Empirical Bioscience LLC has elected Richard Leach, Ph.D., Vice President of Business Development at Complete Genomics Inc. and an expert in human genome sequencing, to its board of directors, effective immediately.
With more than 18 years of experience in genome sequencing and its application in fields such as personalized medicine, Leach will give Empirical Bioscience an unparalleled perspective on how to grow its existing and prospective markets for reagents used in polymerase chain reactions (PCR) of human, animal and plant DNA, company officials said.
"We are very pleased to welcome Rick to the Empirical Bioscience board," said Craig Pippel, Chairman of the Board of Empirical Bioscience, based in Grand Rapids, Mich. "He brings an international perspective and an authentic understanding of human genome sequencing that will keep us on the right track in this rapidly evolving industry. We think Rick will prove to be an invaluable resource as we bring Empirical Bioscience to its full potential."
Leach, who holds a doctorate in molecular biology from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, said he was enthused by the potential of Empirical Bioscience to become the pre-eminent supplier of high-grade molecular biology products that have been optimized for use in next generation sequencing, translational research, agricultural applications, clinical diagnostics and education.
"In a relatively short time, Empirical Bioscience has grown from a two-man startup to a respected supplier of high-quality reagents that employs a dozen people," said Leach, 45. "I am honored to join such a fast-growing leader in this field and add to its momentum."
For the past three years, Leach has served as an officer at Complete Genomics, a Mountain View, Calif.-based company that used proprietary technology to sequence more than 15,000 whole human genomes for research customers.
Before joining Complete Genomics, Leach was vice president for five years at deCODE genetics, a Reykjavik, Iceland-based bio-pharmaceutical company that developed a personal genome scan to enable individuals to determine their susceptibility to a range of common diseases and other traits.
He also served as scientific and business consultant for five years at the Shady Grove Center for Preimplantation Genetics in Rockville, Md., founder and Chief Science Officer at Teneo Sciences, senior field applications scientist at Affymetrix Inc., scientist in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and visiting scientist at the National Cancer Institute.