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John Quackenbush, Eric Lander

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John Quackenbush has been appointed professor of computational biology and bioinformatics jointly at the Harvard School of Public Health and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Quackenbush was previously an investigator at the Institute for Genomic Research, where he led development of the TM4 suite of microarray analysis tools.


The American Association for the Advancement of Science has tapped Eric Lander as the recipient of the Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award. AAAS selected Lander for his ability to “tell the stories of genomics research to a broad cross-section of the general public in a consistently compelling and meaningful way,” according to Shirley Malcom, director of Education and Human Resources at AAAS. Lander is founding director of the Broad Institute, a professor of biology at MIT, a professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School, and a member of Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

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The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.