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Illumina: Alex Aravanis, Mostafa Ronaghi

Illumina announced that Alex Aravanis will join the company in June as Chief Technology Officer. He will be responsible for leading the firm's R&D functions as well as translation of next-generation sequencing into the clinic. He will report to CEO Francis deSouza.

Aravanis returns to Illumina from Grail, where he was chief scientific officer and head of R&D; he was also a cofounder. At Grail, he led development of that firm's multi-cancer early detection test. While at Illumina, he developed clinical assays and bioinformatic pipelines for the analysis of RNA and DNA from fixed tissues, whole-exome analysis, massively parallel single-cell transcriptomics, and liquid biopsy using cell-free nucleic acids. He holds both an MD and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Aravanis will replace current CTO Mostafa Ronaghi, whom Illumina has appointed to lead global entrepreneurial development. Ronaghi is also a Grail cofounder and launched the Illumina Accelerator program in 2014, and was recently appointed to Grail's board of directors.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.