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Insel Leaves Verily

Thomas Insel, the former director of the US National Institute of Mental Health, has left his post at Verily, Stat News reports.

Insel left NIMH for Alphabet's Google Life Sciences — now Verily — to lead a mental health effort there in 2015. At the time, Insel said he was excited by Google's stance that it should have "a 10x impact on hard problems. I am looking forward to a 10x challenge in mental health."

CNBC notes that Insel was leading a push to come up with new technologies to help people with anxiety and depression. However, as Stat News notes, Verily hasn't unveiled a mental health-related product and many of its ambitious projects — like its glucose-sensing contact lenses effort — have run into technical and other challenges.

CNBC points out Insel's departure is one of many by top executives from Alphabet. Other recent departures include Tony Fadell from Nest, Bill Maris from the venture capital arm of Alphabet, and Craig Barratt from Google Fiber.

Stat News adds that Verily itself has lost its chief scientific officer, Vikram Bajaj, who decamped to Grail last fall, and it says some Verily employees have cited challenges in working with CEO Andrew Conrad as why they left.

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