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Tariq Rana, James Barrett, Per Samuelsson, Maxine Gowen, and Robert Towarnicki


CytRx said this week that Tariq Rana has joined the scientific advisory board of the company and its subsidiary Araios.

CytRx said that Rana is the director of the program in chemical biology and professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

UMMS and its researchers are partners on several of CytRx’s drug programs.

According to CytRx, Rana’s laboratory at UMMS is conducting research into RNAi in human cells; targeted gene disruption by RNAi and small molecules; RNA-protein interactions; nuclear export of mRNA; analysis of genome-wide expression patterns; combinatorial and bioorganic chemistry; and cellular functions of cyclin-dependent kinases.

“Dr. Rana brings to CytRx the expertise to help build our franchise in the development of RNAi therapeutics,” CytRx president and CEO Steven Kriegsman said in a statement. “His expertise on chemical modifications to RNAi will accelerate CytRx’s efforts to commercialize therapeutics for diseases such as ALS, diabetes, obesity, and CMV.”

Prior to joining UMMS, Rana was a professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said CytRx. He received a PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Davis, the company added.

Nucleonics said this week that it has appointed four new members to its board of directors.

Joining the board is James Barrett, general partner of New Enterprise Associates, as well as Per Samuelsson, a partner at HealthCap.

Both NEA and HealthCap have bcome investors in Nucleonics with the company’s recent closing of a $40.9 million round of Series B financing.

Also joining Nucleonics’ board is Maxine Gowen, a managing partner of SR One.

SR One was one of Nucleonics’ founding investors and also took part in this recent financing round.

Finally, Nucleonics said that president and CEO Robert Towarnicki has joined its board.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

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Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.