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Vicki Sato, John Berriman, Patricia Allen, David Page, Qiagen


People in the News

Vicki Sato has been named to Alnylam Pharmaceutical's board of directors, the company said late last week.

Formerly president of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from 2000 to 2005, Sato also served as the company's chief scientific officer and chair of the scientific advisory board. Prior to joining Vertex, she held numerous leadership positions at Biogen (now Biogen Idec), and served as both assistant and associate professor in the Department of Biology at Harvard University from 1976 to 1983.

She is on both the board of directors and the scientific advisory board of Infinity Pharmaceuticals and is a member of the board of directors of PerkinElmer. She received her bachelor's, master's, and PhD from Harvard University.

Along with Sato's appointment, Alynlam announced John Berriman's resignation from the board. No reason was provided.

Alnylam also announced that Patricia Allen, the company's vice-president of finance, has been named as the treasurer and an executive officer of the company, effective Jan, 1.

The Whitehead Institute's board elected faculty member David Page as the institute's fourth director, Whitehead said last week.

Page was appointed as interim director in December 2004.

A biology professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Page graduated from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program in 1984 with a concentration in genetics. He came to Whitehead as one of the institute's first fellows in 1984 and became a faculty member in 1986.

Page received the MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship in 1986, the Searle Scholar's Award in 1989, the Amory Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997, and the Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics in 2003.


Products & Services

Qiagen this week said it has developed a collection of validated siRNAs through an "extensive" validation project.

This validation effort aims to develop validated siRNAs for the 7,000 targets of the newly released Human Druggable Genome siRNA Set V2.0, which includes siRNAs targeting kinases and cancer-associated genes.

Currently, more than 2,500 validated siRNAs are available at the GeneGlobe Web portal (

The project is run in a standardized high-throughput set-up. First, siRNAs are designed using the HiPerformance siRNA Design Algorithm. Next, "appropriate" cell lines are transfected using HiPerFect Transfection Reagent. Finally, siRNA functionality is tested using QuantiTect assays and kits for real-time RT-PCR to confirm a minimum of 70 percent target gene knockdown.

The Scan

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.