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Darren Platt, Ian Goodhead, Neil Hall, Douglas Fambrough, Susan Koppy

Darren Platt has left the Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute and will join consumer genotyping startup 23andMe as senior director of research on Oct. 1. At JGI, Platt was the head of the informatics department. He wrote the Forge assembly algorithm, which can handle DNA sequence data from different platforms.

Richard Durbin stepped down as the head of informatics of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in January in order to focus on genome-wide resequencing of humans using new sequencing technologies (see feature in this issue). The new head of the informatics division is Tim Hubbard.

Ian Goodhead is joining Neil Hall’s lab at the University of Liverpool as a graduate student. He will be looking at genomic approaches to understanding evolution of parasite virulence and host adaptation, using 454’s GS FLX in addition to other technologies. Goodhead joins the lab from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, where he worked with next-generation sequencing technology (see In Sequence 2/20/2007).
Hall recently opened a new core facility at Liverpool that is equipped with a 454 sequencer (see In Sequence 7/17/2007)

Douglas Fambrough has been promoted to general partner of Oxford Bioscience Partners, the company said last week. He joined the venture capital firm in January 2000 as an associate and became partner in 2005. Prior to OBP, he was a genomic scientist with the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research. He graduated from Cornell University and received a PhD in genetics from the University of California, Berkeley. At OBP, Fambrough was “actively involved” with the company’s investment in Solexa.

Susan Koppy has become a director of Lorus Therapeutics, the company said last week. She has been senior vice president for business and corporate development of Idenix Pharmaceuticals since January 2006. Prior to that, she was vice president of strategy and business development with Applied Biosystems from 2004 until 2005. Before that, she was director of business development for Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.