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Celera Genomics Hires Key Executives, Announces Advisory Board Appointees

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ROCKVILLE, Md.--Celera Genomics, the new company established here in May by Perkin-Elmer and Craig Venter of the Institute for Genomic Research, recently announced the creation of its scientific advisory board and key staff appointments.

The company also unveiled its name earlier this month. President and Chief Scientific Officer Venter said the name Celera, derived from "celerity," "mirrors the speed with which our new company intends to provide pharmaceutical companies and researchers the information contained in the complete human genome and to help enable the development of new therapies, targeted diagnostics, and individualized medicine."

Senior staff

Tony White, Perkin-Elmer's chairman and CEO, will serve as Celera's chairman. Peter Barrett, Perkin-Elmer vice-president of corporate planning and business development, was named executive vice-president and chief business officer for Celera.

Samuel Broder, a former director of the National Cancer Institute and, since 1995, senior vice-president for research and development at Ivax, was named Celera's executive vice-president and chief medical officer. Broder is published widely on cancer and AIDS.

L. Stevenson Parker was named vice-president of administration and legal affairs. Since 1990 Parker was a partner at the Washington, DC, law firm Arnold and Porter, where he specialized in the practice of corporate and securities and intellectual property/technology law.

Scientific advisory board

Celera's scientific advisory board, announced earlier this month, includes:

* Arthur Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics and chairman of the advisory committee to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, and Food and Drug Administration;

* Cancer biologist Arnold Levine, recently named president of Rockefeller University;

* Victor McKusick, university professor of medical genetics at Johns Hopkins;

* Richard Roberts, 1993 winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine, and a research director at New England Biolabs;

* Melvin Simon, chairman and professor, Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology; and,

* Norton Zinder, the first chairman of the US National Institutes of Health's Program Advisory Committee on the Human Genome. He is currently the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., professor and head of the laboratory of genetics of Rockefeller University.

Still building

At BioInform press time 20 lower-level job openings were posted on the Celera website http://www.celera.com, including 11 software positions. Software engineers were sought for various departments, including data acquisition, algorithm development, assembly, gene discovery, chromosome, and SNP's. NT and Unix systems administrators were also being recruited. Michael Knapp, Celera's business development director, said the company does not expect to have trouble filling the slots.

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