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People in the News: Jill Davies, Elissa Levin, Alessandra Cervino, Nazneen Aziz, Mark Pottle


Pathway Genomics has appointed genetic counselors Jill Davies and Elissa Levin to its genetic advisory board.

Davies is the director of genetics and genomics at Medcan Clinic and is a co-investigator on the Personal Genome Project Canada. She is an active member of the Ontario Personalized Medicine Network, the National Society of Genetic Counselors, and is a Canadian board-certified genetic counselor.

Levin is the head of genomics and integrative health innovations and is an assistant professor of genetics and genomic sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Previously, she directed clinical support services for Life Technologies and before that was vice president of genomic services at Navigenics.

Enterome has appointed Alessandra Cervino as head of discovery, where she will lead metagenomics research of the gut microbiome with the goal of developing disease biomarkers, companion diagnostics, and new therapy solutions.

Before joining Enterome, Cervino was vice president of R&D and biostatistics at TCLand Expression, a personalized medicine company. Before that, she was head of statistical sciences and an assistant professor at Scripps Florida, and was the first group lead in statistical genetics at Rosetta Inpharmatics/Merck.

Nazneen Aziz has joined Phoenix Children's Hospital as senior VP of research and chief research officer. She will be tasked with establishing and developing the Phoenix Children's Research Institute and with helping to develop the Ronald A. Matricaria Institute of Molecular Medicine and Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's. At the research institute, Aziz will work with Phoenix Children's collaborating partners on three core infrastructure areas: medical and scientific, genomic, and clinical.

She recently was director of molecular medicine at the College of American Pathologists, and she formerly was VP of R&D at Interleukin Genetics, VP of external research at Point Therapeutics, and director of translational research at Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research. She also was an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital in Boston, where she discovered the function of a new gene involved in recessive polycystic kidney disease.

GNS Healthcare said this week it has named Mark Pottle chief financial officer.

Pottle previously was CFO at N-of-One and at UnitedHealth Group's Optum Insight – Accountable Care Business Unit, and he was VP of finance and business operations at Picis, a healthcare IT company.

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.