People in the News

Jan 11, 2018

Valentin Matillon

Sophia Genetics has hired Valentin Matillon as chief financial officer. Matillon, with more than 20 years of experience in senior financial management in the tech industry, takes over from Marylin Mermod Schule, who no longer will have the dual roles of CFO and chief operations officer. Matillion joins Sophia from the Hobart Group, where he had been senior director of finance. He previously worked at SITA, Electronic Arts, and Hewlett-Packard Europe, according to Switzerland-based Sophia Genetics.

Jan 09, 2018

Giulia Kennedy, Jessica Meng

Veracyte said that it is consolidating its clinical, medical, and R&D functions into one department, which will be headed by Giulia Kennedy, who has served as CSO since the company's founding in 2008. The company also appointed Jessica Meng as vice president of marketing. Meng joins Veracyte from Genentech where she led marketing for Avastin in oncology.

Jan 05, 2018

Stanley Lapidus

Stanley Lapidus has been appointed an independent board member on the board of directors of Atlas Genetics. Lapidus, who has more than three decades of experience in the medical diagnostics industry, previously founded and served as CEO of Exact Sciences, Cytyc Corp, SynapDx and Helicos Biosciences.

Jan 05, 2018

Hugh Taylor

Predictive Technology Group, a life sciences holding company specializing in genetic testing, diagnostics, and therapeutic products, has appointed Hugh Taylor to its scientific advisory board. Taylor is the Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale University as well as a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Jan 04, 2018

Roger Moody

Roger Moody has joined Clinical Genomics as chief financial officer. He will direct the firm's strategic and tactical financial operations. Moody had been CEO of GlySure, where he remains a director. Prior to that, he was CFO at Nanosphere; executive VP, managing director, and COO at Indegene; and CFO at Medsn before that firm was acquired by Indegene.

Jan 04, 2018

Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine Scientific Advisory Board

The Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine has named six individuals to its inaugural scientific advisory board. They are:

  • James Downing, president and CEO, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital
  • Elizabeth Blackburn, president, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • George Church, professor, Wyss Institute at Harvard University
  • Cato Laurencin, university professor and distiguished professor, University of Connecticut
  • Thomas Insel, former director, National Institute of Mental Health at the National Institutes of Health; former director of mental health research, Verily Life Sciences; and currernt president, Mindstrong Health
  • Isaac Kohane, professor and chair of biomedical informatics, Harvard Medical School; and professor of pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital
Jan 04, 2018

Ann Rhoads

Counsyl has appointed Ann Rhoads to its board of directors. Rhoads is former executive vice president and CFO at pharmaceutical company Zogenix. Previously, she was CFO and senior vice president at Premier. She currently serves as a board member and chair of the audit committee at Globus Medical, a musculoskeletal company, and Evoke Pharma, a pharmaceutical company that focuses on gastrointestinal disease. Rhoads Is also a board member and chair of the compensation committee at ophthalmic laser company Iridex Corporation. 

Jan 03, 2018

Michael Christman

Michael Christman, president and CEO of the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, has died. He joined Coriell in 2007 and founded the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative, which studies the utility of genetics in medicine. He also co-founded pharmacogenomics company Coriell Life Sciences and served as chairman of its board of directors. Previously, he was a professor and founding chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomics at Boston University School of Medicine. Before that, he was an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Christman held a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dec 27, 2017

Marcus Schabacker

Marcus Schabacker, a board-certified anesthesiologist and intensivist, has been named CEO and president of ECRI Institute, a health services research organization with an interest in genetic testing. Schabacker, who has 18 years of leadership experience in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, recently served as chief scientific officer of Baxter. He previously helped Nelson Mandela rebuild South Africa's rural health system in the post-Apartheid era. Schabaker will replace Jeffrey Lerner, who is retiring Dec. 31 after 16 years as ECRI president and CEO.

