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Pacific Biosciences last week appointed Susan Kelly Barnes as its first chief financial officer. Previously, she was senior vice president of finance and CFO of Intuitive Surgical, and prior to that, managing director of the private equity group at Jefferies & Company.

Before that, she was CFO and managing director of Richard C. Blum and Associates, a merchant banking company, and prior to that, vice president and CFO of NeXT Computer, a company she helped found with Steve Jobs after working as controller of the Macintosh division at Apple Computer from 1981 to 1985.

Barnes holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Bryn Mawr College.


Brian McKelligon joined Ion Torrent Systems in January as vice president for North American sales. Previously, he was vice president of sales and marketing at SwitchGear Genomics. In the past, he also directed sales and business development activities at Affymetrix, Ingenuity Systems, and Incyte. McKelligon holds a BS in biology and chemistry from Santa Clara University.

In addition, Nader Pourmand has joined Ion Torrent's scientific advisory board. He is an assistant professor of biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and director of the university's genome sequencing center. His research team develops new tools and technologies to integrate biology, electronics, and nanofabrication in order to increase the speed and lower the cost of DNA sequencing.

Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University. Pourmand holds a PhD in experimental medicine from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.


Joel McComb resigned from his job as senior vice president and general manager for life sciences at Illumina last month and has joined Synthetic Genomics as chief operating officer.

At Illumina, he was directly involved in the development and launch of the firm's HiSeq 2000 sequencer. Prior to Illumina, he was president of GE Healthcare Interventional Medicine, and before that, president of healthcare life sciences-discovery systems at General Electric.

Previously, he was president, CEO, and board member of Innovadyne Technologies. McComb holds an MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and a BS in genetics from the University of California, Davis.

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.