People in the News

Feb 08, 2017

Gary Riordan

HealthTell has appointed Gary Riordan as VP of regulatory and quality. Riordan has previously held positions at various companies in the diagnostic industry, including NanoString, Accumetrics, Sequenom, PrimeraDx, and Roche Molecular Systems. He began his career at the US Food and Drug Administration, where he spent six years at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research as a reviewer for in vitro diagnostic tests for HIV and Hepatitis.

Feb 08, 2017

Birgit Funke

Veritas Genetics has appointed Birgit Funke as VP of clinical affairs. Funke is a board-certified molecular geneticist and serves as an associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. In addition to her new appointment with Veritas, she will continue her work at Partners Healthcare's Laboratory of Molecular Medicine. Funke also serves as co-chair of ClinGen's Cardiovascular Domain Working Group, as chair of the genetics subdivision of the Association for Molecular Pathology, as advisor on next-generation sequencing for the US Food and Drug Administration, and as a member of the College of American Pathologists' Next-Generation Sequencing Project Team.

Feb 08, 2017

Candia Brown

Swift Biosciences has appointed Candia Brown as VP of global marketing. Brown joins Swift from Fluidigm where she served as director of single-cell genomics. Prior to Fluidigm, she directed strategic marketing for DNA applications within Affymetrix, and held various position at Applied Biosystems. Brown also conducted research at Applied Biosystems, the Baxter Corporation (MicroScan Division), and the Biocircuits Corporation.

Feb 03, 2017

Thomas Schweins, Brad Crutchfield

Thomas Schweins has been appointed as head of the life science business area for Qiagen, CEO Peer Schatz noted in an earnings call this week. Schweins has been with Qiagen since 2004 and has been an integral part of the company's executive committee during this period, Schatz said. He also previously served as head of marketing and strategy at Qiagen, where he was involved in managing the company's global life science business. He also previously worked for Boston Consulting Group, Hoechst, and Aventis.

Schweins is taking over for Brad Crutchfield, who stepped down from the role for personal reasons, Schatz said.

Feb 03, 2017

Mike Brophy

Natera has appointed Mike Brophy to chief financial officer. He replaces Herm Rosenman, who had been CFO since January 2014 and resigned effective Jan. 31, 2017. Rosenman will join Natera's board of directors. Brophy had been serving as Natera's senior vice president of finance and investor relations since September 2016 and as the firm's vice president of corporate development and investor relations since September 2015. Prior to joining Natera, he was an executive director and vice president in Morgan Stanley's investment banking division. 

Feb 02, 2017

James Wheless

CombiMatrix has appointed pediatric neurologist James Wheless to its scientific advisory board. Wheless is professor and chief of pediatric neurology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and is director of the neurosciences institute and the comprehensive epilepsy program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Wheless is a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with special qualifications in child neurology, clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy.  He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Neurology, and has been a member of the editorial boards of numerous peer-reviewed journals.

He received his MD from the University of Oklahoma and completed residencies in pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma and in pediatric neurology at Northwestern University at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Feb 02, 2017

Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier

CRISPR researchers Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley and Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology have been awarded the 2017 Japan Prize.

The Japan Prize Foundation said it was honoring their work on "deciphering the molecular details of the type II bacterial immune system CRISPR/Cas and the creation of the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system."

The Japan Prize is awarded each year to researchers in two pre-selected fields. This year's fields were "Life Science" and "Electronics, Information, and Communication."

Feb 01, 2017

Matt Posard

GenePeeks has appointed Matt Posard as president and chief commercial officer.

Posard will lead commercialization of the firm's genetic disease risk analysis products.

He most recently led Trovagene's commercial operations as executive VP and CCO. Prior to that, he spent nine years at Illumina, serving in senior marketing, sales, and other commercial roles, as well as time with Alere and Hologic.

Posard sits on the board of directors of several biotech firms such as Slip Chip and Omicia.

