People in the News

Aug 03, 2017

Marijn Dekkers

Quanterix named Marijn Dekkers to its board. He is currently a board member at General Electric and is chairman of Unilever. He was previously CEO of Bayer and of Thermo Fisher Scientific. 

Aug 02, 2017

Bill Rastetter, Jeff Huber, Ken Drazan

Grail, a company aiming to develop a blood test for early cancer detection, has named Bill Rastetter, current chair of the company's board of directors, as its new CEO. Founding CEO Jeff Huber is now vice chairman of the board of directors, and Ken Drazan has been promoted from chief business officer to president.

Aug 02, 2017

Abraham Tzou

Freenome has appointed Abraham Tzou as its VP of regulatory affairs. Tzou will be in charge of regulatory strategy for products developed by Freenome and manage submissions to the US Food and Drug Administration and oversight bodies abroad.  

Tzou joins Freenome after serving as a medical officer at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, where he led the clinical evaluation of in vitro diagnostics for cancer screening and prognosis, genetic disorders, and companion tests. During his tenure at the agency, he received commendation for his part in a team that reviewed Exact Sciences' non-invasive, colon cancer screening test Cologuard for parallel review. 

Freenome is developing a non-invasive cancer screening technology that involves genome-wide sequencing and a computational system, called Adaptive Genomics Engine. The company is interested in pursuing Parallel Review for this technology, which if successful, would enable simultaneous FDA approval and a national coverage determination from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Jul 28, 2017

Cynthia Bens

Cynthia Bens will join the Personalized Medicine Coalition as vice president of public policy on August 21. Bens comes to PMC after more than a decade with the Alliance for Aging Research where she helped advocate for policies, including the 21st Century Cures Act, the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, and FDA’s Patient-Focused Drug Development initiative. Prior to that, she spent four years at the bipartisan government affairs firm the Loeffler Group and also worked as a staff assistant on Capitol Hill.

Jul 26, 2017

Rohit Khanna

Waters said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week that Rohit Khanna has resigned from his position as SVP, Applied Technology, effective July 21, 2017. Khanna will continue to serve as an SVP of the company and as a member of the firm's executive committee until his retirement on Dec. 31, 2017. 

Jul 26, 2017

Scott Howell

Tenet Diagnostics has appointed Scott Howell its CMO. He was most recently executive medical director at Heritage Provider Network. He also continues to practice at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center in the addiction medicine department. He was previously national senior medical director and chief medical officer Network and Population Health, Optim Insight, regional CMO Northeast region of Americhoice, and national medical director of managed care for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. 

Jul 26, 2017

Gene DeFelice, Alexandra Snyder

Adaptive Biotechnologies has appointed Gene DeFelice to senior vice president and general counsel and Alexandra Snyder to translational medicine lead for Adaptive Research.

DeFelice has served as general counsel for several public healthcare and technology companies, including as primary counsel at Roche Diagnostics. He will join Adaptive's executive team to implement a legal infrastructure for clinical applications of next-generation sequencing technologies.

Snyder has joined Adaptive from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center where she specialized in tumor immunogenomics and response to checkpoint blockade immunotherapy.  

Jul 24, 2017

Kieran Murphy, Stephen Kanovsky

Kieran Murphy has resigned from the board of NeoGenomics following his appointment as president and CEO of GE Healthcare. NeoGenomics said in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that Murphy resigned due to the time demands of his new job, and added that it has appointed Stephen Kanovsky to fill Murphy's position on the board. He is general counsel of GE unit Global Innovation of GE Healthcare.

Jul 21, 2017

Thomas Loewald

Thomas Loewald, senior vice president and chief commercial officer at Thermo Fisher Scientific since early 2016, will resign from the company, effective September 1. He joined the firm's Explosives Detection business in 2002 and held various positions over the years, including senior vice president and president of Laboratory Products. Prior to that, he was vice president of sales and marketing for Tyco International.

Jul 20, 2017

Mark Stevenson

Mark Stevenson has been promoted to executive vice president and chief operation officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific, effective August 1. In his new role, he will oversee operations of the company's Laboratory Products and Analytical Instruments businesses, in addition to the Life Sciences Solutions business. Since 2014, when Thermo Fisher acquired Life Technologies, Stevenson has been executive vice president and president of Life Sciences Solutions. Prior to that, he was president and chief operating officer of Life Technologies, and before that, he was president and COO of Applied Biosystems.

Jul 19, 2017

Hans Bishop

Hans Bishop has been elected to Agilent's board of directors. Bishop is cofounder, president, and CEO of Juno Therapeutics, a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company. He has also held a range of executive positions in the pharmaceutical industry, including as COO at Dendreon; president of Specialty Medicine at Bayer Healthcare; and global commercial head for Chiron.

Jul 19, 2017

Daniel Sikkema

Quanterix has appointed Daniel Sikkema as vice president of acclerator services for the company's new Simoa Accelerator Lab, a dedicated environment for biomarker research, custom assay development, and clinical sample testing. Sikkema will work to expand the reach of Quanterix's Accelerator Lab services in neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology, infectious disease, inflammatory diseases, and other therapeutic areas. He has previously worked at Frontage Lab, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wyeth, Merck, Sanofi Pasteur, and GlaxoSmithKline.

Jul 17, 2017

Stephen Pereira

Stephen Pereira has been appointed to Immunovia's scientific advisory board. Pereira is a professor of hepatology and gastroenterology at University College London and is an honorary consultant in pancreaticobiliary medicine at UCL Hospitals and the Royal Free Hospital. 

