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Oct 08, 2020

Caris Life Sciences: Brian Lamon

Caris Life Sciences has appointed Brian Lamon as its chief business officer and head of biopharma business development. Lamon brings over 15 years of experience from large pharma and academia to the firm. He previously worked for Bristol Myers Squibb as a VP and development lead. Prior to that, he held several leadership roles in clinical development and business development for the same company.

Before joining industry, Lamon was assistant dean of research development and an assistant professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York. He remains active on the faculty through a courtesy appointment as assistant professor.

Oct 07, 2020

New England Biolabs: Donald Comb

New England Biolabs founder Donald Comb has died. He founded NEB, one of the first biotechnology firms to commercialize restriction enzymes, in 1974 and served as its CEO until 2005, after which he remained chairman of the board of directors. Prior to NEB, he was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Comb held a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Michigan.

Oct 07, 2020

Nobel Prize: Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer Doudna

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna have been jointly awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry for their discovery and development of the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing method.

"There is enormous power in this genetic tool, which affects us all. It has not only revolutionized basic science, but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to ground-breaking new medical treatments," said Nobel Committee for Chemistry Chair Claes Gustafsson in a statement.

Charpentier is the director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin. She holds a PhD from the Institute Pasteur in France.

Doudna is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She holds a PhD from Harvard Medical School.

The two Nobel laureates will equally share the 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.12 million) award.

Oct 06, 2020

Pillar Biosciences: Robert Forrester

Pillar Biosciences, a next-generation sequencing cancer diagnostics company, has added Robert Forrester as an independent board member. Forrester has previously served as CEO of Verastem Oncology, COO of Forma Therapeutics, CEO and CFO of CombinatoRx, and CFO of Coley Pharmaceutical. He is also cofounder and chief experience officer of EQRx, which makes innovative medicines at dramatically lower prices for the benefit of society. Forrester has also served as managing director of the Proprietary Investment Group at MeesPierson.

Oct 06, 2020

Helio Health: Wei Li

Helio Health has appointed Wei Li to its advisory board. Li has more than 20 years of experience in bioinformatics research and development and is currently the endowed chair and professor of bioinformatics for the biological chemistry department at the University of California, Irvine's School of Medicine. He previously was the Dan L. Duncan Chair professor in the division of biostatistics at the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center as part of the molecular and cellular biology department at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Oct 06, 2020

Karius: Alexander Ford

Karius has appointed Alexander (Alec) Ford as CEO. Ford most recently served as chief operating officer of Myriad Genetics. He will replace current CEO Mickey Kertesz, who will transition to the roles of president and chief product officer.

Oct 05, 2020

Myriad Genetics: Alexander Ford

Myriad Genetics said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that Alexander Ford has resigned as chief operating officer as of Oct. 2. Before recently becoming chief operating officer, he was president of Myriad's women's health division and president of Myriad Genetic Laboratories. Prior to joining Myriad in 2010, Ford worked in various leadership roles in sales, business development, and product marketing at Novartis, Sanofi Aventis, Nektar Therapeutics, and Pfizer.

Oct 02, 2020

Oxford Nanopore Technologies: Guy Harmelin

Guy Harmelin has been appointed as a non-executive director of Oxford Nanopore Technologies, effective September 17. Previously, he was on the leadership team at Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services, the largest insurance group in Israel. Prior to that, he was the cofounder and CEO of RondinX, a computational microbiome analysis company that was acquired by BiomX in 2017. Harmelin holds an MD from the University of Florence in Italy. 

Oct 02, 2020

Tempus: Christopher Mason

Christopher Mason is planning to take a leave of absence from his post as associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine to work on COVID-19 testing, including at Tempus, Biotia, and labs in Wisconsin and New York City. Chicago-based Tempus said in June that Mason has joined the firm as VP of emerging genome technology. He holds a PhD in genetics from Yale University and a dual BS degree in genetics and biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Oct 02, 2020

Micronoma: Magda Marquet

Micronoma, a startup using microbiome analysis for early cancer detection, has appointed Magda Marquet as chairman of the firm's board. She currently serves as the chairman of the board at Matrysis. Prior to Micronoma, she was the cofounder of Ajinomoto Althea and AltheaDx. Marquet also formerly served as chairman of the board of the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, where she now sits on the executive committee. Marquet has been an independent board member for Micronoma since 2019. 