Jan 27, 2017

Caroline Dorsa

Illumina has appointed Caroline Dorsa to its board of directors and to the board's audit committee. She joins Illumina from the Public Service Enterprise Group where she served as executive VP and CFO. Dorsa also serves as director of Biogen and Intellia Therapeutics, and as a trustee of Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund and Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund.

Jan 26, 2017

David Memel, Frank Fee

Metabolon has appointed David Memel as chief medical officer and Frank Fee as CFO. Memel joins Metabolon from Klaipeda Health where he served as managing director. He has also held a variety of commercial, medical, scientific, informatics, and technology leadership positions at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Aetna, Roche Diagnostics, Roche Pharmaceuticals, and PeaceHealth. Fee has been with Metabolon since 2011, where he most recently served as senior VP of finance. Before joining Metabolon, he worked in the life sciences practice of Ernst & Young.

Jan 25, 2017

Michael Murphy, Sandra Foster, Michael Reinemann

Akonni Biosystems has appointed Michael Murphy as VP of regulatory affairs, Sandra Foster as director of quality assurance, and Michael Reinemann as director of business development. Murphy joins Akonni from Conatus Consulting, a regulatory consulting practice, where he served as president for seven years. He has also held executive management positions at ParagonDx, PPGx, Clingenix, and Gentris. Foster joins Akonni from her own private consulting company, Triangle GxP Solutions. She has also spent 12 years in various clinical-phase biotechnology companies. Reinemann joins Akonni from Qiagen, where he held various commercial operations roles, including regional marketing manager of North America and senior global product manager.

Jan 20, 2017

Joshua Bilenker

Joshua Bilenker has resigned from the board of T2 Biosystems, effective immediately. 

According to a Form 8-K filed Jan. 20 with the US Securities and Exchange commission, he is resigning due to other personal commitments and not out of dispute or disagreement with T2 or the firm's management. 

Jan 19, 2017

Kevin Rosenblatt, Mary Lake Polan, Daniel Chan, Thomas McElrath

NX Prenatal has appointed Kevin Rosenblatt, Mary Lake Polan, Daniel Chan, and Thomas McElrath to its newly formed medical/clinical advisory board. Rosenblatt will serve as the chair and currently works as chief medical and scientific officer for the company. Prior to NX Prenatal, he served as chief medical officer/chief scientific officer of CompanionDx Labs. Polan is a clinical professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive science at Yale University School of Medicine. She also serves as chair emeritus of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University. Chan is a professor of pathology, oncology, radiology, and urology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also serves as director of the clinical chemistry division and co-director of the Pathology Core Laboratory of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. McElrath is an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School. He is also an attending physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Jan 18, 2017

Mary Duseau, Paul Thomas

Roka Biosciences, a manufacturer of molecular diagnostics for foodborne pathogens, has named Mary Duseau as president and CEO. She succeeds Paul Thomas, who held those posts since 2009 and will now serve as chairman of the firm's board of directors. Duseau has been senior vice president and chief commercial officer at Roka since 2015. She was previously global sales director at Andor Technologies, a division of Oxford Instruments, and held various sales and management positions at PerkinElmer between 2000 and 2012. 

Jan 17, 2017

James Lewis

James Lewis has joined cancer genome testing firm Personal Genome Diagnostics as senior vice president of corporate development. He will oversee strategic planning, collaboration initiatives, and fundraising activities directed at securing capital to meet corporate objectives, including a planned Series B financing round this year. Lewis was previously VP of business development at Esperance Pharmaceuticals. Before that, he was at AstraZeneca, where he led business development work for the cardiovascular franchise and was on the Crestor commercial team. 

Jan 12, 2017

Francis Ouellette

Génome Québec has appointed Francis Ouellette as VP of scientific affairs. In this role, Ouellette will lead efforts to define the company's vision and develop its scientific strategy. He will start in his new role Feb. 27. Prior to his work with Génome Québec, Ouellette served as associate director of the informatics and biocomputing platform and lead investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. He also served as associate professor in the department of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia, director of the UBC Bioinformatics Center at the Michael Smith Laboratories, and coordinated the GenBank database for the US National Institutes of Health.

