People in the News

Apr 01, 2015

Greg Lucier

Former Life Technologies CEO Greg Lucier was named chairman and interim CEO of NuVasive following the resignation of Alex Lukianov. An internal investigation by the company's board found that Lukianov did not comply with NuVasive's expense reimbursement and other policies. 

Lucier has been a board member of NuVasive since 2013. From 2003 to 2014 he was chairman and CEO of Life Techn before it was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Prior to Life Tech, he was a corporate officer at General Electric and an executive at GE Medical Systems.

Mar 31, 2015

Tom McNamara

GNS Healthcare has hired Tom McNamara as its chief revenue officer. He'll be responsible for shaping GNS' sales organization to serve various clients including health plans, healthcare providers, biopharmaceutical companies, foundations, and so on. 

McNamara joins the company after serving as senior vice president and chief revenue officer for HighRoads. Prior to that, he was chief revenue officer for Connance, and before that, senior vice president of sales for Silverlink Communications. He's also worked as chief operating officer for W3Health, senior vice president of sales for HPR, vice president of sales for Lawson Software, and as a sales director for Pansophic Systems.

Mar 31, 2015

Rob Seitz

Insight Genetics has named Rob Seitz as chief technology officer. As CTO, Seitz will oversee the development and commercialization of Insight's genetic assays for the identification of triple-negative breast cancer using technology licensed out of the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center. Prior to joining Insight, Seitz was senior vice president for technology assessment at Clarient (part of GE Healthcare). He also was co-founder and CEO of Applied Genomics prior to its acquisition by Clarient.

Mar 30, 2015

Gerald Feldman

Gerald Feldman has assumed the presidency at the American College of Medical Genetics, taking over from Gail Herman who finished her two-year term at the 2015 Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting in Salt Lake City last week.

Feldman was elected president-elect of ACMG two years ago. He is a professor of molecular medicine and genetics, pathology and pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He directs the medical genetics residency and fellowship programs and serves as medical director of the genetic counseling graduate program.

Mar 27, 2015

Stacey Silvia

Stacey Silvia has joined GenoSpace as the company's senior director of business development.  She joins the company from Appistry where she was director of business development for the company’s SaaS cloud platform for translational research and clinical genomics services. Prior to Appistry, Silvia worked at N-of-One and also at Johnson & Johnson.  She has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Maine.
Mar 26, 2015

Terry Salyer

BioNano Genomics has appointed Terry Salyer its chief commercial officer. She will oversee commercialization of the firm's Irys System, a genome-mapping platform. Salyer previously served as VP of worldwide sales at ProteinSimple, and prior to that was VP of worldwide sales for ForteBio. She also has held management roles as Eksigent Technologies and Molecular Devices.

Mar 25, 2015

Michael Hoffman

Michael Hoffman has joined Metamark Genetics as director of national accounts. He will develop and execute initiatives to secure and support regional and national payers. Hoffman most recently was senior director of managed care at Courtagen Life Sciences, where he managed commercial and government accounts for the firm's genetics diagnostics business. Before that, he was senior director of managed care at Transgenomic Health/PGx Health. 

Mar 24, 2015

Juan Martin

Accelerate Diagnostics has named Juan Martin as executive vice president and head of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Martin has significant experience leading large, global healthcare diagnostics businesses. He joins the firm from Siemens, where he served as senior vice president of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics for Southwest Europe and general manager of Siemens Healthcare France.

Mar 23, 2015

Steven Kafka, Jason Ryan, Daniel O'Day, and more

Foundation Medicine announced four executive promotions and the hiring of a global marketing senior vice president. Additionally, it proposed changes to its board in connection to its strategic collaboration with Roche. 

Those who were promoted include Steven Kafka, Jason Ryan, Elaine Labrecque, and Sarah Larson. Kafka has been promoted to president. He currently is Foundation Medicine's COO and will maintain that position. He joined the company in 2013 and was previously COO and CFO at Aileron Therapeutics. 

Ryan was promoted to CFO. He joined Foundation Medicine in 2011 and was responsible for building the firm's public company financial infrastructure. He previously led the finance and strategic planning functions at companies that include Taligen Therapeutics and Genomics Collaborative. 

Labrecque was promoted to senior VP of operations. She joined the company in 2013 as VP of laboratory operations from ConVerge Diagnostic Services where she was COO. She also was at Quest Diagnostics for 20 years. 

Larson was promoted to senior VP human resources. She has been at Foundation Medicine for four years and was one of the company's first employees. She previously led the global human resources function at CombinatoRx. 

