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People in the News: Jun 15, 2011

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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

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.