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Scott Binder, David Smith, Vicky Gwosdz, Jai Nagarkatti, David Harvey, Jim Woodgett, Invitrogen, Jivan Biologics, Eppendorf North America



Scott Binder has joined CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics as a member of its scientific advisory board, the company said this week. Binder is a professor of clinical pathology and dermatology, chief of dermatopathology, and director of pathology outreach services at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, with a specialty in pigmented lesions and lymphoid lesions of the skin, CombiMatrix said.

Binder earned his MD from the University of Chicago Medical School and completed his residency at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA and was a fellow at the Scripps Clinic and Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

Galapagos has appointed David Smith chief financial officer as of Feb. 1, 2006, a position at the BioFocus offices in Saffron Walden, UK. Smith joins Galapagos from AstraZeneca, where he spent four years as a marketing CFO, most recently in the Netherlands. From his initial position in R&D finance at Zeneca, he moved to Sweden after the company's merger with Astra to assume the role of cardiovascular therapy area finance director. Smith earned his chartered accountantship through Coopers & Lybrand, Leeds, and moved with the firm to Dubai, Saudi Arabia, where he worked as an audit manager. He has a degree in molecular biophysics from the University of Leeds.

Vicky Gwosdz, currently Galapagos' head of finance, will continue with the company as controller.

Jai Nagarkatti, Sigma-Aldrich's sitting president and chief operating officer, will assume the posts of president and chief executive officer starting Jan. 1, the company said last week.

Nagarkatti will succeed current CEO and board chairman David Harvey, who will continue on as chairman of the board of directors. Nagarkatti was also elected to the board as part of the shuffling of leadership.

According to the St. Louis-based life sciences company, Nagarkatti has been with Sigma-Aldrich for nearly 30 years, holding positions in R&D, production, operations and sales and marketing. He has served as COO and president since August 2004.

Jim Woodgett has been named the new director of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, the hospital said last week.

Woodgett previously served as director of the University Health Network's Microarray Center. He has also been division head of experimental therapeutics at the Ontario Cancer Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.

New Releases

Invitrogen said this week that it will launch its NCode Multi-Species miRNA Microarray for miRNA profiling next month.

The NCode platform enables researchers to profile all known miRNAs from humans, plus additional human predicted miRNAs, mouse, rat, Drosophila, C. elegans, and zebrafish, Invitrogen said.

Jivan Biologics this week made available its PCR Primer Set for genome-wide splice variant detection.

The Berkeley, Calif.-based array company said that customers for its TransExpress splice arrays can now order the corresponding PCR primer pairs for oligonucleotide probes on any TransExpress array. Each PCR primer pair spans an exon junction or alternately spliced site, Jivan said. Researchers can also directly order PCR primers for genes and splice variants of interest.

Last month, Jivan launched its Custom Exon Junction Microarrays, designed to detect RNA splicing events in biological samples.

According to the company, customers can select from a pre-designed and validated genome-wide probe set and can also choose their preferred platform and manufacturer. The exon junction probes are available in versions optimized for multiple manufacturers, including Agilent Technologies and ArrayIt Life Sciences, the company said.

Eppendorf North America last week launched its Eppendorf Mastercycler ep family, which features ESP-heated lids for faster, more precise annealing and better block homogeneity, the company said. The company offers Mastercycler ep gradient for 96 x 0.2 ml tubes or one PCR plate with a gradient range up to 20°C; Mastercycler ep gradient S with a speed up to 6°C/s and a gradient range up to 24°C; or Mastercycler ep 384 for samples in a 384-well format, the company added.

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