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People in the News: Feb 11, 2010


Mirna Therapeutics has appointed Yale University researcher Frank Slack as a scientific advisor.

Slack is currently an associate professor at Yale and focuses on the role of let-7 in cancer. He holds a PhD in molecular biology from Tufts University School of Medicine and a BSc from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

Arrowhead Research, the parent company of Calando Pharmaceuticals, has named Ken Myszkowski as its CFO.

Myszkowski previously served as corporate controller for Broadwind Energy. Before that, he was controller for Epcor, a public energy company. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Nektar Therapeutics has appointed Scott Greer to its board of directors.

Greer previously served as chairman of the board of Sirna Therapeutics, prior to its acquisition by Merck. Nektar's President and CEO Howard Robin was the former president and CEO of Sirna, and the company's COO Bharat Chowrira previously served as vice president at Sirna.

The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.