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Francis Collins, Alan Guttmacher, Roch Kelly, Heiner Dreismann

Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, said last week that he will step down from his post on Aug. 1 to focus on “writing projects and other professional opportunities.” Collins has been director of NHGRI since April 1993 and led the Human Genome Project to its completion in 2003. He also guided a number of follow-up initiatives, such as the International HapMap Project, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, the Knockout Mouse Project, the Mammalian Gene Collection, the Cancer Genome Atlas, the Molecular Libraries Initiative, and the Human Microbiome Project. In addition, Collins founded an intramural program in genomics within the National Institutes of Health in 1993.
Alan Guttmacher, deputy director of NHGRI, will be appointed as acting director of the institute on Aug. 1. NIH said that it will soon begin a formal search process for a permanent NHGRI director.

Roch Kelly has become chief operating officer of RainDance Technologies, the company said this week. He joins RainDance from Synarc, where he was vice president of clinical operations. Previously, he was chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Protedyne, vice president of clinical operations and worldwide business at Parexel International, and executive director of manufacturing operations at Chiron Diagnostics. Kelly holds an MBA from Syracuse University and a BSc in finance from Miami University in Ohio.


Heiner Dreismann has become a director of Med BioGene, the company said last week. He will chair MBI's strategy committee. Dreismann is the former CEO of Roche Molecular Diagnostics, a business area of Roche Diagnostics. Prior to that, he held other senior positions within Roche. Dreismann holds a PhD in microbiology and molecular biology and a master’s degree in biology from the University of Münster in Germany.

The Scan

Possibly as Transmissible

Officials in the UK say the B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be as transmitted as easily as the B.1.1.7 variant that was identified in the UK, New Scientist reports.

Gene Therapy for SCID 'Encouraging'

The Associated Press reports that a gene therapy appears to be effective in treating severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.

To Watch the Variants

Scientists told US lawmakers that SARS-CoV-2 variants need to be better monitored, the New York Times reports.

Nature Papers Present Nautilus Genome, Tool to Analyze Single-Cell Data, More

In Nature this week: nautilus genome gives peek into its evolution, computational tool to analyze single-cell ATAC-seq data, and more.