Oct 01, 2020

Thrive Earlier Detection: Sam Asgarian, Frank Diehl, Dina Ciarimboli

Thrive Earlier Detection has appointed Sam Asgarian is its new chief medical officer, Frank Diehl as executive vice president of product solutions, and Dina Ciarimboli as chief legal officer.

Asgarian will lead the firm's medical strategy, including the integration of its CancerSEEK early detection test into routine medical care. He was most recently vice president of CVS Health's Transformation Health Product organization. Asgarian joined CVS as part of the Aetna acquisition, having served as the chief medical officer of Aetna's clinical services organization, overseeing medical management and clinical policy operations. He holds a BA in molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley, an MA in medical sciences from Loyola University Chicago, an MD from Tulane University, and an MBA from Cornell University.

Diehl is a globally recognized leader in cancer biology and detection who has pioneered the use of circulating tumor DNA to detect and track the progression of cancer. In 2008, he cofounded liquid biopsy firm Inostics, where he served as chief scientific officer through its acquisition by Sysmex, ultimately becoming CEO of Sysmex Inostics. Diehl completed his postdoc at the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics at Johns Hopkins University and worked in the laboratory of Thrive cofounders Bert Vogelstein and Kenneth Kinzler. He holds a PhD in molecular pathology from Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg, Germany.

Ciarimboli's appointment follows her interim role as general counsel. Prior to joining Thrive full time, she was general counsel at Third Rock Ventures. Before that, she served as general counsel to several venture capital firms focused on early-stage investing in various industries including biotech, diagnostics, medical devices, and healthcare services. Earlier, she served as an associate at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, and as a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ciarimboli holds a BA in accounting and philosophy from Boston College and a JD from Boston College School of Law.

Sep 29, 2020

Theralink Technologies: Thomas Chilcott

Theralink Technologies has appointed Thomas Chilcott as the firm's CFO. Prior to Theralink, Chilcott served as CFO, secretary, and treasurer of Ampio Pharmaceuticals from 2017 to 2019. Before Ampio, Chilcott also served as president of Chilcott Consulting Group.

Sep 24, 2020

GenMark Diagnostics: Brian Mitchell

GenMark Diagnostics said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that Brian Mitchell, its senior vice president of operations, is no longer employed by the company.

Sep 22, 2020

Euformatics: Tommi Kaasalainen

Euformatics has named Tommi Kaasalainen as CEO. He replaces Olli Pasanen, who remains chairman of the Finnish genomic informatics firm. Kaasalainen joins Euformatics after serving as CEO of Nukute, a startup maker of wireless sensors for sleep apnea diagnostics. He also was executive VP of Innokas Medical, a medical device manufacturer in Finland.   

Sep 22, 2020

Exact Sciences: Eli Casdin

In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Comission, Exact Sciences said that board member Eli Casdin had submitted his resignation from the company's board of directors, effective Sept. 21. Casdin is the chief investment officer and founder of Casdin Capital, an investment firm focused on the life sciences and healthcare industry.

Sep 22, 2020

Inivata: Peter Collins

Inivata has appointed Peter Collins as the firm's chief business officer. Prior to Inivata, Collins most recently held senior leadership positions at Guardant Health. He has also served as chief business officer at Yourgene Health. Prior to Yourgene, Collins served as VP, head of diagnostics at GSK, as well as VP of pharma business development at Qiagen. He was also the founder and board member of Epemed. 

Sep 18, 2020

Quidel: Robert Bujarski

Quidel has appointed Robert Bujarski as chief operating officer effective Sept. 14. Bujarski had been Quidel's SVP of commercial operations in North America and general counsel since July 2019, SVP of business development from August 2009 through July 2019, and corporate secretary until February 2019.

