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Paired Ends: Mar 9, 2010


nanoMR, a diagnostic company developing technology to detect pathogens, named Colin Dykes as chief scientific officer. In this position, he will be responsible for studies that validate the company's pathogen detection system in clinical settings.

For the previous eight years, Dykes served as CSO and executive vice president at OpGen1, a molecular diagnostics service provider, where he oversaw scientific and business development programs. Prior to that, he served as vice president of research at Nuvelo (previously Variagenics), a pharmacogenomics service business in Cambridge, Mass.

Dykes also spent 16 years at GlaxoSmithKline, where he established the company's UK-based human genetics and genomics program. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from University College, Cardiff, Wales.

The UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the John Innes Foundation, and the John Innes Centre Governing Council appointed Dale Sanders to director and chief executive of the John Innes Centre, effective Sept. 1.

Sanders succeeds Chris Lamb, who passed away in August 2009. Michael Bevan has been acting director in the interim, and will continue in that post until Sept. 1.

Sanders is currently the head of the department of biology at the University of York, a position he has held since 2004, and is an expert in the transport of chemical elements across cell membranes in plants. He has been at the University of York since 1983, when he joined as a lecturer. In 2001, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. Sanders holds a PhD in plant sciences from the University of Cambridge.

Maynard Olson, professor emeritus of medicine and genome sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle, will receive the 2010 American Society for Microbiology Promega Biotechnology Research Award for his work in genomics.

The award is sponsored by Promega for contributions to the application of biotechnology through fundamental microbiological research and will be presented at the annual ASM meeting in San Diego, May 23-27.

Olson developed the orthogonal-field-alternation gel electrophoresis technique for separating large DNA molecules. He also developed the yeast artificial chromosome system, which was used in mapping the human genome, and also led to the development of the bacterial artificial chromosome cloning system, which became a key feature in whole-genome sequencing.

Elaine Mardis, co-director of the Genome Center at Washington University St. Louis, was presented with the Scripps Genomic Medicine Award last week at the third annual Future of Genomic Medicine conference for her work in cancer genome sequencing.

Mardis and her team are participating in the Cancer Genome Atlas, which is jointly funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Cancer Institute. In addition, the Wash U team has sequenced and published two acute myeloid leukemia genomes and is working on a number of other cancer genome sequencing projects in breast cancer, infant childhood leukemia, and other areas.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.