People in the News

Nov 20, 2014

Jacob Thaysen, Patrick Kaltenbach, Fred Strohmeier

Agilent Technologies has appointed Jacob Thaysen senior vice president of the company and president of the Diagnostics and Genomics Group, which combines the diagnostics and genomics businesses. Also, Patrick Kaltenbach was named SVP, Agilent, and president of the Life Sciences and Applied Markets Group, which combines the former chemical analysis group and life sciences business. Both appointments took effect immediately.

Fred Strohmeier, who was the president of the life sciences and diagnostics group, is retiring, anticipated to occur in the second quarter of FY 2015. He will serve as an advisor to Agilent until then.

Thaysen was most recently VP and general manager of Agilent’s diagnostics and genomics business within the life sciences and diagnostics group. He joined the company in 2012 after it acquired Dako, where he was corporate VP of R&D. Kaltenbach was Agilent VP and GM of the life sciences products and solutions organization. He previously was at Hewlett-Packard.

Nov 20, 2014

D. Gary Gilliland

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has named cancer genetics and precision medicine expert D. Gary Gilliland as its new president and director. Gilliland will assume his new role on Jan. 2. Gilliland previously was vice president of precision medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. Before that he was an executive at Merck Research Laboratories and spent two decades at Harvard Medical School teaching medicine and investigating the genetic basis of blood cancers. His work has led to the development of a number of personalized cancer therapies.

Nov 19, 2014

Kenneth Widder

Kenneth Widder has joined Quidel’s board, expanding the company’s board to eight members. Widder has more than 30 years of experience with biomedical companies and has been a general partner with Latterell Venture Partners since 2007. He also serves on the board of Evoke Pharma, Mertiage Pharma, and Naurex.

Nov 19, 2014

Karine Hovanes, Trilochan Sahoo, R. Weslie Tyson

CombiMatrix promoted Karine Hovanes to vice president of scientific advancement and laboratory director, and Trilochan Sahoo to VP of clinical affairs and director of cytogenetics. They will assume the responsibilities of R. Weslie Tyson who is retiring on Dec. 12 from his position as CMO.

Hovanes was assistant director at the genetics department at US Labs and assistant director at the molecular laboratory of Esoterix before joining CombiMatrix. She is a diplomat at the American Board of Medical Genetics as a clinical cytogeneticist and clinical molecular geneticist.

Sahoo joined CombiMatrix in April after serving as senior director, clinical cytogenetics at Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute. Before that, he was laboratory director for Signature Genomic Laboratories and assitant director of the Kleberg cytogenetics laboratory, medical genetics laboratories at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Nov 19, 2014

Judith Wolf, Donald Munroe, Daniel Chan, Robert Bristow, Calaneet Balas

Vermillion has formed a strategic and medical advisory board that it said will be led by Chief Medical Officer Judith Wolf and Chief Science Officer Donald Munroe.

The company named as charter members of the board Daniel Chan; director of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's Center for Biomarker Discovery and Translation; Robert Bristow, director of gynecologic oncology and vice-chair for clinical affairs and quality improvement at the University of California, Irvine; and Calaneet Balas, CEO of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.

Nov 10, 2014

Martin Coyne II, Glenn Muir

RainDance Technologies has appointed Martin Coyne II and Glenn Muir to its board of directors.

Coyne retired from Eastman Kodak in July 2003. He had served there as president of health imaging, president of the commercial business group, and most recently as executive VP of Eastman Kodak and group executive of the photography group. He is chairman of the board of RockTech, a privately held SaaS business, and sits on the board of Akamai.

Muir most recently served as CFO of Hologic, a position he held from 1992 to May 2014. He also was on Hologic's board of directors. Muir also is the audit committee chair at ReWalk Robotics.

Nov 10, 2014

Don Lindberg

Don Lindberg, who has been the director of the National Library of Medicine for more than 30 years, will retire at the end of March 2015, NIH Director Francis Collins said this week. Lindberg created the National Center for Biomedical Information, and he introduced numerous projects including free Internet access to MEDLINE via PubMed, MedlinePlus for the general public, the Visible Human Project,, the Unified Medical Language System, and more, Collins said.

Lindberg also was founding director of the National Coordination Office for High Performance Computing and Communications in the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy and was named by the HHS Secretary to be the US National Coordinator for the G-7 Global Healthcare Applications Project. In addition, he was the first president of the American Medical Informatics Association.

"Don has created programs that changed fundamentally the way biomedical information is collected, shared, and analyzed," Collins said in a statement.

Nov 10, 2014

David Smoller

Horizon Discovery Group appointed David Smoller as an executive director. Smoller joined Horizon as chief business officer as a result of its acquisition of Sage Labs, where Smoller was the CEO. Previously, he was CSO of Sigma-Aldrich and president of its research biotechnology business unit. Before joining Sigma-Aldrich, he was president of ProteoPlex, a seed stage spinout focused on proteomics and founded Genome Systems.

Nov 10, 2014

Laura Brod

GeneSegues Therapeutics has named Laura Brod as its new CEO.

Brod is currently an at-large member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. She was previously a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Nov 10, 2014

Jeffrey Rona

Molecular diagnostics firm Great Basin Scientific has appointed Jeffrey Rona as CFO. His appointment went into effect on Oct. 8 in conjunction with the company's initial public offering.

