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People in the News: Jun 15, 2011


Jeff Boyd will serve as executive director of the new Cancer Genome Institute at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and Dietrich Stephan will serve as its chief scientific officer, when the institute launches in the fall (see story, same issue).

Boyd is the vice president of molecular medicine at Fox Chase, as well as the Robert C. Young, MD, chair in cancer research. He has previously been the director of the Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute; vice president of oncology and research at the Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Ga.; professor of medicine, surgery, obstetrics, and gynecology at the Mercer University School of Medicine; and the assistant dean of research at Mercer University. Additionally, he held a variety of leadership roles at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, including as the director of the gynecology and breast research laboratory, and director of the diagnostic molecular genetics laboratory.

Stephan is founder and CEO of the Ignite Inova Institute. He has founded a number of companies including Navigenics, Amnestix, and Aeuon. He has also served as a senior investigator and founding chairman of the department of neurogenomics at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, and as the deputy director of discovery research at TGen. He has held faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, and the University of Arizona. He holds a BS in biology/biochemistry from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD in human molecular genetics from the University of Pittsburgh.

GenomeQuest has appointed Gerry Higgins to healthcare innovation officer, a new position. Higgins will focus on applying the company's proprietary bioinformatics technology to help partners develop whole-genome and multi-gene diagnostics. Previously, Higgins served as vice president for Hoffmann-La Roche Pharmaceuticals, director of clinical informatics and chief innovation officer for MedStar Health, and he also founded the start-up biomedical informatics company SimQuest.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.