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Gavin Nichols

Certara has tapped Gavin Nichols to serve in the newly created position of president of technology. Nichols will also head Cetara's software business unit. He'll be based in the company's Cary, NC office. In his new roles, Nichols will lead Certara's research and development, product management, and IT teams. He'll also be responsible for developing and positioning the company's biosimulation applications and informatics platforms. 

Nichols joins Certara from Quintiles, where he served as vice president of strategy/enterprise architecture/R&D innovation IT. Before that, he worked for Unisys, Collaborex, and Cap Gemini, holding positions ranging from life science practice head to EMEA general manager.

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.