Rona has served as a financial consultant to Great Basin since 2012 in his role as the managing director of Rona Capital, a life sciences-focused transactional advisory consultancy founded in 2011. From 2006 to 2011, Rona was the chief business officer of GlobeImmune. Prior to that, he was vice president of corporate development for Corgentech, following the merger between Corgentech and AlgoRx Pharmaceuticals in 2005. At AlgoRx, he was CFO and responsible for the execution of the merger with Corgentech. Rona has also worked for UBS Warburg, Antigenics (now Agenus), and Coopers and Lybrand.

Nov 10, 2014

Glenn Braunstein

Pathway Genomics has appointed Glenn Braunstein to its medical advisory board. He is currently the vice president of clinical innovation, director of the Thyroid Cancer Center, and professor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai. He also has served for 26 years as chair of the department of medicine at Cedars-Sinai.

Nov 10, 2014

Yves Derveaux

Premaitha Health as appointed Yves Derveaux as regional European sales consultant for Southern Europe as the company prepares to launch its non-invasive prenatal test, Iona. Before joining Premaitha Health, Derveaux was country manager of France and sales of Southern Europe for Epigenomics and country manager of France and Switzerland at Agendia. Derveaux will report to Premaitha Health COO Peter Collins.

Nov 01, 2014

Greg Lucier

Former Life Technologies CEO and Chairman Greg Lucier has joined the board of directors at Invuity, a medical device company based in San Francisco. Prior to Life Tech, Lucier was chairman and CEO of Invitorgen, which merged with Applied Biosystems in 2008 to form Life Technologies. He previously held senior management positions at General Electric including CEO and president of Medical Systems Information Technologies for GE Healthcare. Lucier holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in industrial engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Nov 01, 2014

Luis Gutierrez

Theranostics Health has appointed Luis Gutierrez president and CEO. Former CEO Glenn Hoke will remain with the company as executive vice president and COO.

Gutierrez was previously executive vice president and COO of Aptiv Solutions. Before that he was president of Covance's commercialization services division. He has also held management roles at Merck and MedAssurant.

Nov 01, 2014

Anthony Shuber

Nabsys said that Anthony Shuber has joined the company as VP and chief scientific officer. He joins the firm from Ignyta, an oncology precision medicine firm, where he served as chief technology officer. Prior to joining Ignyta, Shuber was co-founder and CTO of Predictive Biosciences, and scientific co-founder of Exact Sciences. He also previously worked for Genzyme Genetics/Integrated Genetics and Genetics Institute.

Nov 01, 2014

Warren Kocmond

Cepheid has promoted Warren Kocmond to the post of executive VP and COO from his previous position as EVP of global operations. The firm also promoted Peter Farrell to EVP of worldwide commercial operations from his previous post of EVP of international commercial operations. With the promotion, Farrell assumes responsibility for North American Commercial Operations, which were previously overseen by James Post, who has left the firm.

Nov 01, 2014

Mara Aspinall

Safeguard Scientifics has appointed Mara Aspinall to its board of directors. Aspinall formerly served as president and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems and global head of Roche Tissue Diagnostics. Prior to that she had founded and served as CEO of On-Q-ity, and she also previously was president of Genzyme Genetics and president of Genzyme Pharmaceuticals.

Nov 01, 2014

Oliver Fetzer, J. Craig Venter

Synthetic Genomics has appointed Oliver Fetzer as the company's new CEO, succeeding Co-founder J. Craig Venter, who will remain actively involved in SGI as executive chairman and co-chief scientist. Fetzer, who most recently served as president and CEO of Cerulean Pharma, will also be a member of SGI's board of directors. He also previously held management positions at Cubist Pharmaceuticals including senior VP of corporate development and R&D; senior VP of corporate development and chief business officer; and senior VP of business development.

Nov 01, 2014

Valerie Palmieri

Vermillion has appointed Valerie Palmieri to the newly created position of COO.

Previously, Palmieri was president of Momentum Consulting, through which she has served as a strategic advisor to Vermillion for the past six months, helping the company launch Aspira Labs, its CLIA-certified facility. She also previously served as CEO of two healthcare startups and was national vice president of anatomic pathology operations at LabCorp/Dianon.

Nov 01, 2014

Ralph Kauten

Lucigen this week named Ralph Kauten as CEO. Kauten has been a member of Lucigen's board for the past 10 years and has served as chairman for the last four. Kauten was previously involved in the start up and management of life science companies Promega, PanVera (acquired by Aurora Biosciences) and Mirus Bio (acquired by Roche Pharmaceuticals).

David Mead, who founded Lucigen and has served as CEO from the company's inception in 1998, will remain with the company as CSO.

Nov 01, 2014

Fedja Bobanovic, Somu Subramanian

Cambridge Genetix appointed Fedja Bobanovic as CEO. Bobanovic was a vice president and general manager at AB Sciex, a Danaher company. Before that, he was at PerkinElmer as GM of North Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, and South Africa.

Also, Somu Subramanian has joined Cambridge's board. He is a founding member of New Science Ventures.


CNN reports that researchers have tied a new variant to opioid addiction risk.

Organoids derived from patients' tumors may help determine what chemotherapy treatment patients would benefit from, according to New Scientist.

An initiative from GenomeAsia 100K hopes to increase the number of South Asians in genetic research, according to NBC News.

In Science this week: genomic analysis of ancient and modern horses indicates population turnover, and more.