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People in the News: New Hires at Lucigen, Signal, NYGC; Board Members at GenMark, Trovagene, PDI

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Lucigen has hired David Theil as senior vice president and CFO.

Theil specializes in private equity funded start-up and middle market companies in the life sciences industry, Lucigen said. Most recently Theil worked as an interim CFO consultant. His previous finance appointments have been with public and private companies operating in the biotechnology and medical device and diagnostics arena including Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Psychiatric Genomics, and Igen International.


Signal Genetics said this week that it has appointed Michael Cerio as senior vice president of commercial strategy and business development.

Cerio most recently worked as an independent consultant building out commercial plans for oncology diagnostics startups with the life science capital venture firm MPM Capital. Prior to that he served as consulting CEO for Modulation Therapies. He has also served as president and CEO of Oncolome Diagnositcs, and prior to that he worked at Genzyme, BG Medicine, and Genaissance Pharmaceuticals.


GenMark Diagnostics has appointed James Fox as chairman of the board, the company said this week.

Fox has served on the company's board since September 2010. He helped establish Australian CRO firm Invetech, helping to transform the company into the Vision Systems Group and its in vitro diagnostics subsidiary Vision Biosystems, both of which were acquired by Danaher in 2006. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Biota Pharmaceuticals, a director of TTP Group, and a director of MS Research Australia.

Fox replaces Christopher Gleeson, who is retiring from the board to attend to personal health matters.


Peter Hirth has joined Trovagene's scientific advisory board, the company said this week.

Hirth has more than 30 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical discovery and development experience. In December 2000, he co-founded Plexxikon and served as its CEO until 2013. Plexxikon was acquired in April 2011 by Daiichi Sankyo. Prior to Plexxikon, Hirth was at Sugen (since acquired by Pharmacia & Upjohn), where he held several positions of increasing responsibility since its inception, last as president. Prior to Sugen, Hirth was a vice president of research with Boehringer Mannheim where he successfully led the company's erythropoietin program. He also served as a research scientist with the Max Planck Institute following the completion of his postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Diego.


The New York Genome Center said recently that it has named Carol Ashe as chief business officer.

Ashe has previously served as vice president of corporate development for the pharmaceutical segment of Endo International. Prior to that, she was a partner at GlaxoSmithKline's corporate venture capital fund, SR One. She also previously led GSK's US corporate legal group and business development legal transactions team.


Healthcare commercialization company PDI said this week that Heiner Dreismann has joined its board of directors.

Dreismann is former president and CEO of Roche Molecular Systems. Over the course of more than 27 years he also held various positions at Roche Diagnostics and Roche Molecular Systems. He currently serves on the boards of directors of several other public and privately held companies, including GeneNews, Stratos Genomics, Magellan Diagnostics, Singluex, Celula, and Myriad Genetics.

PDI provides marketing strategy and execution to healthcare companies through three core business units: its Interpace Diagnostics subsidiary, which is working to develop and commercialize molecular diagnostic tests; its Contract Sales business unit, which outsources pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics sales teams; and its Group DCA division, which provides communication services.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.