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Patrick Hall, Robert Cook

Castle Biosciences has appointed Patrick Hall as executive director of medical affairs, and promoted Robert Cook to executive director of research and development. Both are newly created positions. 

Hall, who will oversee Castle Bio's medical affairs strategies and programs, has 27 years of experience in the industry, including 11 years at Genomic Health, most recently as director of genomic science liaisons. Prior to that, he was medical science liaison at Genentech. 

Cook's was previously senior scientist at Castle Bio, which he joined in 2011. He has a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology and did a post-doctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. Prior to his doctoral degree, he was at Gen-Probe, now part of Hologic.

The Scan

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.