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People in the News: Paul Billings, Stephen Jones, Thomas Kean, Allan Bombard, Ross Levine, More


Paul Billings has joined Omicia as chief medical officer and will serve on the company's scientific advisory board. Billings was previously chief medical officer at Thermo Fisher's Life Technologies. Before that, he was founding and acting director and CSO at the Genomic Medicine Institute at El Camino Hospital. He was also previously President, CEO, and director of CELLective Dx, as well as senior vice president and senior geneticist at Laboratory Corporation of America. He is currently a director at Trovagene and CollabRx.

MolecularHealth has added several new members to its advisory board, including Stephen Jones, who from 1999 to 2014 served as the medical director of research for US Oncology Research; Thomas Kean, CEO and president of C-Change, a coalition of stakeholders dedicated to eliminating the cancer burden on the US population; and Kathleen Lokay, president and CEO of Via Oncology.

Allan Bombard, Sequenom's chief medical officer, will retire from the company at the next annual meeting of stockholders in June. He has served as chief medical officer since January 2009 and as one of Sequenom's CLIA/CAP laboratory directors since June 2010. Previously, he was medical director of DNA Direct and CEO of Lenetix MSL.

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance has awarded six New York City-based scientists the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research. Among them are Ross Levine of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Lloyd Trotman from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.

Global Genomics Group, a life sciences group combining phenotyping with pan-omics to identify novel biomarkers and drug targets, has appointed Harry Davis Jr. as chief drug development officer. He will be leading the drug discovery group together with Szilard Voros, co-founder and CEO of G3. Currently, Davis is CSO of CVPath Institute and was previously a distinguished research fellow in the cardiovascular/atherosclerosis research group at Merck Research Labs.

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.