscient Pharmaceuticals, the company said last week. He replaces David Singer, who became chairman after the 2004 merger of Genome Therapeutics and GeneSoft Pharmaceuticals that created Oscient, and will remain a board member. Stone has been a company director since 2001. He is a partner at Flagship Venture, a Cambridge, Mass.-based venture capital firm. Stone holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in microbiology from Colorado State University.

Andrew MacDonald has become head of the new microarray technologies division of Genesis Diagnostics, the Littleport, UK-based company said last week. He used to be a manager with Genomics Solutions.

David Persing will become executive vice president as well as chief medical and technical officer with responsibility for R&D of Cepheid, starting Aug. 29, the company said yesterday. He has been a company director since April 2004 and will remain on the company's board. Most recently, he was senior vice president and CSO of Corixa. Persing holds MD and PhD degrees from the University of California, San Francisco, and a BA in biochemistry from San Jose State University.

Stuart Lacock has become vice president of North American sales for SciGene, the company said this week. He will be responsible for expanding business in the US and Canada, primarily for SciGene's microarrays. Lacock joins the company from Continental Laboratory Products, where he was national sales manager. In the past, he worked in sales and sales management capacities for Bio-Rad Laboratories, Fisher Scientific, and CPI International.

Three former Pfizer executives have joined Decode Genetics, the Icelandic company said last week:

Daniel Hartman has become senior vice president of product development. He used to be global clinical leader for allergy and respiratory diseases at Pfizer and an executive director at Pfizer Global Research and Development. Hartman holds an MD from Wayne State University.

David Hermann, formerly director of pharmacometrics at Pfizer Global Research and Development, has also joined DeCode's drug development team. He has a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Peter Van Ess is the third new member of DeCode's drug development group. He used to be global clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics program leader at Pfizer. Van Ess holds a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.

Applied DNA Sciences has named Jun-Jei Sheu as its new chairman and chief scientist. He replaces Rob Hutchison, who has served in the position since 2003. Hutchison will remain as an advisory board member. Sheu had been CEO of Biowell Technology, and comes to Applied DNA Sciences after the company acquired Biowell's DNA IP.


New Releases

Takara Bio launched a new DNA polymerase for PCR called PrimeSTAR HS this week. The enzyme features high fidelity and high amplification efficiency, resulting in reduced reaction time, the company said in a statement. One tube of the enzyme, which accounts for about 200 reactions, costs about $283, the company said.

Bayer HealthCare this week released its Advia WorkCell CDX modular laboratory automation system. The high-throughput integrated chemistry and immunoassay system is intended for use in mid- to high-volume clinical laboratories, Bayer said in a statement. The Advia WorkCell CDX has "expanded capacity, enhanced automated workflow management, and improved processes," compared to its predecessor, the company said.

The system will benefit labs by reducing the need for unnecessary tests, greater speed, and by freeing lab resources for other activities, Bayer said. The system performs centrifugation, decapping of specimens, "smart sorting," comprehensive sample tracking, integrated data management, automated detection of broken tubes in the centrifuge/decapper module, and the ability to automatically process sample tubes of multiple types and sizes, said Bayer. The new Advia also features hardware upgrades and a new operating system, compared with its predecessor, according to the statement.

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The Scan

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Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.