Excellent histone researcher

Excellent histone researcher

19.03.2013 - Geneviève Almouzni will be handed over the prestigous FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award in July.

The deputy director of the Institut Curie in Paris, France has been recognized with €10,000 for her outstanding research in the field  of epigenetics, especially the role histones and chromatin assembly in gene activity control. Almouzni started her professional career in the laboratory of Marcel Méchali, where she managed to identify critical molecular mechanisms regulating DNA replication and chromatin assembly. After completing a CNRS research assistant position in 1991, she moved to the lab of Alan Wolffe, a scientist who turned the chromatin field into a mainstream research subject. In 1994, Geneviève Almouzni was awarded a junior investigator grant of the CNRS and started as a junior group leader at the Institut Curie. Recently, she received an ERC Advanced Investigator grant and obtained a Laboratory of Excellence grant from the French Ministry of Research.

05.11.2013 Three distinguished scientists – Marc Van Montagu from Ghent University, Mary-Dell Chilton from Syngenta and Robert Fraley from Monsanto – were granted the 2013 World Food Prize in mid-October.

Van Montagu (with Jeff Schell) invented Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation - the key to genetically altering plants - after they'd discovered the Ti plasmid. Chilton's work demonstrated that T-DNA can be used to transfer genes from other organisms into higher plants. Fraley and his team were the first to transfer a bacterial immunity trait into petunia and tobacco cells, producing the first transgenic plants in 1983. Van Montagu (photo) went on to found two biotechnology companies: Plant Genetic Systems - best known for its early work on insect-resistant and herbicide tolerant crops - and Crop Design, a company focused on the genetic engineering of agronomic traits for the global commercial corn and rice seed markets.

28.10.2013 Theradiag S.A. has strengthened its management team. The theranostics and in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) specialist appointed Odile Prigneau as the new General Manager of Prestizia, the company’s miRNA arm.

Previously a VP of marketing and develop­ment at Theradiag, the molecular biologist will support Valery Labonne – who will lead the theranostics business – while Philippe Lestage will head the IVD business unit.

25.10.2013 Cell therapy specialist Bone Therapeutics has hired Wim Goemaere as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The business expert joins the Belgian firm from multi­national agribiotech company Devgen, where he held the position of CFO for five years. Prior to Devgen, Goemaere was CFO of the internationally renowned Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) in Ghent. The finance expert began his career at BP, and held various finance roles with increasing responsibility at the oil giant before leaving to pursue a career in biotech.

23.10.2013 Image analysis specialist Definiens AG named Christiaan Neeleman as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO) in late September.

The imaging expert will be responsible for research, development, and services activities at the company, which is a supplier for the digital pathology and diagnostics market. Neeleman comes in from Philips Healthcare, where he has held several General Management positions since 2002. He began his industry career at Mettler Toledo.

27.09.2013 Genzyme’s current CEO David Meeker joins Sanofi’s Executive Committee as Executive Vice President.

Meeker joined Genzyme in 1994 as its Medical Director. In 1998, he was appointed Senior VP for Medical Affairs before taking up the role of Senior VP for Therapeutics Europe. In 2003, he was appointed President of LSD Therapeutics, responsible for therapeutics, biosurgery and corporate operations. Meeker became Genzyme’s COO in 2008, and CEO in 2011.



11.10.2013 Roche has found a successor for departing chairman Franz Humer. In May 2014, industrial engineer Christoph Franz – the current Chairman and CEO of Lufthansa – will change sectors.


Franz began his career at Lufthansa in the mid-1990s, spent 10 years at Deutsche Bahn (in the end as CEO of passenger rail transport) before returning to Lufthansa as CEO of subsidiary Swiss International Airlines. Franz, a Swiss corporate environment insider, is no newcomer to the biopharma sector. The 53-year-old German has been a member of the Roche board since 2011. 

Photo: Lufthansa

15.10.2013 In September, the director of proteomics applications at Ab Sciex Christie Hunter received the prestigious Science and Technology Award at the annual meeting of the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) in Yokohama (Japan).

Hunter was recognised for her contributions to the development and commercialisation of a breakthrough approach for targeted proteomics, a technology chosen “Method of the Year” in 2012 by Nature Methods. Together with Dr. Leigh Anderson, Head of SISCAPA Assay Technologies, the proteomics expert pioneered a workflow that applied multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) to the targeted quantification of proteins and peptides in plasma by mass spectrometry. Before Hunter and Anderson introduced their technique, proteomics was mainly qualitative. The new approach opened up quantitation of specific subsets of proteins, a prerequisite for today’s biomarker analyses. It has been widely adopted in the proteomic community. 

14.10.2013 Nanobiotix S.A. appointed its new CFO Phillippe Mauberna to the firm’s Executive Board in September.

Mauberna has a 10-year track record in the industry, playing senior financial and operational roles at Astellas Pharma Europe, and getting involved in start-up launches and development. As a consultant, the finance expert provided strategic management support for European pharma companies.

25.09.2013 Norwegian-based Algeta ASA has hired Belgian Ablynx CSO Andreas Menrad to head up the development of the company’s targeted cancer radionuclides platform TTC (Targeted Thorium Conjugate), which uses a thorium-227 alpha-pharma-ceutical payload.

Algeta’s new CSO, who will be taking up his new post immediately, will lead a rapidly growing R&D team. The immunologist brings in more than 20 years of experience in the bio-pharmaceutical sector, with a strong background in oncology therapeutic development. Prior to Ablynx, Menrad spent five years at Genzyme (now Sanofi) in Cambridge (UK), where he most recently held the post of General Manager and Vice President of Antibody Therapeutics. Before that, he spent 15 years at Schering AG in senior research roles focused on oncology and antibody engineering. Andreas Menrad is an author on more than 30 patents and more than 25 peer-reviewed publications. 

Photo: Ablynx

20.09.2013 Research tools provider Horizon Discovery has appointed Ian Gilham to the post of non-executive director.

Gilham – a former CEO of Axis-Shield plc and former VP Pharmacogenetics and Diagnostics at GSK – has also held various positions within Abbott Laboratories. Currently he is non-executive chairman at both DNA sequencing specialist Multiplicom NV, and PoC diagnostics firm Biosurfit SA, as well as the Director of the consultant firm Stowheath Ltd.

Photo: Horizon Discovery

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