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Luk Van Parijs, Merrilyn Datta, Nikki Zahl, Richard DiMarchi, and Amit Kumar


MIT researcher Luk Van Parijs has taken a leave of absence from his position as assistant professor of biology at the institution’s Center for Cancer Research.

Although Van Parijs’ name is still listed on the faculty section of MIT’s website, his lab’s webpage has been removed. Alice Gast, vice president of research and associate provost at MIT, declined to comment on the situation.

Van Parijs has been working with RNAi to track down the genetic bases of cancer (see RNAi News, 8/13/2004), and his work on a system using lentiviruses to deliver shRNA into mammalian cells was detailed in the Feb. 17, 2003, issue of Nature Genetics.

Invitrogen has appointed Merrilyn Datta as the company’s new director of RNAi in the functional genomics business segment. Datta replaces Nikki Zahl, who has become director of genomics at Invitrogen.

In her new position, Datta is in charge of all of Invitrogen’s business initiative related to RNAi. She was previously marketing manager for RNAi at the company, and before that marketing manager for cloning and gene expression.

Datta holds a PhD from Harvard University, and a BS from Emory University.

Isis Pharmaceuticals said last week that Richard DiMarchi has joined the company’s board of directors.

DiMarchi is a professor of biomolecular science at Indiana University, Bloomington. Prior to this, he led the biotechnology group at Eli Lilly Research Laboratories, Isis said. He is also a partner at Twilight Venture Fund, and is a former member of the board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

DiMarchi holds a PhD from Indiana University, and a BS from Florida Atlantic University.

CombiMatrix CEO Amit Kumar has been appointed to the board of the NanoBusiness Alliance, an industry association representing firms in the nanotechnology field.


The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.