21 Nov 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Google-backed age research company Calico, which is being headed by the former CEO of Genentech Mr Art Levinson, has hired its first four employees including, Dr Hal Barron, Dr Robert Cohen, Ms Cynthia Kenyon and Mr David Botstein.
Mr Levinson wrote in a Google-Plus post that, "We said then that with the right goals, culture and people, we believe we can make good progress on health and well being, in particular the challenge of staying youthful, healthy and disease-free for a longer time. Today I am pleased to announce that four of the brightest and most accomplished individuals in the fields of medicine, drug development, molecular biology and genetics have joined Calico."
Dr Barron is one of the top executives to transition from Genentech to parent company Roche after the latter's 2009 buyout. He has been appointed as president of R&D at Calico. Dr Cohen who was most recently senior oncology fellow at Genentech, will join Calico as a fellow focusing on R&D and business development.
Ms Kenyon and Mr Botstein, who are not from Genentech, also have substantial experience in age research. Ms Kenyon, who is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that a single-gene mutation could double the lifespan of a certain type of roundworms, sparking the study of the molecular biology of aging. . She will join Calico as a senior scientific advisor.
Mr Botstein, who is one of the world's leading geneticists, will join Calico as chief scientific officer from Princeton University. At Princeton, he was director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute and remains a professor of genomics.