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Bill Spencer, Tom Vander Ark

Bill Spencer, formerly director of worldwide system sales for 454 Life Sciences, has moved to 454’s marketing partner Roche Applied Science. At Roche, he is representing the Genome Sequencer product line in the New England area. Prior to joining 454, Spencer was director of business development at OpGen Technologies.

The X Prize Foundation has named Tom Vander Ark, the former executive director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as its president. The X Prize Foundation, best known for the $10 million Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight it awarded in 2004, recently announced the $10 million Archon X Prize for genomics, which will be awarded to the first private effort to sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days.
At the Gates Foundation, Vander Ark implemented more than $3.5 billion in scholarship and grant programs to improve education in the United States. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, he served as superintendent of a school district in Washington state.

The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.