Dec 22, 2017

Kareem Saad

Sema4 has appointed Kareem Saad as chief strategy officer. Saad was previously chief commercial officer and executive vice president of strategy and business development for Source Medical Solutions. Before that he was a director in Dell's Healthcare and Life Sciences division. He has held a number of excutive leadership roles at midsize and early-stage biotech and healthcare IT companies, and began his career by co-founding InphoGene Bionformatics.

Dec 22, 2017

Walter Nelson

KeyGene has appointed Walkter Nelson as CEO of KeyGene USA. Nelson will oversee all of KeyGene's activities in the US, Canada, and Latin America. Nelson most recently served as VP of business developnment for KeyGene. Prior to joining the company, we was VP of commercial development at Ceres.

Dec 21, 2017

Randy Scott

Invitae Chairman Randy Scott has joined the board of directors of cancer early detection firm Freenome, which also includes the company's CEO Gabriel Otte, Chief Operating Officer Riley Ennis, and Vijay Pande general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Scott cofounded Incyte in 1991, where he served as chairman, CSO, and president. In 2000, he cofounded and led Genomic Health, and in 2012, he became CEO of Invitae before his appointment as executive chairman this year. 

Dec 20, 2017

Steven Kafka, Troy Cox, Konstantin Fiedler

Steven Kafka will resign as president and chief operating officer of Foundation Medicine, effective Feb. 16, 2018. CEO Troy Cox will take on the additional role of president, and Konstantin Fiedler will become COO. Fiedler joined the company in 2016 as senior vice president of international markets and managing director of FMI Germany, the firm's wholly-owned subsidiary in Germany. Prior to that, he was head of innovation of the healthcare unit of Linde, and before that, managing director in the Leica Biosystems division of Danaher. Earlier, he was a general manager in General Electric's life sciences division. Fiedler holds a master of science degree in physics from the University of Graz and a PhD in physics from the University of Konstanz.

Dec 20, 2017

Tomasz Czerski, Michael Köhler, Rajesh Tripathi

CytoTest has appointed three new members to its sales team. Tomasz Czerski has become vice president and sales manager Europe, initially focusing on Northern and Eastern Europe as well as the Eurasian Economic Union. Michael Köhler has also been named vice president and sales manager Europe, concentrating on Central and Western Europe. In addition, Rajesh Tripathi has become vice president and sales manager for India. He will also help with sales growth in neighboring countries and in the Middle East.

Dec 20, 2017

Stephen Worsley

Indi Molecular has named Stephen Worsley its senior VP of business development. Worsley joins the firm from Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, where he served as VP of business development. Earlier, he held the post of chief business officer at Centrose Pharmaceutical, and he was VP of business development for Intrexon, among other similar positions at a variety of biotech firms.

Dec 19, 2017

Steven Verhoeven

Steven Verhoeven has been named CEO of Hasselt, Belgium-based PCR interpretation software vendor UgenTec, effective Jan. 15, taking over from Wouter Uten. Company founder Uten will transition into the role of chief operational officer. Verhoeven has been head of genomics software for Agilent Technologies in Lexington, Massachusetts, since 2015. Prior to that job, he was COO of Belgian genomics software company Cartagenia.

Dec 19, 2017

Oliver Liesenfeld

Inflammatix announced today that it has appointed Oliver Liesenfeld as chief medical officer. Liesenfeld comes to Inflammatix from Roche Diagnostics, where he has served as chief medical officer since 2012. Liesenfeld has over 25 years of industry and academic experience in the diagnostics field, with a focus on molecular diagnostics and infectious disease. Prior to Roche, Liesenfeld served as associate professor of medical microbioilogy and infection immunology at the Charite Medical School in Berlin, Germany, where his research focused on immune response to infections. 

Dec 15, 2017

Pamela Sedmak

Counsyl has appointed Pamela Sedmak to the board of directors. Sedmak is a senior advisor at McKinsey & Company and previously served as president and CEO at Aetna Medicaid/Dual Eligibles. She has also served as senior vice president and chief financial, strategy, and innovation officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and chief financial officer and chief operating officer at CareSource. 

