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People in the News: James Downing, Evan Jones, Matthew Rabinowitz, James Bartley, More


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has appointed James Downing as its new CEO, effective July 15. Downing most recently served as deputy director, executive vice president, and scientific director of the hospital. He will succeed William Evans, who is retiring as CEO after 10 years and returning full time to his pharmacogenomics research program at St. Jude.

The ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine has named four new directors to its board of directors including Evan Jones, Matthew Rabinowitz, James Bartley, and David Whiteman.

Jones was co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Digene, and he currently is chairman and CEO of OpGen and a board member at Fluidigm, Foundation Medicine, and Veracyte. He also previously was chairman of Signature Genomic Laboratories before it was sold to PerkinElmer.

Rabinowitz is founder and president of Natera, and he is a board member, advisor, and investor for multiple biotech and technology companies.

Bartley is director of the California Children's Services Metabolic Specialty Care Clinic at Miller Children's Hospital, and he runs outpatient genetics clinics at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He formerly was medical director at Genzyme Genetics.

Whiteman is senior medical director and global clinical sciences leader at Shire Human Genetics Therapies, and he has 30 years of experience in clinical pediatrics and medical genetics.

Adaptive Biotechnologies has tapped Dean Schorno to be chief financial officer. Schorno held leadership positions at Genomic Health over a 13-year period, including most recently as CFO, where he helped manage the launch and operations of the company's clinical lab.

At Adaptive Biotechnologies, Schorno will oversee the company's financial infrastructure, investor relations, human resources, and facilities management.

Omicia has appointed Heidi Rehm, Geoffrey Ginsberg, Thomas Quertermous, and Mark Yandell to its scientific advisory board.

Rehm is director of the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine at Partners Healthcare Personalized Medicine and associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School.

Ginsberg is director of genomic medicine at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, executive director of Duke's Center for Personalized Medicine and Precision, and a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering.

Quertermous is the William G. Irwin professor of medicine and director of research for the division of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University.

Yandell is co-director of the University of Utah's USTAR Center for Genetic Discovery and a professor of human genetics, and a co-inventor of Omicia's VAAST and Phevor algorithms.

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.