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Steve Scherer has become director of the McLaughlin Centre at the University of Toronto. He is chair of genetics and genomics at the Hospital for Sick Children and the university.


David Barker has joined the board of directors of BioNanomatrix. From 2000 until 2006, he was vice president and chief scientific officer at Illumina. Prior to that, he was vice president and chief science advisor at Amersham Biosciences, now part of General Electric, and before that, he held senior positions at Molecular Dynamics, which was acquired by Amersham. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from Brandeis University and a BS in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.


Craig Venter has received an honorary doctor of science degree from Clarkson University. He is the founder, chairman, and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute and the founder and CEO of Synthetic Genomics. He received the degree for his "pioneering work unlocking the secrets of the human genome and his continued commitment to using genomic science to find solutions to the world’s environmental and energy challenges, and for a lifetime dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge through the rigorous application of science."


Lee Hood has been awarded the 2010 Kistler Prize by the Foundation for the Future. He is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. Hood, who will receive the $100,000 award in September, was honored for the invention of five "groundbreaking instruments," including the automated DNA sequencer, and for "explicating the potentialities of genome and proteome research into the future through his pioneering of the fields of systems biology and systems medicine."


Sujeevan Ratnasingham has won the Ebbe Nielsen Prize from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. The prize carries a €30,000 ($38,000) cash award. Ratnasingham is the informatics director for the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario at the University of Guelph, and the information lead for the International Barcode of Life project. He received the award for developing the Barcode of Life Data Systems platform for the global DNA barcoding community.


Douglas Fambrough has been named CEO of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, an RNA interference company, replacing James Jenson, who will remain on the company's board of directors and scientific advisory board. Most recently, Fambrough was a general partner at Oxford Bioscience Partners, where he led an investment in Solexa before it was acquired by Illumina in 2007. Previously, he was a genomic scientist at the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genomic Research, now the Broad Institute. He holds a PhD in genetics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Cornell University.


Grant Campany has been appointed as senior director of the Archon Genomics X Prize. He will be responsible for operating the prize, including driving the marketing, education, and outreach programs; securing additional funding; assisting with the completion of the competition guidelines; and finalizing the validation and judging process. In the past, he held corporate development and strategic planning positions at a boutique management consulting firm, PPD Discovery, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Chiron, and 3M Pharmaceuticals. Campany holds an MBA and a BS in business from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

The Scan

Booster Push

New data shows a decline in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy over time, which the New York Times says Pfizer is using to argue its case for a booster, even as the lower efficacy remains high.

With Help from Mr. Fluffington, PurrhD

Cats could make good study animals for genetic research, the University of Missouri's Leslie Lyons tells the Atlantic.

Man Charged With Threatening to Harm Fauci, Collins

The Hill reports that Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., was charged with making threats against federal officials.

Nature Papers Present Approach to Find Natural Products, Method to ID Cancer Driver Mutations, More

In Nature this week: combination of cryogenic electron microscopy with genome mining helps uncover natural products, driver mutations in cancer, and more.