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Michael Berens, Michael Bittner, Michael Rodgers, Curt Schilling, Jeffrey Trent, Christophe Benoist, Diane Mathis, Thomas Klopack, Alan Nies

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Michael Berens, a researcher at Arizona’s Translational Genomics Research Institute, has become CEO of the International Genomics Consortium, the IGC said last week.

His first task will be to talk to potential partners, such as pharmaceutical companies, and to raise funds for the consortium.

Berens, a former researcher at the Barrow Neurological Institute, will keep his position as senior investigator at the TGen in order to pursue federally funded research.

The Phoenix-based consortium has also named Robert Penny chief medical officer; Michael Bittner as chief research officer; and Michael Rodgers as chief financial officer. Lastly, Max Poll, president and CEO at Scottsdale Healthcare, was elected to the IGC’s board.

In a separate release, the TGen has appointed to its board Curt Schilling, a pitcher for the Arizona Diamondback baseball team in the US.

Schilling was recruited by TGen president and scientific director Jeffrey Trent , according to the institute. While he has no background in genomics, he has been involved in fundraising efforts for ALS and melanoma.


Christophe Benoist and Diane Mathis have been appointed to the scientific advisory board of Phenomix, an in vivo genomic mutation-screening company, Phenomix said March 18.

Benoist and Mathis are both professors of medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Joslin Diabetes Center, where they use transgenic and knockout technology to study diseases like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. They will provide Phenomix with advice on immunological disease research and drug discovery, the group said.


Aclara Biosciences has appointed Thomas Klopack CEO, the company said last week.

Klopack, who was COO of Aurora Biosciences from 1998 until 2002, fills a position that has gone through a bit of musical chairs in the past few months: CEO Joseph Limber left last December, and Ed Hurwitz, a board member, was appointed interim CEO at the time, then stepped down Feb. 21. The company temporarily filled the management gap by bringing back Limber and recruiting board member Andre Marion to lead the company together as “the office of the president.”


Lexicon Genetics has appointed Alan Nies chairman of its medical advisory board. In his new role, Nies will help develop and implement strategies for the clinical development of potential products arising from Lexicon's drug-discovery programs.

Nies comes to Lexicon from Merck, where he was senior vice president for clinical sciences. Before then, he spent 15 years as professor of medicine, and head of the division of chemical pharmacology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

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