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People in the News: Oct 19, 2011


Foundation Medicine has added Brook Byers and Krishna Yeshwant to its board of directors as part of a Series A financing round (see story, this issue).

Byers has been a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers since 1977. He also serves on the board of directors of CardioDx, Crescendo, Five Prime Therapeutics, Genomic Health, OptiMedica, Pacific Biosciences, Tethys, Veracyte, and XDx. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, an MBA from Stanford University, and an honorary PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Yeshwant is a partner at Google Ventures, where he has been since its inception. Previously, he helped start an electronic data interchange company that was acquired by Hewlett-Packard. He holds a BS in computer science from Stanford University, an MD from Harvard Medical School, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

The Institute of Medicine has elected 65 new members and five foreign associates. Among them are Vivian Cheung, Daniel Geschwind, and Joe Gray.

Cheung is a pediatrician at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine who focuses on genetic diseases and gene expression in disease. She holds a BS in microbiology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MD from Tufts University School of Medicine.

Geschwind is the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Chair in human genetics and a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. His research focuses on the genetics of autism and neurodegenerative disease. He holds a BA in psychology and chemistry from Dartmouth College and an MD/PhD from Yale School of Medicine.

Gray is the chair of the department of biomedical engineering at the Oregon Health and Science University. His research has focused on cancer genomics and using next-generation sequencing to identify biomarkers associated with clinical outcome in breast cancer, among other things. He holds an engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines and a PhD in physics from Kansas State University.

David Altshuler has been awarded the Curt Stern Award by the American Society of Human Genetics for his contributions in understanding the role of genetic variation in human disease. Among other things, he has helped identify variants that influence the risk of type 2 diabetes, blood cholesterol, myocardial infarction, prostate cancer, systemic lupus erythematosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. He is a co-founder, deputy director and chief academic officer at the Broad Institute and the director of the institute's program in medical and population genetics. He is also a professor of genetics and medicine at Harvard Medical School. He holds a BS from MIT, a PhD from Harvard University, and an MD from Harvard Medical School.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.