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People in the News: Apr 19, 2011 (rev. 1)


The American College of Medical Genetics Foundation has appointed six new directors to its board: Thomas Erickson, Gail Herman, Rick Martin, Lisa Shaffer, Brian Ward, and Judy Yu.

Erickson's term will last through 2016. He is a co-founder and partner of BlueStream Ventures, and has worked with venture-backed technology startups for the past 20 years. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Herman is an ex-officio director by virtue of being the new president elect of the ACMG and her board term will last through 2017. She is a board-certified clinical and biochemical geneticist and a principal investigator at the Center for Molecular and Human Genetics at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Martin is the medical director of Shire Human Genetic Therapies in Cambridge, Mass. and a clinical geneticist. His board term is from 2010 to 2015.

Shaffer is the president of PerkinElmer's Signature Genomics. She is board certified in clinical cytogenetics, and conducted postdoctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine. Her board term is from 2009 to 2014.

Ward is the chief operating officer of On-Q-ity and is board certified in clinical molecular genetics and clinical cytogenetics. His term will last from 2010 to 2015.

Yu is the associate director of scientific affairs in global marketing at Abbott Molecular. Her term will last until 2016.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected David Page to its 2011 class for his work in using sequencing to advance the understanding of human reproduction. Page is the director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, a biology professor at MIT, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and also founded the Whitehead Task Force on Genetics and Public Policy.

Along with colleagues at Washington University, Page completed the sequencing of the human Y chromosome. He holds an MD from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program.

Gregory Critchfield, former president of Myriad Genetics, will oversee Sera Prognostics' molecular diagnostics strategy and become executive chairman of the company. Critchfield, who joined the board last year, served as Myriad's president from 1998 until his retirement in 2010.

Additionally, Mark Ostrowski was hired as the company's CEO and president. Ostrowski previously held key management positions for Dianon Systems, Myriad Genetics and Perlegen Sciences.

Both Critchfield and Ostrowski are taking over positions formerly held by Dennis Farrar, the managing director of the seed fund UpStart Ventures, as part of Sera's transition to an experienced operations team to lead the commercialization of its preterm birth diagnostic predictor.

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.