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Christophe Echeverri, Gualberto Ruano, Kevin Rakin, Len Hendrickson, Robert Weltman


Christophe Echeverri is among this year’s top 100 young innovators being honored by MIT’s Technology Review magazine.

The innovators, who were selected by the magazine’s editors and a panel of judges, and must as a rule be all under age 35, will be honored Sept. 24–25 at the Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT. Detailed bios are published in the October issue of the magazine, which became available online this week.

Echeverri was chosen due to his work as the founder, CEO, and chief scientific officer of Cenix Bioscience of Dresden, Germany, which performs drug discovery services for researchers using RNAi technology and has raised 11 million euro.

Echeverri received his PhD in cell biology from the University of Massachusetts in 1998, and his BS and MSc in biology from the University of Ottawa in Canada.

Gualberto Ruano, who resigned from his post as vice chairman and chief scientific officer of Genaissance Pharmaceuticals Aug. 31, has launched a new company, Genomas.

Genomas, based in New Haven, Conn., will focus on physiogenomics — or “the whole individual and the interaction of genomic, chemical, behavioral, and environmental factors on health and performance,” Ruano said. The company, which has not yet received outside funding and is being run from Ruano’s home office, according to news reports, intends to form collaborations with physiological research centers, as well as the US military. Its research programs will include the study of obesity, among other things, Ruano said.

Ruano, who received his MD and PhD degrees from Yale University School of Medicine, founded Genaissance in 1997. He served as president and CEO until Aug. 2002, when the company announced a round of restructuring and layoffs. At that time, COO Kevin Rakin was promoted to CEO, and Ruano became CSO and vice chairman of the company.

Len Hendrickson, president and CEO of life sciences reagent company BioSource, has taken an indefinite medical disability leave of absence.

Robert Weltman, who is currently on the board of directors, has been appointed interim CEO by the board while the company seeks a longer-term replacement for Hendrickson.

Weltman, who has served on BioSource’s board since February 2000, is currently general partner at GenStar Capital Partners, a private equity limited partnership. Weltman is also on the board of PRA International, a clinical research organiza-tion, and also was on the board of NEN Life Science Products prior to its acquisition by PerkinElmer three years ago.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.