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People in the News: Lars Holmkvist, Marian Sacco, James LaFrance, Stephane Bancel


Agilent Technologies said this week that Lars Holmkvist has resigned from his position as senior VP of the company and group president of its Life Sciences and Diagnostics Group. He has been replaced by Fred Strohmeier, a 34-year veteran of the company, who also serves as VP and general manager of the company's Life Science Products and Solutions sector.

Holmkvist was named leader of the Life Sciences and Diagnostics Group in September, when the company announced its plans to split into two publicly traded companies, one focused on life sciences and diagnostics business, and the other on its electronic measurement business.

Vermillion said this week that it has promoted Marian Sacco to be senior VP of sales and marketing and chief commercial officer.

She has previously worked for companies including Centocor, Kirin Diagnostics, Barron Diagnostics, and Adeza Biomedical.

Vermillon hired Sacco recently as a strategic planning consultant to help the company in the commercial launch of its OVA1 ovarian cancer test.

Vermillion also elected James LaFrance as its new chairman of the board. He most recently served as head of digital pathology and acting CEO of Omnyx, and held a series of commercial, strategic marketing and business development leadership roles at Ventana Medical Systems.

LaFrance succeeds Bruce Huebner, who is retiring from the board. Vermillion also said that William Wallen has also retired from its board.

BG Medicine said in an SEC filing this week that Stephane Bancel has been promoted from executive chairman to chairman, as of Nov. 1.

In connection with the promotion, Bancel's consulting agreement with the company was terminated.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.