Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

People in the News: Alejandro Zaffaroni, Weslie Tyson, Richard Hockett, Patrick Balthrop, Walter Loewenbaum


Affymetrix co-founder and biotechnology entrepreneur Alejandro Zaffaroni died last week at the age of 91, according to The New York Times.

A native of Uruguay, Zaffaroni helped to launch a number of other biotech companies, including Alza, Syntex, Perlegen Sciences, Symyx Technologies, DNAX, and Maxygen.

Zaffaroni was awarded the National Medal of Technology from US President Bill Clinton in 1995.

CombiMatrix this week appointed Weslie Tyson as its new chief medical officer. Tyson will assume his new role at the Irvine, Calif.-based genetic testing services company on April 8.

Tyson has been a practicing pediatric and perinatal pathologist for more than two decades. He joins CombiMatrix from UniPath, a Denver-based multispecialty pathology group that staffs eight metro hospitals and a large central laboratory.

Tyson replaces outgoing CMO Richard Hockett, whose resignation CombiMatrix announced last month.

Luminex CEO Patrick Balthrop and chairman Walter Loewenbaum have been named to NextGxDx's board of directors. NextGxDx is a Nashville-based company that offers an online marketplace for genetic testing. Other new directors at NextGxDx include Phil Hertik, former founder, chairman, and CEO of Windsor Health Group; Jim Kever, principal at Voyent Partners; and George Lazenby, former CEO of Emdeon.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.