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Former SmithKline and Tripos VPs Join Aurora

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SAN DIEGO, Calif.--Paul England, former vice-president, molecular screening technologies, for SmithKline Beecham, has joined drug discovery system developer Aurora Biosciences as vice-president, discovery operations, here. Known for his work on protein phosphorylation in the regulation of cardiac function, England will lead Aurora's high-throughput screening efforts and establish ultra-high-throughput screening operations as the system comes online, according to chief technical officer J. Gordon Foulkes.

Aurora also appointed Tad Hurst, formerly of Tripos, to vice-president, pharmacoinformatics. Known as the primary author of Sybyl Line Notation and for inventing the Directed Tweak method for flexible 3D searching as well as HQSAR, a 2D fragment-based technique for predicting biological activity, Hurst led the development of the UNITY chemical database system at Tripos and previously led in-house chemical and biological datasystem development at Monsanto Agricultural. He will be responsible for analyzing information to extract additional value from Aurora's ultra-high-throughput drug discovery process and databases.

Aurora is developing an integrated technology platform comprised of a portfolio of proprietary fluorescent assay technologies and an ultra-high-throughput screening system designed to allow assay miniaturization and overcome limitations associated with the traditional drug discovery process.

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