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People in the News: Daniel Geffken, Alan Dunton, June Ameen, Pritesh Gandhi, Laura Sepp-Lorenzino, Victor Dzau


Marina Biotech announced that it has appointed Daniel Geffken as its interim CFO as it works to restart drug-development operations after halting operations in mid-2012 amid a cash shortfall. Geffken is managing director at Danforth Advisors.

Marina has also brought back former executives Alan Dunton as chief medical officer and June Ameen as senior vice president of program management and strategic alliances. Both will work for Marina on a consulting basis, helping it to restart development of its suspended Phase I familial adenomatous polyposis program.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has named Pritesh Gandhi as vice president of medical affairs. He joins the company from Sanofi Oncology, where he served as associate vice president of global medical affairs.

Alnylam has also hired Laura Sepp-Lorenzino as a vice president and entrepreneur in residence. She previously served as executive director and department head of RNA therapeutics discovery biology at Merck.

Merck sold its RNAi drug assets to Alnylam earlier this year.

Lastly, Alnylam said that Victor Dzau will step down from the company's board of directors at the end of June. Dzau is ending his time with Alnylam following his appointment as president of the Institute of Medicine.

The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.