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People In The News: Jul 16, 2010

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Harold Varmus was sworn in as director of the National Cancer Institute this week. Varmus was director of the National Institutes of Health from 1993 to 1999 and he recently was president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He also was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1989 for cancer genetics research he conducted at the University of California, San Francisco’s medical school.

Current NIH Director Francis Collins this week called Varmus “the best person on the planet to take the reins” at NCI.

Varmus said at a town hall meeting at NIH where he was sworn in that the institutes are “the most glorious manifestation I know of what government and democracy are capable of doing.”

"Suddenly we have an incredible specificity about markers and damaged genes in cancer cells,” he said of the scientific climate today.

“We have better information technology. We understand the biochemistry of the cell more profoundly. We have a portrait emerging of what is happening, one cancer at a time,” he said.

Illumina has named Melina Cimler to be VP of quality and regulatory affairs. She will lead the company’s quality and regulatory organizations to support its development, manufacturing, and distribution activities. Cimler formerly worked in similar positions at Beckman Coulter, Abbott Molecular, and Gen-Probe. Prior to joining Illumina, Cimler was president of PandiaDx Consulting.

Exact Sciences has appointed David Thompson, Daniel Levangie, and Lionel Sterling to its board of directors. Thompson worked at Abbott Laboratories for more than 30 years and was president of Abbott’s diagnostic division. Levangie is president, CEO, and a board member of Keystone Dental, and Sterling is president of Equity Resources and a director of Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals.

Lab services company ACM Global added several new hires to its UK and US operations. In the UK, the company has named Zoe Denham to be a project manager, Barnaby le Clerq to serve as business development director, and Ros McCabe to be an analytical scientist.

In the US, the firm has appointed Hua-Kang Wu as director of Molecular and Cellular Diagnostics and Cholpady Kamath to be director of anatomic pathology. It also has promoted Tracy Hendershott to the post of executive director of Global Operations.

“These strategic hires and promotions are instrumental in ensuring ACM Global continues to invest in its central lab business from both the scientific and new business perspectives,” said Elena Logan, VP of Clinical Trials.

Genesis Genomics, on top of changing its name to Mitomics this week, also has tapped Jason Dulude to take over the job of chief financial officer, and it has named Chris Merritt to be VP of sales and marketing.
Dulude formerly was involved in accounting and operations at KPMG and at Grant Thornton. Merritt was VP of sales and customer care at Timm Medical Technologies. The company also has appointed three new members to its board of directors, including: Vijay Aggarwal, CEO of Vaxigenix and managing partner of Channel Group; Kenneth Fallon, chairman of Osteotech; and Jim LaFrance, president and CEO of LaFrance Consulting.

The Scan

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.