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People in the News: Hulin Wu; Kris Vanhercke; Kevin Fickenscher

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University of Rochester Medical Center said this week that Hulin Wu, a professor of biostatistics and computational biology, will serve as the founding director of its newly established Center for Integrative Bioinformatics and Experimental Mathematics.

The new center is part of the university's department of biostatistics and computational biology and will work on integrating and strengthening current biostatistics, bioinformatics, and computational biology resources at the center. The school hopes to develop a strong interdisciplinary research program and attract external funding, in particular large center grants and program grants in bioinformatics, computational biology and systems biology. It also plans to establish a PhD/MS education program in bioinformatics and computational biology

Initially, the center will serve researchers conducting basic science experiments, clinical studies, and translational research in immunology and infectious diseases. It also hopes to develop techniques and approaches to manage, analyze, and extract meaningful information from biomedical data.


Biogazelle, a real-time PCR data analysis company, has tapped Kris Vanhercke to serve as its chief operating officer.

Prior to joining Biogazelle, Vanhercke held a number of positions within Roche Diagnostics with the most recent being sales director for Roche Diagnostics’ Belgian office. He also held a scientific sales position at Boehringer Mannheim.


The American Medical Informatics Association has tapped Kevin Fickenscher as president and CEO of the organization.

Fickenscher will officially start his new role on April 1. He replaces Ted Shortliffe, who announced his decision to step down from the position several months ago.


The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.