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People In The News: Jan 21, 2011

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche’s Erich Hunziker has announced his plans to retire from his positions as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer and Deputy Head of the Corporate Executive Committee at the end of March. The firm’s board of directors has appointed Alan Hippe to take over Hunziker’s position as CFO. He will also be on Roche's Corporate Executive Committee. He had been CFO at ThysenKrupp.


Synpromics said this week that Andrei Lyne has joined the company as CFO. Lyne formerly was an investment banker at UBS Investment Bank’s Global Healthcare Group.


PrognosDx Health said this week that it has named Garry Nolan to be company vice chairman. Nolan has co-founded several companies, including Rigel Pharma and Nodality. The Palo Alto-based company also said recently that it has named Joseph Presti, Robert Schimke, Amato Giaccia, Jack Bloom, and David Young to its scientific advisory board.


The Vatican has named Werner Arber, a professor of microbiology at the University of Basel, to be president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Arber's research has focused on the mechanisms that promote and which limit spontaneous variation of genetic information in micro-organisms. He, who is Protestant, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1978.


Roger Brownsword has been appointed chairman of the UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council, replacing Graeme Laurie, who finished his four-year term at the end of last year. Brownsword recently retired as a professor of law at King's College of London and he has served as a special adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on Stem Cells and as a member of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. The Ethics and Governance Council at UK Biobank is funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council.


Cetero Research of Cary, NC, has appointed Roger Hayes to the post of president of Bioanalytical Operations. Hayes has spent a decade as a director at the Schering-Plough Research Institute, part of Merck Laboratories. He also has worked with Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals, Procter and Gamble, and as a co-administrator at the National Science Foundation mass spectrometry research facility.


WaferGen Biosystems said this week that it has appointed Arul Chinnaiyan to serve on its scientific advisory board. Chinnaiyan is currently director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, and co-founded Compendia Bioscience in 2006. A specialist in using biomarkers to develop patient therapies, Chinnaiyan also is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a member of the Institute of Medicine, and serves on the National Cancer Institute's board of scientific advisors.


Gary Palmer has taken a position with Foundation Medicine as senior VP of medical affairs and commercial development. Palmer has spent time at On-Q-ity, where he was chief medical officer and head of development for DNA repair marker development and circulating tumor cell technology. He also formerly was VP of medical affairs at Genomic Health, where he worked to commercialize the Oncotype Dx Breast Cancer Assay.


Next-generation sequencing products developer Halo Genomics has appointed Jay Shendure to its scientific advisory board. Shendure is an assistant professor in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. He has helped develop next-generation sequencing technologies and was involved in the development of polony sequencing, Halo Genomics, formerly called Olink Genomics, said.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.