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LSBC Hires Former Banker; OSI Exec Moves to Syrrx; NCI and NIGMS Begin Designing New Beamlines


LSBC Hires Former Banker As President; CFO Retires

Large Scale Biology Corporation (LSBC) named former J.P. Morgan investment banker John Fowler as president of the company last week. Fowler, who most recently served as managing director of the healthcare group at J.P. Morgan, has worked with LSBC’s management over the past ten years as an advisor. He will also serve on the company’s board of directors.

Vacaville, Calif.-based LSBC also announced that William Pfann, the company’s chief financial officer, will retire. Ronald Artale, currently vice president and treasurer of Addition Technology, a private investment firm, will succeed Pfann as LSBC’s CFO.


OSI Exec moves to Syrrx as VP For Drug Discovery

Structural genomics company Syrrx has hired David Webb, a former executive at OSI Pharmaceuticals, to serve as the company’s vice president of drug discovery, the company said last week.

The appointment of Webb will help fulfill Syrrx’s objective to expand its efforts in pre-clinical drug discovery, the San Diego-based company said. Prior to OSI, Webb worked at Cadus Pharmaceutical, where he served as chief scientific officer.

In addition to Webb, Syrrx has also hired four additional scientists to complement its drug discovery team. The recent recruits are Michael Tennant, who will become Syrrx’s new director of computational biology, Marc Navre, who will serve as senior director for leads discovery, Gideon Bollag, Syrrx’s new director of cellular pharmacology, and Xiao-Yi Xiao, the company’s new director of combinatorial chemistry.


NCI and NIGMS Begin Designing Three New Beamlines at ANL

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will fund three additional synchrotron beamline facilities at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill., the institutes announced last week.

The three beamlines will serve researchers seeking to “numerically determine the structures of biological macromolecules,” said Charles Edmonds, a scientist in the department of cell biology and biophysics at NIGMS who is leading the project.

Although NCI and NIGMS began planning for the new beamlines two years ago, the announcement marks the commencement of the designing of the x-ray optics, Edmonds said.

Independent researchers will have access to about 40 percent of the available synchrotron resources through a peer-review process, Edmonds said. About a third of the radiation resources will be reserved for NIGMS’ structural genomics initiative and the NCI’s effort in targeted drug design.

Edmonds added that one of the new beamlines will have two insertion devices on the same straight section of the beamline, an as-yet untried method for analyzing samples that effectively doubles the number of photons available for x-ray crystallography experiments.

The beamlines will cost $23 million to design and build, and are expected to come online in 30 months, an “extremely ambitious” timetable, Edmonds admitted.



The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.