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People in the News: Apr 21, 2009

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Combimatrix said this week that Karine Hovanes has joined its subsidiary, Combimatrix Molecular Diagnostics, as its laboratory director.

Hovanes is a diplomat of the American Board of Medical Genetics in clinical molecular genetics and clinical cytogenetics and is also licensed in New York and California in both cytogenetics and molecular genetics. She joins CMDX from Laboratory Corporation of America.

Hovanes holds a PhD from the University of California, Irvine, and completed her postdoc in cytogenetics and molecular genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Dietrich Stephan has been named to the scientific advisory board of Mitrionics, a firm developing parallel processing software and hybrid computing servers for genomics and bioinformatics applications.

Stephan is the co-founder and chief science officer for Navigenics. He is also chairman of the National Institutes of Health Neuroscience Microarray Consortium, and has previously served as deputy director for discovery research and founding chairman of the neurogenomics division of the Translational Genomics Research Institute.


Frank Witney has been named CEO of the chemical chromatography systems maker Dionex. He replaces Lukas Braunschweiler, who has been president and CEO of Dionex since 2002. Braunschweiler left the post to serve as president and CEO of Ruag Holding.

Witney was president of drug discovery tools at PerkinElmer and he was president and CEO of Panomics before it was purchased last year by Affymetrix. He most recently served as chief commercial officer and executive vice president at Affy.

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.