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People in the News: Richard Holland and Paul Billings


The Pistoia Alliance has hired Richard Holland to serve as its executive director of operations.

Holland comes to Pistoia after working for bioinformatics consultancy Eagle Genomics for six years. He will begin his new role at Pistoia in June this year, leading a team focused on building and delivering a portfolio of diverse and complex initiatives for the alliance.

Omicia has hired Paul Billings as its chief medical officer and to serve on its scientific advisory board.

Prior to joining Omicia, Billings was CMO at Life Technologies, now owned by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Before that he was founded and served as acting director and chief scientific officer of the Genomic Medicine Institute at El Camino Hospital. He's also served as president, CEO, and director of Cellective Dx and is one of the founder's of CBR Systems and GeneSage. Other positions he's held include senior vice president and senior geneticist at Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings.

In addition to his new position at Omicia, Billings currently a director at Trovagene and CollabRx. He also serves on the US Food and Drug Administration's SAB, the Genomic Medicine Advisory Committee at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Genomics.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.