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Joseph DeRisi, Vamsi Mootha, Masahide Habu, John West, Craig Taylor, Harry Wilcox, and Jane Green


The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation this week named the 2004 MacArthur Fellows, each of which will receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years, said a foundation statement. Recipients this year include: Joseph DeRisi, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco who is cited for “developing the means to measure thousands of genes simultaneously” to study cell biology; and Vamsi Mootha, Assistant Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, who was honored for “tapping into the wellspring of new data” from molecular biology, genetics, and protein chemistry to study metabolic diseases, such as diabetes.

Applied Biosystems has appointed Masahide Habu president of Applied Biosystems Japan, where he will direct and oversee the division’s Japanese operations, said the company. Habu is the former ABI director of sales and marketing.

Following the purchase of Solexa by Lynx Therapeutics, Solexa CEO John West will become CEO of the combined company, the companies said this week. West joined Solexa last month from Applied Biosystems, where he was vice president of DNA platforms. He will also join the combined company’s board of directors, which will include Craig Taylor, chairman of Lynx, and four venture-capital members of the Solexa board.

Harry Wilcox is the new senior vice president and CFO of Exact Sciences, the Marlborough, Mass.-based company said this week. He joins the company from Beacon BioPartners, where he was a partner. Prior to that, he was interim CEO of Biostratum and executive vice president and chief of finance and corporate development at Pyrosequencing.

Jane Green has become vice president for corporate communications of Berkeley, Calif.-based Dynavax Technologies,the company said this week. She comes to the position from Exelixis, where she developed and managed the company’s communications strategy. Prior to that, she was senior director of corporate communications at Caliper Technologies.

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The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.