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Andy Fire, Andre Lochter, Loren Rieseberg, and Henry O’Connell


The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has scheduled Andy Fire, of the Carnegie Institute, to be the speaker at this year’s DeWitt Stetten, Jr. Lecture.

Fire’s one-hour presentation is entitled “RNA-Triggered Genetic Silencing Mechanisms”, and will be held on Oct. 22 in the Masur Auditorium of the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center at the NIH. It is slated to begin at 3 p.m.

According to an NIGMS spokeswoman, the decision to invite Fire “reflects our view that [RNAi] is a very exciting research area.”

Atugen said that it has appointed Andre Lochter as director of business development.

Lochter joins Atugen from Nordic Bioscience, where he was business development manager for preclinical research and, later, in vitro diagnostics. Prior to Nordic Bioscience, said Atugen, he worked for Osteopro.

Lochter holds an MS in biology from the University of Heidelberg and a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced this week the names of 24 new MacArthur Fellows for 2003. Included in the list is Loren Rieseberg, a botanist from Indiana University at Bloomington whose work with sunflowers has focused on speciation, domestication, reproductive system evolution, and conservation biology.

Rieseberg’s interests have expanded to RNAi, he told RNAi News in an e-mail, and he is considering using part of the $500,000 fellowship prize money to explore using the technology “to repress candidate genes for adaptive divergence and specification in sunflowers.

“We have many candidates from our comparative EST sequencing and candidate gene mapping work, but we need to determine the functional significance of allelic variation.

“Unfortunately, [RNAi] has not yet played a role in my work,” he added. “I just have a case of Drosophila envy.”

Promega is on the look out for a new vice president of marketing after the departure of Henry O’Connell.

O’Connell joined the company in Oct. 2001, but left several months ago.

Promega officials were unavailable for comment on the job opening.

The company is currently advertising the position on its website. Details can be found at /hr/jobs/Vice_President_Marketing.htm.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.