Foundation Medicine also hired Matt Franklin to the new created role of senior vice president of global marketing. He will report to Chief Commercial Officer David Daly. Franklin was most recently VP of global marketing for Boston Scientific's interventional cardiology division. 

The Cambridge, Mass.-based cancer molecular diagnostics firm additionally proposed changes to its board, including expanding it to nine directors in connection to a $1.2 billion stake that Roche plans to take in Foundation Medicine. 

As part of the expansion of Foundation Medicine's board, Roche can designate three candidates to the firm's board. This week, Roche identified the designees as Daniel O'Day, Sandra Horning, and Michael Varney. 

O'Day is COO of Roche Pharmaceuticals. Horning is global head of product development and CMO of Roche/Genentech, and Varney is head of Genentech Research and Early Development. 

Foundation Medicine's current board members are CEO Michael Pellini, Alexis Borisy, Evan Jones, David Schenkein, Krishna Yeshwant, and Brook Byers, who is expected to leave the board upon the completion of the Roche transaction, anticipated to occur in the second quarter of 2015. The final board seat will be filled after the close of the deal with an independent director mutually agreed upon by Foundation Medicine and Roche.

Mar 23, 2015

Stephanie Astrow

Stephanie Astrow has resigned from Response Genetics as VP of R&D, effective March 25 in order to pursue other interests, the company said in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Astrow joined Response in 2012 from Quest Diagnostics where she was the scientific director for oncology.

Mar 23, 2015

James Hinrichs

James Hinrichs has been appointed by Alere as executive vice president and CFO, effective April 6. He takes over from David Teitel, whom the company previously said would transition to a new role. Hinrichs' responsibilities will include finance, procurement, information technology, and shared services. 

He has more than 25 years of experience in financial and executive leadership roles in healthcare and was most recently CFO of CareFusion, which was acquired by Becton Dickinson earlier this month. He previously was senior VP for global customer support and senior VP, controller for CareFusion. Prior to joining that firm, Hinrichs was the CFO of the former clinical technologies and services healthcare supply chain services, and clinical and medical products segments at Cardinal Health.

Mar 20, 2015

Robert Goggin

Robert Goggin, who was elected to Vermillion's board in 2013 amid shareholder discontent, will be retiring from the board at the end of his current term, the company said in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

He will not stand for reelection to the board during Vermillion's 2015 annual shareholders' meeting and told the company that his retirement is not the result of any disagreement with Vermillion. 

Googin was elected to the board two years ago as a candidate put forth by a trio of dissident shareholders that included himself in order to influence Vermillion's then-management team.

Mar 19, 2015

Erynn Gordon

23andMe has appointed Erynn Gordon as its new medical marketing director. Gordon is the vice chair of the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners’ genetic counseling advisory committee. At 23andMe she will lead engagement efforts with the medical community, as well as activities related to 23andMe's clinical applications.

She was previously the president of the American Board of Genetic Counseling and chaired the National Society of Genetic Counselors' ethics advisory board. Gordon will join 23andMe's commercial marketing group led by Ruby Gadelrab, VP of commercial marketing, and work with the medical affairs team led by 23andMe Chief Medical Officer Jill Hagenkord.

Mar 19, 2015

Dai J. Li

Dai (Dave) J. Li has been named the clinical director for American International Biotechnology, where he will conduct clinical testing research using diagnostic testing and clinical informatics. Li received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and is certified as a clinical laboratory director by the College of American Pathologists and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Mar 19, 2015

Mara Aspinall

Mara Aspinall was named executive chairman of the Lifeprint Group's board of directors. Aspinall currently is CEO of the consulting firm Health Catalysts. She was previously the president and CEO of Roche's Ventana Medical Systems. She also spent more than a decade at Genzyme, where she held various leadership roles, including president of Genzyme Genetics and Genzyme Pharmaceuticals.

The appointment was announced by GenePeeks, a firm held by Lifeprint, which uses next-generation sequencing to help parents assess the risk of inherited diseases for their future children. 

Mar 19, 2015

Josh Bilenker

Josh Bilenker has resigned from Roka Bioscience's board, citing demands on his time and other professional commitments. His resignation is effective immediately. Bilenker, who is the CEO of and a director at Loxo Oncology, joined Roka's board in early 2012 and served on its audit committee.

