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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Richard Melzer, J. Rollins, Arnold Levine, Thomas Sakmar, Mona Singh

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Richard Melzer has resigned as senior vice president of sales and marketing at InforMax, “to pursue other interests,” according to a company statement. J. Rollins has replaced Melzer. Rollins was president and CEO of Sales Tactics, a North Carolina-based software sales and consulting firm, before joining InforMax in May 2001.

 

Arnold Levine, president of Rockefeller University, resigned last week citing health reasons. However, The New York Times reported that his resignation was connected to accusations regarding a sexual encounter with a young female student, and BioInform’s sister publication GenomeWeb learned from Rockefeller sources later in the week that Levine’s position on the board of embattled biotech firm ImClone may have been a contributing factor to his departure.

University representatives denied that Levine’s ImClone connection had anything to do with his departure and Levine was unavailable for comment.

Thomas Sakmar, professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Chemistry at Rockefeller, was named acting president of the university on February 11. Sakmar’s research focus is on signal transduction, particularly on G-protein-coupled receptors.

 

Princeton University computational molecular biologist Mona Singh has been named a recipient of the 2001 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Bush’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Singh is developing computing techniques for scanning whole genomes and predicting which proteins are likely to interact with one another.

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The Scan

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Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.