Skip to main content

Victor McKusick, Mostafa Ronaghi, Helmy Eltoukhy, Stephen Pentoney, Steven Barnard, Dietrich Stephan

Victor McKusick died last week at the age of 86. He was a professor of genetics at Johns Hopkins University. McKusick founded the Johns Hopkins Division of Medical Genetics in 1957. In 1973, he became chairman of its department of medicine and physician-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He became professor of medical genetics in 1985 and remained active in that role until last year. A cardiologist by training, he held a medical degree from Johns Hopkins. In 1966, McKusick published the first edition of Mendelian Inheritance of Man. He was also one of the first to propose the human genome map in 1969 and helped establish the Human Genome Project.

Avantome co-founders Mostafa Ronaghi and Helmy Eltoukhy will join Illumina as part of Illumina’s acquisition of the company.
Ronaghi, a principal investigator at the Stanford Genome Technology Center, will join Illumina as senior vice president and chief technical officer and will leave Stanford. He is a founder of Pyrosequencing, now Biotage; ParAllele BioScience, now part of Affymetrix; RONA Holding; and NextBio. In addition, he sits on the board of directors of Aurora Biofuels, Microchip Biotechnologies, and on the scientific advisory board of Febit.
Eltoukhy is president and CEO of Avantome. He will become Illumina’s director of Avantome sequencing development.

Illumina said that Stephen Pentoney has joined as vice president of assay and reagent development, not as VP of array biochemistry as the company had previously reported (see In Sequence 7/22/2008).
Illumina also promoted Steven Barnard to vice president of array development, from senior director. He was the fourth employee of Illumina.

Dietrich Stephan said this week that he will leave the Translational Genomics Research Institute, where he is deputy director for discovery research and director of the neurogenomics division, as of Oct. 31. He is also the co-founder and chief science officer of Navigenics. In a mass e-mail, Stephan said that he plans to move his academic program, including projects such as the NIH Microarray Consortium, “from TGen to a new home” and is “currently considering new academic opportunities.”

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.