Mar 18, 2015

Ian Johnson

Biofortuna has appointed Ian Johnson its new board chairman, taking over for Mark Hurley who will remain on the board as a non-executive director. Johnson is the founder and CEO of Biotrace International. He also is the non-executive chairman of Celsis Group and Cyprotex.

Mar 18, 2015

Daniel Podolsky

Agilent Technologies has appointed Daniel Podolsky to its board, increasing its size to 10 members. His appointment becomes effective in July. Podolsky is the president of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Previously, he served as chief academic officer and the faculty dean of academic programs for Partners Health System, as well as the Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Mar 18, 2015

Matthew Posard

Matthew Posard has joined Trovagene as executive vice president and chief commercial officer. He joins the company from Illumina where he was senior vice president and general manager for the company's new and emerging marketing opportunities business. He also has served as the general manager of Illumina's translational and consumer genomics business and vice president of global marketing. Prior to Illumina, he had leadership roles in sales and marketing at Biosite and worked in strategic and product manufacturing at Gen-Probe, now part of Hologic.

Mar 17, 2015

Kenneth Buechler, Dirk van den Boom

Sequenom's board of directors has elected Kenneth Buechler its chairman, effective April 1. He succeeds Harry Hixson, who is retiring from the position after 11 years. Also, Dirk van den Boom was elected as a director, effective April 1.

Buechler has been on Sequenom's board since late 2009 and was previously president and CSO of Biosite, which he co-founded. Before that he was a senior research scientist for the diagnostics R&D group at Hybritech. 

Van den Boom is currently executive vice president and chief scientific and strategy officer at Sequenom. He will serve on the board's science committee.

Mar 16, 2015

Brook Byers

Brook Byers is retiring from Veracyte's board of directors, effective on May 18 when the company will hold its annual shareholders' meeting, Veracyte said in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Byers has been on the company's board since 2007 and is a managing partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Mar 16, 2015

Daniel Swan

Daniel Swan has joined The Genome Analysis Center (TGAC) as head of the platform and pipelines group, where he will be responsible for the research institute's suite of advanced genome analysis facilities.

Previously, Swan headed NGS analysis at Oxford Gene Technology and was responsible for developing NGS products and services for academic, commercial, and clinical research customers. He also has worked at the National Environmental Research Council's environmental bioinformatics center, and he ran Newcastle University's bioinformatics core facility.

Swan trained as a vertebrate developmental biologist at Imperial College London and Edinburgh University before transitioning into bioinformatics with a post at Barts and the London Genome Center. 

Mar 16, 2015

Lale White

CombiMatrix has appointed Lale White to its board of directors.

White is currently CEO of Xifin, sits on the board of BioTheranostics, and is a member of the California Clinical Lab Association. She previously served as vice president of finance for Laboratory Corporation of America.

Mar 12, 2015

Brian Meshkin, Michael Leavitt; Jean-Pierre Millon, Don Williams

Proove Biosciences appointed its Founder and CEO Brian Meshkin, along with three others, to its board. They are Michael Levitt, Jean-Pierre Millon, and Don Williams. 

Leavitt is the former governor of Utah and secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Millon is the former president and CEO of PCS Health Systems and a board member of CVS Health, and Williams is the former national leader of audit, tax, and advisory firm Grant Thornton's life sciences practice.

Mar 11, 2015

Ewan Birney, Rolf Apweiler

Ewan Birney and Rolf Apweiler have been appointed joint directors of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory – European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). They willl take over from Janet Thornton who is stepping down after holding the post for 14 years. 

Birney and Apweiler will assume their new roles on July 1. As co-directors, they will share responsibility for all aspects of EMBL-EBI, including services, research, training, industry engagement, and European coordination. Birney and Thornton will also continue to lead their respective research groups.

Apweiler has a doctorate in biology from the University of Heidelberg. He joined EMBL in 1987 to work on the Swiss-Prot protein sequence database and became leader of the Swiss-Prot group at EMBL-EBI in 1994. He and Birney jointly led the protein and nucleotide data resources at EMBL-EBI from 2007 to 2012 and were responsible for the delivery of bioinformatics services as joint associate directors from 2012. Apweiler is actively involved in many international initiatives, including the Human Proteome Organization and the Proteomics Standards Initiative, which he chaired from 2002 to 2005. 

Birney completed his doctorate at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in 2000. In addition to playing a vital role in annotating the genomes of human, mouse, chicken, and other organisms, he led the analysis group for the ENCODE project. His research interests include functional genomics, assembly algorithms, statistical methods to analyze genomic information, and compression of sequence information. 


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.