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Tak Wah Mak, Michael Levitt, Claudia Gutjahr-Loeser, Alexander Oehmichen , Robert Ingersoll, Laurence Jay Korn, Robert Williamson


Affinium Pharmaceuticals said last week that two of the company’s advisors, Tak Wah Mak and Michael Levitt, had been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Mak, a member of Affinium’s board of directors, was elected as a foreign associate of NAS, and Levitt, who sits on the company’s scientific advisory board, was elected as a member.

Currently, Mak is a professor in the departments of medical biophysics and immunology at the University of Toronto, and vice president of research and founding director of the Amgen Institute, also in Toronto. Levitt is chair of the structural biology department at Stanford University.


MorphoSys said yesterday that it had added two senior staffers. Claudia Gutjahr-Loeser will manage corporate communications, and Alexander Oehmichen will be general counsel. Gutjahr-Loeser will be responsible for European corporate communications. She was hired from Cassiopeia, where she was investor relations manager and assistant to the CEO. Oehmichen joins the company from Abbott GmbH, where he ran the legal department. He also has held positions in business law at Boehringer Mannheim and Knoll.


Structural Bioinformatics said May 6 that it had brought on Robert Ingersoll as senior director of national sales. Ingersoll was previously with Johnson & Johnson, and has been a sales executive in various divisions of the company, including Janssen Pharmaceutica and Ortho Pharmaceuticals. Structural Bioinformatics, which focuses on drug discovery through proteomics, is headquartered in San Diego.


The CEO and R&D chief of Protein Design Labs resigned last week, the company said May 1. PDL co-founder Laurence Jay Korn, 52, resigned as chief executive, but will retain a role with the company as board chair. Senior Vice President Douglas Ebersole will serve as interim CEO while the board conducts a search for a replacement. Daniel Levitt, who led PDL’s research and development, also resigned. He had been with the company since 1996, when he left his position as chief medical officer and vice president of drug development at Geron. The company has recently endured several disappointments in drug development, as its psoriasis and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma compounds performed poorly in clinical trials.


Robert Williamson has been hired as president and chief operating officer of Eos Biotechnology, the company said yesterday. He will be responsible for business development at Eos, which is developing therapeutic antibody treatments for oncology, angiogenesis, and inflammation. Eos, based in South San Francisco, Calif., is privately owned. Williamson comes to Eos from DoubleTwist, where he was promoted from president to CEO in January 2002 in a last-ditch effort to save the struggling company. Despite salvage efforts, DoubleTwist closed for good in March.

The Scan

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.