Jan 11, 2017

Mark Adams

Jackson Laboratory has appointed Mark Adams as director of microbial genomic services. In this role, Adams will enhance the organization's large scale microbiome initiatives. Adams joins Jackson Laboratory from the J. Craig Venter Institute, where he directed programs that characterized genomic changes in antibiotic resistance. He also founded the Institute for Genomic Research, co-founded Celera Genomics, and served as associate professor of genetics at Case Western Reserve University.

Jan 09, 2017

Haywood Cochrane

Acuamark Diagnostics announced Haywood Cochrane has joined its board of directors. He will transition from his current position as a member of the firm's advisory board. Cochrane is currently a director at Corium and vice chair of the board at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Previously, he was CEO of CHD Meridian and was president and CEO of Allied Clinical Labs. 

Jan 09, 2017

Randy Scott, Sean George

Invitae President and Chief Operating Officer Sean George will take over as CEO, effective immediately, the company announced. Current CEO Randy Scott will continue full time at Invitae serving as executive chairman of the board of directors. The changes come as the company is focused on driving global growth in genetic testing. Previously, George was a co-founder and CEO of genetic analysis startup Locus Development. Scott previously served as executive chairman at Genomic Health and chief operating officer at personal genomics firm Navigenics.

Jan 06, 2017

Philip Bourne

The National Institutes of Health announced today that Philip Bourne will be leaving his post as associate director for data science effective April 30, 2017. Bourne joined the NIH in 2014 to lead the Big Data to Knowledge program. He will join the University of Virginia, Charlottesville as Stephenson Chair of data science, director of the Data Science Institute, and professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. 

Jan 06, 2017

Christian Henry

Ginkgo Bioworks has appointed Christian Henry to its board of directors. Henry joins from Illumina, where he served as executive VP and chief commercial officer. While at Ilumina, he also served as CFO, general manager of Life Sciences, and senior VP of corporate development. Before Illumina, he served as CFO of and VP of finance of Affymetrix.

Jan 06, 2017

Ian Clark

Guardant Health has appointed Ian Clark to its board of directors. Clark joins Guardant Health from Genetech, where he served as CEO, and Roche, where he led North American commercial operations. He has also held leadership roles at Novartis, Sanofi, and Ivax.

Jan 06, 2017

Troy Cox, Michael Pellini

Foundation Medicine announced that it has appointed Troy Cox as CEO to succeed Michael Pellini, who has been appointed as chairman of the board of directors. Pellini replaces Alexis Borisy, who will continue to serve on the board. Cox joins Foundation Medicine from Roche-Genetech, where he led one of the largest oncology portfolios in the US. Before joining Genentech, he held leadership positions at UCB BioPharma, Sanofi-Aventis, and Schering-Plough.

Jan 05, 2017

Stephanie Hallam

Claritas Genomics has appointed Stephanie Hallam as VP of molecular diagnostics. Hallam joins Claritas from Good Start Genetics, where she served as VP of laboratory operations and medical director.. She has also served in management and leadership positions at Genzyme Genetics, Athena Diagnostics, the University of Utah, and the University of Colorado.

Jan 05, 2017

Michael Nemzek

MedGenome has appointed Michael Nemzek as chief commercial officer. Nemzek has held executive leadership positions in both public companies and private companies, including RareCyte, Affymetrix, and Velocity11. He also holds advanced degrees in chemistry from North Carolina State University and in management from the University of Maryland.


Researchers test gene therapy targeting a different cancer protein in a new trial, the New York Times reports.

Pennsylvania State University researchers found that salivary microRNAs could predict which kids would have longer concussion symptoms, according to NPR.

The Associated Press reports Alex Azar, the new Department of Health and Human Services secretary nominee, made millions of dollars as a pharmaceutical executive.

In PNAS this week: immune profiling of breast cancer, transposable element patterns in rice, and more.