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Richard Sandberg, Ronnen Roubenoff, Julie Lekstrom-Himes, Gerald Linette, Matthew Pollman, Chris Webster, Shimoga Prakash, Michael Cooper, Brent Boeckmann, Francois Pons, Robert Zimmerman, Mary Ann Rafferty


Matritech has appointed Richard Sandberg, a former chairman of DNA diagnostics company Lifecodes, to the company’s board of directors. Sandberg, who previously served on Matritech’s board from 1999 to June 2002, has returned after a hiatus due to personal reasons. Sandberg has also held a variety of management positions, including chairman and CEO, for Dianon Systems, an oncology marketing and database company. Newton, Mass.-based Matritech uses proteomics to develop diagnostics for the early detection of cancer.

Millennium Pharmaceuticals has hired 10 new directors across its business and scientific teams. Joining the company with positions in molecular medicine are: Ronnen Roubenoff, senior director, molecular medicine; Julie Lekstrom-Himes, director, molecular medicine; and Gerald Linette, director, molecular medicine. In other scientific areas, Matthew Pollman has joined Millennium as director, cardiovascular biology; Chris Webster as director, regulatory affairs; Shimoga Prakash as director, science/research; and Michael Cooper as senior director, clinical research.

Brent Boeckmann has joined the Indiana Proteomics Consortium as vice president for business development. A former investment banker for Anderson Worldwide in London, Boeckmann will be responsible for establishing new stand-alone ventures or partnerships based on the technology developed by the consortium.

Francois Pons has joined Grenoble, France-based Genome Express as director of business development, in charge of promoting business relationships around the company’s genomics and proteomics technology. Prior to joining Genome Express, Pons served as director of business development and scientific communication at the Centre d’Immunologies Pierre Fabre in Saint Julien en Genevois, France. Pons has also worked for Baxter Healthcare France in strategic marketing.

Signature BioScience has appointed Robert Zimmerman chief operating officer and executive vice president for R&D, and Mary Ann Rafferty vice president for talent acquisition and development. Zimmerman, who most recently served as vice president for biotechnology research at Bayer, will be responsible for scaling up Signature’s drug discovery platform, and guiding the company’s oncology product pipeline. Rafferty will be responsible for recruiting and maintaining Signature’s human resources.

The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.