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Francis Collins, Arthur Kornberg, Roger Kornberg, Maynard Olson, Andrew Sparks, Bruce Martin, Arnold Oliphant, Bill Banyai, Eric Lachenmeier, John Curson

Francis Collins will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush at a White House ceremony next week. Collins is the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. He was honored for his leadership during the Human Genome Project.

Nobel laureate Arthur Kornberg died last week in Stanford. He was 89. He won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1959 for discovering DNA polymerase, an enzyme used in DNA amplification as well as many sequencing technologies. His son, Roger Kornberg, won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2006 for his studies of transcription.

Maynard Olson last week received the Gruber Genetics Prize at the American Society for Human Genetics conference in San Diego. He is a professor of genome sciences and medicine at the University of Washington. The prize comes with a $500,000 award. Olson assembled a physical map of the yeast genome and “developed a new way to piece together the genomic puzzle,” according to a statement. He was also “one of the top two or three key brains behind the Human Genome Project.” The Gruber Genetics Prize honors leading scientists for distinguished contributions in any realm of genetics research.

Andrew Sparks joined Complete Genomics earlier this year as a researcher, In Sequence has learned. He came to Complete Genomics from Affymetrix. Prior to that, he worked for Perlegen Sciences.
Further, Bruce Martin also joined Complete Genomics earlier this year, and Arnold Oliphant, Bill Banyai, Eric Lachenmeier, and John Curson came on board last year.
Martin is vice president of product development. Most recently, he was vice president of product strategy at PSS Systems. Martin holds a BS in computer science and electrical engineering from the University of California Davis.
Oliphant is Complete Genomics’ executive vice president for scientific operations. As an executive vice president at Illumina, he led groups that developed the Golden Gate and Infinium genotyping assays and platforms. Prior to that, as executive vice president of function genomics at Myriad Genetics, he was responsible for developing the chemistry and automation for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 clinical diagnostic tests and for the sequencing of the rice genome. Oliphant has a PhD in genetics from Harvard University and a BA in biology from the University of Utah.
Banyai joined Complete Genomics as vice president of hardware. He was the founding CTO of Glimmerglass Networks, an optical networking company. Banyai holds a PhD in optical sciences from the University of Arizona, an MS in electrical science from the University of Michigan, an electrical engineering degree from USC, and a BS in physics from the University of Michigan.
Lachenmeier is the company’s vice president of corporate programs. He led the development of the ABI 310 genetic analyzer at Applied Biosystems and deployed two generations of DNA sequencing platforms at Incyte Genomics, where he was vice president of technology development. Lachenmeier has a BS in mechanical engineering from MIT, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

Curson is chief financial officer of Complete Genomics. He has been the CFO of Eloquent, Truevision, and RasterOps. He has an MBA from the Anderson School of Business at the University of California, Los Angeles; as well as a master’s degree in operations research and economics, and a technical undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Leeds in England.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.