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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

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.