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People in the News: Barry Merriman, Paul Mola, Harry Hixson, Dirk van den Boom, More

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Human Longevity has hired Barry Merriman as vice president of global technology assessment and Paul Mola as head of global solutions. The two will work together in Human Longevity’s new Global Solutions Initiative to seek business opportunities worldwide.

Merriman was previously lead system architect for advanced DNA sequencing at Life Technologies (now a division of Thermo Fisher Scientific). He was also formerly co-founder and CSO of Life Tech’s Enterprise Genomics Solutions Group, and was on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mola also joins Human Longevity from Life Tech, where he was head of strategy and chief of staff for the genetic systems division and also a co-founder of the Enterprise Genomics Solutions Group. He also held product development roles at Applied Biosystems and Roche Diagnostics.


Harry Hixson has resigned from Sequenom's board of directors, effective March 31, 2015. Hixson served as chairman of the board since 2003 and was CEO of Sequenom from 2009 to 2014. The board of directors intends to elect Dirk van den Boom to the board. He will continue his role as chief scientific officer and strategy officer at Sequenom.


RainDance Technologies had appointed Martin Coyne II and Glenn Muir to its board of directors.

Coyne retired from Eastman Kodak in July 2003. He had served there as president of health imaging, president of the commercial business group, and most recently as executive VP of Eastman Kodak and group executive of the photography group. He is chairman of the board of RockTech, a privately held SaaS business, and sits on the board of Akamai.

Muir most recently served as CFO of Hologic, a position he held from 1992 to May 2014. He also was on Hologic's board of directors. Muir also is the audit committee chair at ReWalk Robotics.


Transgenomic said this week that Mark Colonnese has resigned as CFO and executive vice president effective October 30, 2014. Transgenomics President and CEO Paul Kinnon will assume the role of interim CFO.

Additionally, Leon Richards, Transgenomic's corporate controller, will take on additional responsibilities as chief accounting officer. Richards joined the financial group at Transgenomic in 2012. Previously, he served as corporate controller and chief accounting officer at Baldwin Technology Company. Earlier in his career he was director of financial reporting and control at Ciba Specialty Chemicals (now BASF), and he also held positions of increasing responsibility in the financial group at Hercules (now Ashland Chemical).

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.