Dec 15, 2017

Alexandre Mérieux

Alexandre Mérieux has been appointed chairman and CEO of BioMérieux's board, effective immediately. He has served as deputy CEO of the company for the past three years and succeeds Jean-Luc Bélingard, who had been chairman and CEO of BioMérieux since 2010. Mérieux will remain as a director of the company and will continue as vice president of Institut Mérieux. 

Mérieux was corporate vice president of BioMérieux's microbiology unit between 2011 and 2014, after directing the industry unit from 2005 to 2011. He is currently chairman of Mérieux Développement and chairs the board of Mérieux NutriSciences.

Dec 14, 2017

Christina Waters

WuXi NextCode appointed Christina Waters senior vice president focusing on rare disease programs and growing the firm's rare disease platform. She is the founder and CEO of Rare Science a non-profit resource and research hub working to find diagnoses and treatments for 3,000 children and families with more than 350 rare disorders in 38 countries. 

Dec 14, 2017

Jennifer Cook, Catherine Friedman, Min Cui

Grail has appointed Jennifer Cook as CEO, effective Jan. 2, 2018. She will take over for Bill Rastetter, who has been serving as interim CEO. Rastetter will continue his role as chairman of the board of directors. Cook joins Grail from Roche, where she is currently head of clinical operations in product development for Roche Pharmaceuticals. Previously, she was head of the Europe region for Roche Pharmaceuticals, and has also held research and management positions at Genentech.

Grail has also appointed Catherine Friedman and Min Cui to its board of directors. Friedman is an independent financial consultant and previously held executive positions at investment bank Morgan Stanley, including as managing director and head of West Coast Healthcare and co-head of Biotechnology Practice. She is also on the board of directors at Altaba (formerly Yahoo!), Innoviva, and Radius Health. Cui is founder and managing director of Decheng Capital. He is also on the board of directors at AccuraGen, Ariagen, ARMO BioSciences, CardioMed, EpimAb Biotherapeutics, GenapSys, GeneMDx, Ketai Medical, Levitas, and Sinomed. Previously, he was an investment partner at Bay City Capital and director of strategic investment for the Southern Research Institute.

Dec 14, 2017

Tom Schoenherr

Tom Schoenherr has been appointed as Ambry Genetics' chief commercial officer, following Ambry's acquisition by Konica Minolta in October. Previously, he led commercial strategy at Counsyl, and before that, he held similar roles at Quest, Siemens Healthcare, and Abbott Diagnostics. 

Dec 13, 2017

Marc Jones

Atlas Genetics has announced today that it has appointed Marc Jones as COO and CFO. Jones will lead Atlas' finance and operations functions, as well as new channel development. Prior to Atlas, Jones served as COO and CFO of Good Start Genetics, where he raised successive rounds of capital. Jones also served as CFO of T2 Biosystems, where he oversaw the company's public offering and helped drive commercialization of the company's first FDA IVD product. Previously, Jones was CFO at Crashlytics, Ivenix, and Chil Semiconductor.

Dec 12, 2017

Roy Davis

Clinical Genomics has appointed Roy Davis as a senior advisor and board member. Davis is currently a senior advisor for Huron Global Management Consulting and its Innosight subsidiary. He spent 27 years with Johnson & Johnson including separate stints as group president, company group chairman, worldwide franchise chairman, and president of J&J Development Corporation. Davis has also held managing director and general manager roles for Ortho Diagnostics in Europe, Japan, and the Americas. He was the founding president of Veridex, and has served as an innovations advisory board member for Cleveland Clinic.

Dec 11, 2017

Francis deSouza

Francis deSouza has been elected to the board of directors of the Walt Disney Company. He is the president and CEO of Illumina. His appointment will start Feb. 1, 2018.


An opinion piece in the Guardian argues that President Donald Trump is uninterested in science and that might not be a bad thing for the field.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the Veterans Affairs Health System is studying whether genetic testing can help prescribe better depression therapies.

Stat News reports that Spark Therapeutics' Luxturna is now being used to treat a wider array of patients.

In Genome Biology this week: transcription factor use among brittle stars, single-cell RNA sequencing strategy, and more.