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Paired Ends: Sep 21, 2010


BGI Americas has named Julia Dan as CEO and Paul Tu as president. Previously, Dan was a co-founder and managing partner of NuCure Bioscience and senior manager at Sepracor's Commercial Group. Dan also served as the business development manager at Genzyme, where she led the company's efforts to set up commercial operations in Beijing. She holds a BA from the Beijing Foreign Studies University, an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and an MPH from Harvard University School of Public Health.

Tu was also a co-founder and managing partner of NuCure Bioscience, and previously a principal at venture capital firm MTDC. He has also served as vice president in the commercial lending division at Eastern Bank. Tu holds a BA from Boston University and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

The American Society of Human Genetics has awarded the 2010 William Allan Award to Jurg Ott, a professor emeritus at Rockefeller University's Statistical Genetics Lab for his work in developing the statistical basis for linkage analysis and complex disease in humans.

Ott has analyzed gene linkages for various genetic disorders, including hypertension, multiple sclerosis, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa. The award is the society's top prize.

GenomeQuest has appointed Richard Resnick as acting CEO. Resnick succeeds Ron Ranauro, who has resigned. Resnick will also retain his role as vice president of products and services.

Resnick has led the company’s products and services operations since 2008. Previously, he was CEO of Mosaic Bioinformatics and also global bioinformatics software head for Wyeth. He was also a member of the Human Genome Project. He holds a BS in computer science from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an MS in computer science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and an MBA from the Sloan School at MIT.

GenomeQuest also announced that Richard Wilson has been appointed to its science advisory board. Wilson is co-director of the Genome Center at Washington University, and also a professor of genetics and molecular microbiology at Wash U. As an initial assignment, Wilson will be briefing pharmaceutical executives on personalized medicine for cancer at the GenomeQuest's GQ-PMR workshop in Cambridge, Mass.

Wilson holds a PhD in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma and was a research fellow in the division of biology at the California Institute of Technology.

As part of Helicos BioSciences' restructuring plan, senior vice president and chief technology officer William Efcavitch will now serve only in an advisory position to the company. Under an agreement, Efcavitch received a waiver of existing noncompetition obligations in exchange for a customary release of claims to Helicos. He will not receive a severance or other termination payments.

Saladax Biomedical, which develops diagnostic tests, has named Gregory Critchfield to its board of directors. Critchfield has more than 20 years of experience in the diagnostics industry, most recently as president of Myriad Genetic Laboratories.

Prior to his work at Myriad, Critchfield held several senior positions within the industry, including as senior vice president and chief medical and science officer at Corning Clinical Laboratory/Quest Diagnostics.

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.