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People in the News: Biocartis Names New CEO; PrimeraDx Hires Heffelfinger; GenturaDx Forms SAB

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Biocartis this week named Nayan Gregory Parekh as the company's new CEO, replacing current CEO Rudi Pauwels.

Parekh has been an executive director of Biocartis' board since April. Most recently Parekh helped found New Rhein Healthcare, where he also served as a partner. Prior to this, he spent six years as head of corporate development at Novartis. Prior to that he spent ten years in the investment banking industry, including as an employee of Deutsche Bank. He holds a PhD from Northwestern University and received a BA in economics and political science from the University of Rochester.

BioCartis said that Pauwels will become the executive chairman focusing on scientific and technology strategy as the company prepares for the launch of its flagship molecular diagnostics platform in 2013.


PrimeraDx said this week that it has appointed David Heffelfinger as vice president of engineering and systems development.

Heffelfinger has held several executive-level engineering positions at life science and medical device companies including Beckman Coulter, BD Biosciences, and Bio-Rad Laboratories; as well as with several startups and venture capital-backed companies including Biometric Imaging, Alpha Innotech, and Luminys Systems.

Heffelfinger also founded his own company, Hyperspectra. He began his career as an applied physicist at General Motors Research Laboratories. He holds a BS and MS in physics from Wayne State University and an MBA from Saint Mary's College.

In a statement, PrimeraDx President and CEO Matthew McManus said that Heffelfinger's "knowledge and background in engineering and systems development, as well as his quality systems experience and six sigma training, are well aligned with the company's strategy to provide next-generation molecular diagnostics to the clinical laboratory market." PrimeraDx is developing the ICEPlex sample-to-answer molecular diagnostics platform.


GenturaDx this week announced the formation of its scientific advisory board by appointing Keith Jerome, Steven Miller, and Gregory Tsongalis.

Tsongalis, who is also GenturaDx's senior vice president of research and development, is a high-complexity clinical laboratory director, a fellow in the Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, and director of molecular pathology at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Jerome is director of the Molecular Virology Laboratory and an associate professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington.

Miller is medical director of the clinical microbiology laboratory and assistant professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

GenturaDx is developing a fully integrated benchtop molecular diagnostics platform called IDbox, which is expected to enter clinical trials next year.

The Scan

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The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.