Christophe Mérieux Passes Away
Christophe Mérieux, 39, passed away July 14 following a heart attack. He was vice president of research and development for bioMérieux. It is the second time in a decade that Alain Mérieux, chief executive of the French medical diagnostic equipment group, has lost a son and intended successor in tragic circumstances. In 1996, Rodolphe Mérieux died in the crash of TWA flight 800 shortly after takeoff from New York. Alain Mérieux was due to hand over to his eldest son Christophe in the next 2 years after successfully overseeing the flotation of bioMérieux in 2004.

Christophe was also head of Transgéne, the company’s Strasbourg-based subsidiary. His death leaves Alexandre Mérieux, 32, as the last son who could take over the family business. Alexandre is a member of the board. The succession would see the fourth generation of the family take control of a business founded in 1897 by Marcel Mérieux. He set up Institut Mérieux as a serum producer on a farm near Lyon after learning his trade in the laboratory of Louis Pasteur, the famous French scientist.

Pacific Biometrics Hires Swezey
Pacific Biometrics Inc (PBI) has appointed David W. Swezey as its new lab manager. He has 25 years of progressive management experience in the clinical lab industry. Previously, he served as PBI’s quality assurance (QA) manager from 2000 through 2003, and its technical supervisor from 1997 to 2000. Now, as lab manager, Swezey will oversee and direct the operation of all laboratory functions, including the coordination with the Science and Technology group for the improvement and implementation of analytical methods.

“We are excited to have Mr Swezey take over the management of the PBI laboratory, which provides the primary basis for our company’s business,” says Ronald R. Helm, chairman, CEO, and president. “With his scientific training and extensive background performing and supervising a vast array of laboratory functions, Mr Swezey is clearly qualified to help PBI continue to provide specialized central laboratory and contract services in support of many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical, biotech, and diagnostic companies.”

Swezey spent the past 2 years as clinical laboratory manager at Sterling Reference Laboratories, where he was responsible for the management of all operations in clinical and toxicology laboratories. Before that, as QA manager at PBI, he created the company laboratory’s new QA department.

Orinda Honors Kunzman as Citizen of the Year
American Society for Clinical Pathology member Beccie Kunzman has given to her community in Orinda, SD, for the past 38 years. This year, she is being honored as Orinda’s Citizen of the Year. In addition to working full-time as a clinical laboratory scientist at various hospitals, Kunzman volunteers her time with the Boy Scouts, the Orinda Police Department, the Orinda Women’s Club, the Oakland Museum, and the Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall.

Applied Imaging Promotes Steele
Applied Imaging Corp has named Brandon Steele vice president, commercial operations, Americas/Asia Pacific Rim. He is responsible for supervising the sales, marketing, service, and product-support functions for the company on a global scale.

“I feel Applied Imaging is well-positioned to exploit the growing worldwide demand for cytogenetic karyotyping and FISH imaging systems with its popular CytoVision® product line,” Steele says. “In addition, the company’s Ariol® system continues to gain market share rapidly in clinical, translational research, and biopharma laboratories for a variety of bright-field and fluorescent microscope slide-analysis applications.”

Steele, who joined Applied Imaging as national sales manager in 2003, has 13 years of diagnostic experience, including management and senior positions at Gen-Probe and Nanogen.

GI Pathology Adds Three Pathologists
GI Pathology, PLLC, provider of gastrointestinal (GI) and liver pathology services, has added three fellowship-trained gastrointestinal pathologists, bringing the company’s pathology department to nine full-time GI pathologists.

“The addition of Jay Gates, MD, Fadi Ibrahim, MD, and Karin Berg, MD, to our pathology staff enables us to support our growth and continue to provide our clients with industry-leading quality and turnaround time,” says Patrick J. Dean, president and medical director of GI Pathology.

Gates completed a 2-year GI pathology fellowship at Yale University under the direction of A. Brian West, MD. Ibrahim’s GI pathology fellowship was completed under Patrick J. Dean, MD, and colleagues at GI Pathology. At Johns Hopkins, Berg completed her GI pathology training under Jack Yardley, MD, and Elizabeth Montgomery, MD, in addition to a molecular pathology fellowship under the direction of Gary Pasternack, MD, PhD.

Access Genetics Names Compagno Associate Medical Director
Access Genetics has named John Compagno, MD, associate medical director. He brings more than 20 years of clinical pathology experience to the company, including work as medical director of West Coast Pathology Laboratories in Hercules, Calif. He is certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic, clinical, and hematopathology, and he has practiced medicine since 1975.

“As our organization grows, we have sought to add successful, forward-thinking individuals to enhance and expand our telemedicine approach to molecular diagnostic testing,” says Ron McGlennen, MD, president and medical director of Access Genetics. “We found the perfect match in John Compagno. He has the depth of experience, instincts for pathology, and a steadfast commitment to accuracy and service that will help take Access Genetics to the next level.”

As associate medical director, Compagno will support medical staff with day-to-day case reviews using Access Genetics’ Web-based testing and interpretation model. He will also assist with physician education and in-service presentations, and will chair Access Genetics’ medical advisory board.

“I look forward to helping shape the future of this company, and to interacting with an impressive group of partner laboratories that are forging new paths in molecular diagnostics,” Compagno says. “The energy and spirit of the staff of experts that Access Genetics has assembled is truly exciting to me, and I’m delighted to be part of this team.”

HemoSense Appoints Schloss and Stern
HemoSense Inc has named Harvey Schloss to its board of directors and its audit committee. The appointment brings HemoSense’s board membership to seven. The company has also appointed Colleen Stern director of corporate accounts.

Schloss has more than 30 years of experience in senior-level financial and operating positions with technology companies and professional-service firms. “Harvey’s experience in developing and managing fast-growing organizations will also be an important asset to HemoSense as we continue to expand operations and increase revenue,” says Jim Merselis, HemoSense president and CEO.

In her new role, Colleen Stern will continue to build the company’s INRatio PT/INR monitor brand, and will be responsible for leading the company’s effort to accelerate sales momentum and enhance business relationships at corporate and regional levels with select distribution partners. She has more than 18 years of experience working with manufacturers and distributors in the health care industry. Most recently, she was vice president, member relations, for the Health Industry Distributors Association.