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Craig Mello, Christoph Westphal

Johnson & Johnson said this week that University of Massachusetts Medical School researcher and RNAi pioneer Craig Mello has been named the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research.
The award includes a $100,000 prize and will be given every two years.

Christoph Westphal, a founder of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, has joined venture capital firm IDG Ventures as a senior advisor and chairman of the firm’s life sciences advisory board.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.