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People in the News: May 17, 2011 (rev. 1)


Foundation Medicine's board of directors has appointed Michael Pellini to president and CEO. Pellini succeeds Alexis Borisy, who will remain on Foundation Medicine's board of directors and serve as its chairman.

Pellini joins Foundation Medicine from Clarient, a GE Healthcare company, where he served as president and chief operating officer. Previously, he served as vice president of life sciences at Safeguard Scientifics, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Lakewood Pathology Associates, and president and CEO of Genomics Collaborative. He holds a BA from Boston College, an MBA from Drexel University, and an MD from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

Dennis Langer, a director of Myriad Genetics and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, has been elected to the board of directors at Light Sciences Oncology.

He has been a director of several public and private biotechnology companies, including Sirna Therapeutics, Ception Therapeutics, Transkaryotic Therapies, Pharmacopeia, and Cytogen. He has also held management positions at several pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Abbott, and Searle. He is a clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He was chief resident in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and held clinical fellowships in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the National Institutes of Health. He holds an MD from Georgetown University School of Medicine, a JD from Harvard Law School, and a BA from Columbia University.

The National Academy of Sciences has elected 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 15 countries, bringing its total number of active members to 2,113 and the total number of foreign associates to 418.

Among those elected are Stephen Warren and Steven Jacobsen. Warren is the chairman of the department of human genetics at Emory University School of Medicine, and has used sequencing to study developmental disorders. Jacobsen is a professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and uses sequencing to study epigenetics in an attempt to identify new genes responsible for controlling DNA methylation.

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.