Sep 17, 2020

iAssay: Edward Strong

Edward Strong has been named scientific director of iAssay, a firm developing an open platform that consolidates utilization of a range of point-of-care tests with a single cloud-connected, handheld reader. Strong, a geneticist, formerly cofounded and served as CEO of MedGenomics, and also served as interim CEO of LifeGenomix.

Sep 17, 2020

Biofidelity: Stephen Miller

Biofidelity has appointed Stephen Miller as chief commercial officer. Miller has held leadership positions at both public and private companies including Precipio, BG Medicine, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Athena Diagnostics.

Sep 16, 2020

Gravity Diagnostics: Mary Talbott

Gravity Diagnostics has hired Mary Talbott as chief legal secretary and secretary. Talbott has more than 25 years of experience in corporate and private practice and most recently was senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary for Tennant Company. Before that, she was VP, assistant general counsel, and assistant corporate secretary for General Cable. Gravity Dx is a full-service CLIA laboratory based in Covington, Kentucky and provides testing services in infectious diseases, toxicology, and pharmacogenomics.

Sep 15, 2020

Alveo Technologies: Fran Soistman

Fran Soistman has joined the scientific board of Alveo Technologies. He has more than 40 years of experience in the healthcare and managed care sector, including as executive vice president for Aetna. As a member of Alveo's scientific advisory board, Soistman will help guide the firm's efforts to implement its infectious disease testing technologies. Alameda, California-based Alveo is developing its be.well platform, a point-of-care, at-home diagnostic tool.

Sep 15, 2020

NeoGenomics: Madhushree Ghosh

NeoGenomics announced that Madhushree Ghosh has joined the company as VP of alliances and companion diagnostics. She previously served as the senior director of strategic accounts and global strategic partnerships at Thermo Fisher Scientific. She has also served as VP of alliance management and VP of the research services business unit at Althea Dx, as well as in senior leadership positions at Qiagen and Enigma Diagnostics. Ghosh has expertise in next-generation sequencing, multiplex and real-time PCR, oncology, and infectious diseases.

Sep 14, 2020

Veracyte: Richard Kloos

Veracyte has promoted Richard Kloos to executive medical director, overseeing the company's global medical affairs in all clinical areas addressed by its genomic tests. Kloos previously served as senior medical director of endocrinology at Veracyte, which he joined in 2012. He was previously a professor of endocrinology and metabolism, and nuclear medicine at Ohio State University, and was attending physician at the OSU Comprehensive Care Center. He was also codirector of the OSU Thyroid Cancer Unit and served a four-year term as secretary and chief operating officer for the American Thyroid Association.

Sep 14, 2020

Thermo Fisher Scientific: Joseph Holmes, Peter Hornstra

Joseph Holmes has been elected as VP and chief accounting officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific, effective March 31, 2021. He will succeed Peter Hornstra, who will retire from the company March 31. Holmes is currently senior director of technical accounting at Thermo Fisher, a position he assumed when he joined the company in 2017. Previously, he was director of technical accounting and reporting at St. Jude Medical, which was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2017.

Sep 14, 2020

Vizgen: Terry Lo, Peidong Wang

Spatial gene expression analysis startup Vizgen has appointed Terry Lo as president and CEO, effective immediately. He has more than two decades of experience in developing commercialization strategies for life sciences companies, Vizgen said. Lo comes to Vizgen from Akoya Biosciences, where he was president. He has also held executive positions at PerkinElmer, Roche, Hologic, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Lo has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a masters' degree in microbiology from Virginia Tech.

Interim CEO Peidong Wang will remain at Vizgen as VP of engineering.

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The UK is investing £33.6 million into a controversial human SARS-CoV-2 challenge study, according to Reuters.

The Guardian reports that the UK COVID genomics consortium is monitoring mutations that are arising within circulating SARS-CoV-2 strains for any that may affect future vaccines.

Science reports that Max Planck and Nature have struck a deal for affiliated authors to publish papers that are accessible to the public as well as access Nature-branded journals.

In PNAS this week: genomic analysis of ancient animals from Tibet, oncoproteins tied to WEE1 kinase enzyme inhibitor response, and more.