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Marcus Benz, George Church, Jorge Contreras

GATC Biotech has promoted Marcus Benz to chief operating officer. Benz joined GATC Biotech in 2000 as head of quality management, and was responsible for the company’s sequencing business unit. In 2003 he became responsible for production management.
Prior to joining GATC Biotech, Benz was a life science consultant. He has a degree in biology from the University of Konstanz in Germany, for which he also studied at Northern Arizona University, and a PhD in microbial ecology from the University of Konstanz.

George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, has joined Intelligent Bio-Systems’ scientific advisory board in January, the company disclosed on its website recently.

Jorge Contreras, a partner in the Washington, DC, office of law firm WilmerHale, has been appointed to the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research. The council advises the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute on matters concerning the funding and conduct of genomic research in the US.
The council, which comprises 18 members, including leading researchers in the fields of genetics, medicine, bioinformatics, pharmacogenomics, and bioethics, also performs second-level peer review for NHGRI grant applications, and determines program priorities for NHGRI.
Contreras has advised universities, research institutions, and private foundations on issues relating to scientific research, intellectual property, and technology development. Among many other activities, he was the primary legal counsel to the SNP Consortium.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.