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Stephen Benoit, Tod Kombell, Gary Patou, Loucks, Jr., James Winkelman, Thomas Williams, Joe DeRisi, Tom Tuschl, Greg Hannon, Evan Eichler, Stephen Quake

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Stephen Benoit has become vice president of sales and marketing, and Tod Kombell director of business development of Sciona, the Boulder, Colo.-based genetic testing company said this week. Previously, Benoit was a co-founder of NanoMed Pharmaceuticals. He holds an MBA in finance from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Kimbell held management positions in product development at Whole Foods. He has a doctorate in geochemistry from the University of Texas at Dallas.


Gary Patou will join the board of directors of Oscient Pharmaceuticals, following his retirement as executive vice president and chief medical officer at the end of the month, the Waltham, Mass.-based company said yesterday. He will remain a company consultant until the end of the year. Prior to joining Oscient in 2005 after its merger with GeneSoft Pharmaceuticals, Patou was president of Genesoft. He holds MD, MB, BS, and BSc degrees from University College London.

Further, Vernon Loucks, Jr. has resigned from Oscient's board. He was an original member of the board of GeneSoft.


James Winkelman has been appointed as chair of the scientific advisory board of Xenomics, the New York-based company said this week. He is a professor emeritus at Harvard Medical School and the former director of laboratories for Brigham and Women's Hospital.


Thomas Williams has joined Exagen Diagnostics as special advisor for molecular pathology, the Albuquerque, NM-based company said on Monday. He is the vice chairman of the department of pathology at the University of New Mexico Schoolof Medicine.


The Howard Hughes Medical Institute this week named 43 new investigators, chosen from almost 300 proposals in a nationwide competition. Among the new HHMI investigators are microbial microarray pioneer Joe DeRisi, an associate professor of biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco; RNAi researchers Tom Tuschl, an associate professor at Rockefeller University, and Greg Hannon, a professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Evan Eichler, an associate professor of genome sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle; and Stephen Quake, a professor of bioengineering at Stanford University.

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The Scan

And Back

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Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.