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People in the News: Greg Lucier, Vicky Gregg, Franz Och, Matt Brunner, More


Epic Sciences has appointed Greg Lucier as chairman of its board of directors. Lucier was previously chairman and CEO of Life Technologies. He joins Epic as the company focuses on commercializing its circulating rare cell analysis platform, including products and services to detect circulating tumor cells.

Quest Diagnostics' board of directors has elected Vicky Gregg to serve on the board, which now has 10 members.

Gregg was CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee for nearly a decade, and she held a series of senior leadership roles there and at Humana Health Plans. She is an expert in health IT and was appointed to the National Institutes of Health Commission on Systemic Interoperability in 2004.

Human Longevity, a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic startup, has hired Franz Och as chief data scientist. Previously, Och was a distinguished research scientist and head of Google Translate at Google. Och will head the new Mountain View facility of Human Longevity and report directly to Co-founder and CEO J. Craig Venter.

MolecularHealth has hired Matt Brunner as regional vice president for the Western region of the US, Bruce Mrachek, who will serve as senior director for the Southwest, and Lee Stuart as senior director for the Southeast region.

All three join from Life Technologies. Brunner was previously director of sales, CLIA lab commercial sales at Life Tech. Before that, he also held positions at Caris Life Sciences and Response Genetics.

Mrachek was previously an oncology specialist at Life Tech. He also held positions at Response Genetics and GlaxoSmithKline. Stuart was oncology key account manager at Life Tech before joining MolecularHealth.

The Scan

Foxtail Millet Pangenome, Graph-Based Reference Genome

Researchers in Nature Genetics described their generation of a foxtail millet pangenome, which they say can help in crop trait improvement.

Protein Length Distribution Consistent Across Species

An analysis in Genome Biology compares the lengths of proteins across more than 2,300 species, finding similar length distributions.

Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

A team reports in Nature Genetics that it used glucose challenge test data to home in on candidate genes involved in GLUT4 expression or trafficking.

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.