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People in the News: Jan 29, 2009

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Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has promoted Akshay Vaishnaw to the position of senior vice president of clinical research.

Vaishnaw previously served as Alnylam’s vice president of clinical research.


Pfizer has named Cathy Pachuk as senior director of delivery technology at its Research Technology Center, which focuses on, among other things, the company’s RNAi therapeutics efforts.

The company has also appointed C. Satishchandran as chief technology officer of the RTC.

Both Pachuk and Satishchandran were co-founders of Nucleonics, a now-defunct developer of expressed RNAi-based drugs. The company was shut down last year amid legal wrangling between the co-founders and senior management (see RNAi News, 11/6/2008).


Dicerna Pharmaceuticals has appointed Ronald Kahn to its scientific advisory board.

Kahn is currently a senior investigator at the Joslin Diabetes Center, where he heads the Joslin Section on Obesity and Hormone Action. He is also a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, according to Dicerna.

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.