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Peter Barrett, Dale Pfost, Phillip Frost, Jane Hsiao, Steven Rubin, Rao Uppaluri, Sam Reich, Michael French, Phillip Sharp

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said in a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week that Peter Barrett will resign from the company’s board of directors when his term expires on June 1.
Barrett is a partner at Atlas Venture, one of Alnylam’s founding venture capitalists. He has served on Alnylam’s board since 2002.
According to Alnylam, Barrett said he will not stand for re-election in order to “focus on his private portfolio companies.”

eXegenics, which recently acquired Acuity Pharmaceuticals (see RNAi News, 3/29/2007), said last week that President Dale Pfost has resigned from the company to pursue “other professional interests.”
Pfost was previously the president and CEO of Acuity. When Acuity announced that it was merging with eXegenics and privately held ophthalmics firm Froptix, it said that Pfost would become president of the new company.
Phillip Frost, a major investor in eXegenics, was named chairman and CEO of the merged company.
However, last week eXegenics, which is slated to change its name to Opko Health, said that Pfost has left the company. A replacement was not named.
eXegenics said, however, that board member Jane Hsiao will be vice chairman and chief technology officer. Additionally, board member Steven Rubin has been named executive vice president of administration.
eXegenics has also named Rao Uppaluri as senior vice president and CFO.
Sam Reich, one of Acuity’s co-founders, has been named senior vice president of research at the new company.

Rosetta Genomics said last week that it has named Michael French as the president of its new US subsidiary.
French previously served as senior vice president of corporate development at Sirna Therapeutics, which was recently acquired by Merck.
"Michael brings to Rosetta the expertise and leadership to build that team and advance our technology in multiple areas,” Amir Avniel, Rosetta CEO, said in a statement. “We believe his accomplishments in negotiating and closing high value strategic alliances as well as his ability to establish strong investor relationships will be instrumental to our success.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Phillip Sharp has been awarded the Chemists’ Club’s Winthrop-Sears Award for 2007.
Sharp, who also co-founded Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and won the Nobel Prize in 1993, will be presented with the award later this month.

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.