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People in the News: Victor Ambros, Gary Ruvkun, Robert Bitterman, Keith Brownlie

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University of Massachusetts Medical School researcher Victor Ambros and Massachusetts General Hospital investigator Gary Ruvkun have received the 2012 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research for their co-discovery of microRNAs.

Ambros' lab discovered the first miRNA, while Ruvkun's lab independently identified how these small, non-coding RNAs regulate their target mRNA, according to Johnson & Johnson, which sponsors the award.

“Working together, they demonstrated that the miRNA inactivates its target through direct, base-pairing interactions,” the company said.


RXi Pharmaceuticals has appointed Robert Bitterman and Keith Brownlie to its board of directors.

Bitterman is currently the president and CEO of Cutanea Life Sciences, and Brownlie previously worked as metro New York area life sciences industry leader for Ernst & Young.

The Scan

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.

Estonian Biobank Team Digs into Results Return Strategies, Experiences

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics outline a procedure developed for individual return of results for the population biobank, along with participant experiences conveyed in survey data.

Rare Recessive Disease Insights Found in Individual Genomes

Researchers predict in Genome Medicine cross-population deletions and autosomal recessive disease impacts by analyzing recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination-related deletions.

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.