Mercator Genetics, Inc. Names Dr. Karen J. Brunke, VP of Clinical Research
MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 5 -- Dr. Karen J. Brunke has been named to VP of Clinical Research of Mercator Genetics, Inc. Formerly, she was the Director of Clinical Research for the gene discovery company. She will be in charge of over $3 million of research in ashthma, schizophrenia, cancer and cardiovascular and she will also oversee clinical trials of a new DNA diagnostic for hereditary hemochromatosis.
Researchers at Mercator recently announced the discovery of the gene associated with hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), an iron overload disease that affects as many as one million Americans. HH often leads to serious and life-threatening conditions such as cirrhosis, diabetes, liver cancer, heart failure, and arthritis. HH is easily treated if detected early, but it is currently difficult to diagnose prior to the onset of those serious illnesses. Mercator hopes to make a DNA based diagnostic for HH commercially available through reference labs in 1997, Dr. Brunke will be responsible for clinical development of this diagnostic.
Mercator's clinical research collaborations in Finland, Denmark, Israel and the U.S. were established under the direction of Dr. Brunke. These collaborations provide Mercator with genetically-isolated populations and large clinical databases, both of which offer a significant research advantage when isolating genes that cause complex disorders. Dr. Brunke will continue to be responsible, for initiating new collaborations in genetically well-suited populations for Mercator's work in asthma, schizophrenia, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
With over 13 years of management experience, Dr. Brunke has served as a consultant to biotechnology companies in the areas of technology assessment, strategic alliances, evaluation of disease targets, and licensing agreements. Previously, Dr. Brunke served as Director of Plant Biotechnology at Sandoz Agro Inc., heading a multi-disciplinary department focused on gene discovery, expression and therapy.
Dr. Brunke received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Pennsylvania. working in the field of tumorigenesis. She trained as a postdoctoral follow at the Institute for Cancer Research, Fox Chase, Pennsylvania, where she studied mechanisms of eucaryotic gene expression. Mercator Genetics is a privately held gene discovery company with a mission to identify genes responsible for major diseases. The Company focuses on conditions for which there are currently inadequate screening methods or where gene discovery can lead to novel therapies. Mercator was founded by David Cox, M.D., Ph.D. and Richard Myers, Ph.D. of the Stanford Human Genome Center and the Stanford Medical School Department of Genetics, and Dennis Drayna, Ph.D. of the National Institutes of Health. Current investors include Robertson Stephens & Co., Interwest Partners, and Oak Investment Partners.
SOURCE Mercator Genetics Inc. -0- 09/05/96 /CONTACT: Leslie Kendig,
Clinical Coordinator of Mercator Genetics, Inc., 415-617-0880
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