Jul 17, 2017

Daniel MacArthur

The American Society of Human Genetics has named Daniel MacArthur as the first recipient of its Early Career Award. He is an assistant professor in the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and the co-director of the Medical and Population Genetics Program at the Broad Institute. The new award, which comes with $10,000 in prize money, recognizes contributions of genetics and genomics scientists in the first 10 years of their careers as independent investigators. MacArthur and his colleagues developed the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC) database and website and its successor, the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD). He also published many scientific articles on identifying genes associated with rare diseases, in particular muscular disorders.

Jul 13, 2017

Mary Thistle

Enterome has appointed Mary Thistle to its board of directors as a non-executive director. Thistle currently serves as chief operating officer at Dimension Therapeutics, and has also served as senior VP of Business Development at Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Dimension in 2015, Thistle held leadership positions at ViaCell. In addition to developing therapeutic products for rare and metabolic liver diseases, Enterome also develops diagnostics to support therapies in microbiome-related diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.

Jul 12, 2017

Arthur Beaudet

The American Society of Human Genetics has named Arthur Beaudet the recipient of this year's Victor A. McKusick Leadership Award. The award recognizes individuals whose "professional achievements have fostered and enriched the development of human genetics as well as its assimilation into the broader context of science, medicine, and health." Beaudet, who will receive the award along with a $10,000 prize at the ASHG annual meeting in October, is the Henry and Emma Mayer Professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences and has received several other awards for his work. Beaudet has published more than 350 articles in the scientific literature. 

Jul 12, 2017

Kári Stefánsson

The American Society of Human Genetics has named Kári Stefánsson the winner of this year's William Allan Award, a prize established in 1961 that recognizes a scientist for "substantial and far-reaching scientific contributions to human genetics." Stefánsson is the founder of Iceland's Decode Genetics, which has conducted a large-scale population genetics research project in Iceland. He has published more than 500 articles in the scientific literature and has received several awards for his work, including the European Society of Human Genetics Award in 2009.

Jul 07, 2017

Matthias Raquet

Oneservice, a Swiss company offering complete managed service solutions, consulting, and learning for the life science, diagnostics, and medical device industries, has appointed Matthias Raquet as CEO. Raquet joins Oneservice from Qiagen, where he has worked since 2001, most recently as vice president and head of global service solutions and global customer management. Prior to Qiagen he worked in various management roles at Amersham Pharmacia.

Jul 06, 2017

Steven Kanner

Caribou Biosciences has appointed Steven Kanner as CSO. Kanner has more than 25 years of experience in drug discovery and development. He previously served in various research leadership roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Astex Pharmaceuticals, and Agensys/Astellas Pharma. Most recently, he served as vice president of discovery biology at Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals.

Jul 05, 2017

Chad Brown

NanoString Technologies has appointed Chad Brown senior vice president of sales and marketing. With more than 35 years of experience in life science tools and clinical diagnostics, Brown most recently served as the president and head of commercial operations for North America at Qiagen. Prior to that, Brown was with Roche Diagnostics Corporation, where he held a series of commercial leadership positions in the applied sciences and centralized diagnostics businesses. He has also held sales leadership positions in several medical device and healthcare companies, including Chiron Diagnostics, Rotech Healthcare, Apria Healthcare, and Humana.

Brown succeeds Barney Saunders, who is expected to stay with NanoString for a three-month transition period before pursuing other professional opportunities.

Jun 30, 2017

Todd Whitson

Karius has appointed Todd Whitson as chief commercial officer. Whitson joins Karius from CareDx where he served as CCO. Prior to CareDx, he served as VP of commercial operations for Ariosa Diagnostics, now part of Roche, and led sales at Genzyme Genetics, later acquired by LabCorp.

Jun 30, 2017

Ena Cratsenburg, Will Schroeder

Ginkgo Bioworks has appointed Ena Cratsenburg as chief business officer and Will Schroeder as head of metabolic engineering. Cratsenburg joins Ginkgo with over a decade of experience in business development in the biotech space. She has held positions as senior VP of the consumer sector at Intrexon, senior VP of business development at Evolva, and VP of business development for Amyris. Schroeder joins Ginkgo from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) where he served as CP of technology. Before ADM, Schroeder spent 12 years at Cargill, overseeing strain and fermentations process development.

Jun 28, 2017

Chris van Ingen

Chris van Ingen, a former member of Bruker's board of directors, died on June 27, Bruker said in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. van Ingen died less than a week after he told the firm that he would be retiring from the board due to medical reasons. The cause of his death was not disclosed. He had been on Bruker's board since 2012. From 2001 to 2007, van Ingen was with Agilent Technologies where he served as president of the firm's bio-analytical measurement business.

Jun 27, 2017

Brian Morra

Brian Morra has been elected executive chairman of Akonni Biosystems' board of directors. In addition to leading the board, Morra will support Akonni Founder and CEO Charles Daitch. He was a senior VP at Pacific-Sierra Research, and was a president at Veridian. 

Jun 22, 2017

Matt Tindall, Martin Reese

Matt Tindall has stepped down as CEO of Fabric Genomics, formerly Omicia, as of early May 2017. He joined the company in March 2016 when he was first appointed to the position. Martin Reese, former CSO and co-founder, has been appointed as the company's CEO. Reese has served as CEO of the company in previous years.


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.