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Short Reads: Apr 1, 2011


Harris Lewin, the new vice chancellor of research at the University of California, Davis, won the 2011 Wolf Prize in Agriculture for contributing to the understanding of immunogenetics and disease resistance. He shares the prize with Washington State University's James Cook.

Mark Lathrop is the new scientific director of the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre. He helped found the Centre National de Génotypage in Paris and was a co-founder and the first scientific director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics.

GE Healthcare life sciences division CEO and President Peter Enrenheim will retire at the end of July. He will be replaced by Kieran Murphy, who heads the division's global commercial operations.

Frank Wicks is replacing Dave Smoller as president of research at Sigma-Aldrich, as part of a reorganization by the company. Smoller will become chief scientific officer.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism plans to fund a DNA repository to support research into genes related to alcoholism.

Like Massachusetts, California and Vermont have introduced their own genetic information protection bills.

The US Food and Drug Administration is seeking public comments on its new draft guidance on clinical pharmacogenomics. Specifically, the guidance document includes non-binding recommendations on how and when to use genomic information when dealing with questions that arise during drug development and regulatory review.

Scripps President Richard Lerner is stepping down from leading the institute after 25 years. He will be succeeded by Michael Marlettato, who chaired the chemistry department at the University of California, Berkeley.

University of California, San Francisco's Charles Epstein died on February 15 at the age of 77. Epstein's research focused on the cellular and biochemical aspects of genetic disorders.

Judith Sulzberger, who helped found Columbia University's genome center, died on February 21 at the age of 87.

Aaron Scalia, a former patent agent with Sequenom, and his brother, Stephen Scalia, have pleaded guilty to charges of insider trading.

Ion Torrent has sequenced the genome of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore using its Personal Genome Machine.

The European Society of Human Genetics has issued recommendations for genetic testing. They include: avoiding overselling genomic research, evaluating the clinical utility of genetic testing, and studying the translation of research findings to the clinic.

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues is reviewing some of the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomics and genetic testing technologies in research and medicine.

Daniel Von Hoff, the physician in chief at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, was presented with the Scripps Genomic Medicine Award at the annual Future of Genomic Medicine conference.

The European Commission and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory have signed a memorandum of understanding to continue their partnership to support and develop life sciences research efforts in Europe.

The National Library of Medicine plans to award about $14 million in 2012 to support programs to train predoctoral and postdoctoral scientists in using biomedical computing.

The Jackson Laboratory plans to open a new personalized medicine institute in Sarasota County, Florida.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information will phase out the Sequence Read Archive as well as its Trace Archive and Peptidome repositories over the next year. The center says the move is due to reduced federal research dollars.

Richard Green, an assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has received a two-year research fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that includes a $50,000 grant.

Michael Bates has joined Cepheid as its vice president of oncology research and development. Bates most recently served as vice president of clinical research at Monogram Biosciences, which was acquired by LabCorp in 2009.

The UK's Technology Strategy Board and the Biological Sciences Research Council are investing more than £4.5 million for 11 research and development projects that use genomics-based technologies.

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and the Chinese Academy of Sciences plan to explore collaborating on plant genomic projects.

Paul Berg is retiring from his post on Affymetrix's board of directors in May. Berg has been on the company's board since 1993.

The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.