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People in the News: Matthew Ellis, Mitchell Weiss, J. Paul Taylor, Kim Nichols, Dan Roden, More


Baylor College of Medicine has named Matthew Ellis to be director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, effective Sept. 1. Ellis succeeds Kent Osborne, who is leaving his post to focus on his other job as director of Baylor's Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center.

Ellis, whose clinical research has focused on molecular profiling and mutations related to breast cancer and its treatment, is currently a professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. His genomics research has been funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Cancer Institute, the AVON Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. He previously was on the faculty at Duke University and Georgetown University.

BCM said it received a recruitment grant from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas to recruit Ellis, who will bring a large resource of patient-derived xenografts with him.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has appointed three internationally renowned physician-scientists to leadership positions — Mitchell Weiss, J. Paul Taylor, and Kim Nichols.

Weiss, professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, will chair St. Jude's hematology department. Taylor, who joined the hospital in 2008, will now chair St. Jude's new department of cell and molecular biology, and hold the Edward F. Barry Endowed chair in cell and molecular biology. Nichols, director of the CHOP Pediatric Hereditary Cancer Predisposition Program, will launch St. Jude's new division of hereditary cancer predisposition within the oncology department.

Dan Roden, Vanderbilt University's assistant vice chancellor for Personalized Medicine, has been appointed to the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of Health. His four-year term on the council begins Oct. 1.

Roden is a principal investigator for two NIH-funded programs at Vanderbilt, the Pharmacogenomics Research Network and the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics Network. He also directs Vanderbilt's Oates Institute for Experimental Therapeutics.

Sequenom's shareholders have re-elected its board of directors including Kenneth Buechler; John Fazio; Harry Hixson; Myla Lai-Goldman; Richard Lerner; Ronald Lindsay; David Pendarvis; Charles Slacik; and William Welch. They were elected to continue serving until the next stockholder meeting in 2015. Hixson is chairman and CEO of the 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.