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People in the News: Jun 2, 2011


Akonni Biosystems has appointed Jan Smilek as chief financial officer, the company said this week.

Smilek most recently served as CFO and treasurer of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, where he co-led the $80 million acquisition of Sucampo AG in December 2010. He has also served as senior director of finance for Vanda Pharmaceuticals; and as a senior manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Smilek holds a BA in economics from the School of Economics in Bratislava, Czech Republic; and an MBA from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

James Robb has joined Biomatrica's scientific advisory board, the company said last week.

Robb currently serves as a governor of the College of American Pathologists, and for the past few years has been an SAIC-Frederick consulting pathologist in the Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research at the National Cancer Institute. Robb also served on the Secretary of Health and Human Services' Committee for Genetics, Health and Society Task Force on Oversight of Genetic Tests.

Robb has also been a tenured professor of pathology at the University of California, San Diego; staff pathologist and director of molecular pathology and cytopathology at the Scripps Clinic; and medical director of the HCA East Florida Division's Integrated Regional Laboratories.

He received his MD from the University of Colorado and completed his pathology residency and molecular biology training at Yale University before becoming a senior surgeon at NIH.

The Scan

Should've Been Spotted Sooner

Scientists tell the Guardian that SARS-CoV-2 testing issues at a UK lab should have been noticed earlier.

For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.