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

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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

Review of Approval Process

Stat News reports the Department for Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General is to investigate FDA's approval of Biogen's Alzheimer's disease drug.

Not Quite Right

A new analysis has found hundreds of studies with incorrect nucleotide sequences reported in their methods, according to Nature News.

CRISPR and mRNA Together

Time magazine reports on the use of mRNA to deliver CRISPR machinery.

Nature Papers Present Smartphone Platform for DNA Diagnosis of Malaria, Mouse Lines for Epigenomic Editing

In Nature this week: a low-cost tool to detect infectious diseases like malaria, and more.