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Martin Schmieg, Patti Ketchner, Rebecca Galler Robison, Nassim Usman, Richmond Wolf, Robert Goodman, Susan Harlander, Michael Summers, Heiri Gugger, Keith Davis, Doug Morton, and more


Sirna Therapeutics said this week that Senior Vice President and CFO Martin Schmieg has resigned from the company effective April 22.

"For the past several years, I have been working away from my family and home in Philadelphia," Schmieg said in a statement, "and I have decided to pursue a business opportunity closer to home. I wish to thank my colleagues for their support of my decision, and in turn I have pledged back my full support to help the company during this transition period."

Sirna President and CEO Howard Robin said in a statement that the company understands Schmieg's "desire to address both personal and family priorities. While there is no question that losing Martin is a disappointment for the company, we respect his decision."

Sirna said it will immediately begin to search for a new CFO. In the meantime, the company vice president and corporate controller, Patti Ketchner, will take over day-to-day financial management responsibilities.

In addition, during the interim period, Sirna's senior director of corporate strategy, Rebecca Galler Robison, will assume day-to-day responsibilities for the company's investor relations department.

News of Schmieg's resignation comes about two weeks after Sirna announced COO Nassim Usman had left the company "to pursue other interests."

Arrowhead Research said this week that Richmond Wolf, director of the office of technology transfer at the California Institute of Technology, has been named chairman of the company's advisory board.

At Caltech, Wolf is responsible for the management and licensing of the intellectual property developed at the institute and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Arrowhead said. He is a member of the board of directors of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, and is or has been a member of the advisory boards of ITU Ventures, Oak Grove Systems, the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance, and technology management firm the Egg Factory.

Wolf received an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a PhD from Caltech.

Arrowhead is the majority stakeholder in RNAi start-up Calando Pharmaceuticals, which was co-founded by Caltech researcher Mark Davis.

Icoria said this week that its board and senior executive staff has undergone a number of changes in line with the company's shift from a firm focused on agricultural genomics firm to one focused on biomarker-enabled drug discovery.

According to the company, board members Robert Goodman, Susan Harlander, and Michael Summers have designed to resign their positions or not stand for re-election at Icoria's May 11 annual meeting.

Additionally, Icoria said it has created an office of the president to facilitate its realignment. The office will be led by President and CEO Heiri Gugger, and will include Keith Davis, vice president of agricultural biotechnology, and Doug Morton, a member of the company's board.

Other changes include the naming of Brett Farabaugh as vice president of finance, and the resignation of Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Peter Johnson.


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.