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Klick Health continues relentless evolution

Klick Health CEO Lori Grant and Co-Presidents Greg Rice and Ari Schaefer today announced a multitude of notable new senior talent additions, strategic…

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Klick Health continues relentless evolution – adding more new practice areas, expanding others, and attracting more top talent companywide to support ongoing record growth

Agency expands Digital Transformation with Organizational Excellence, adds Corporate Reputation, and launches Sharp Targeting offering

TORONTO, ON/NEW YORK, NY – March 17, 2022 – Klick Health CEO Lori Grant and Co-Presidents Greg Rice and Ari Schaefer today announced a multitude of notable new senior talent additions, strategic new practice areas, and a proprietary, new data targeting tool – reinforcing that the independent agency’s momentum and growth trajectory is stronger than ever as it nears its 25th anniversary in the spring.

“We’ve started 2022 on a very strong note,” said Grant. “As a leading life sciences commercialization partner, we’ve experienced great success in line with core market trends while continuing to build on our almost quarter-century legacy of consistent growth and commitment to always being in Beta and evolving the company to meet and exceed our client needs. So, we couldn’t be more proud to welcome these spectacularly talented new Klicksters to the company as we extend our capabilities and offerings.”

Bringing on More Managing Directors & Craft Leads

To ensure the high-touch, superior client experience Klick is known for providing and clients deserve, Rice and Schaefer welcomed seasoned healthcare marketing leaders Hannah Davis and Tatiana Lyons to oversee two of its Client Success Teams, and project management and delivery veteran Ayaz Gowa to lead the agency’s expanding Project Management Office.

Hannah Davis

Bringing a stellar advertising career and fresh perspective to the healthcare marketing industry, Davis joins Klick with 20+ years of experience helping global B2B, fintech, and CPG brands achieve transformational growth. Most recently, she spent a decade at Ogilvy & Mather. There, she led Kimberly-Clark’s Kotex business; ran the global corporate BP business; and led the US consumer account on American Express, working on key initiatives, such as the Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card with Tina Fey and the successful re-launch of the iconic Platinum card.

“As a parent of a child with a major heart condition, I have always wanted to reconcile my personal life with what I do professionally, so having the opportunity to work in healthcare and help make a difference in patients’ lives is so fulfilling,” Davis said. “I was also drawn to how Klick embraces its employees as human beings, with trust and empathy, and how that further motivates the team to do outstanding work!”

Tatiana Lyons

Lyons brings to Klick her proven track record of building long-standing, healthy client partnerships. With over 20 years of industry experience, she is known for championing innovative approaches that make an impact for clients’ businesses, and for developing high-performing teams that deliver brave creative approaches to solving complex business challenges. Lyons previously held senior leadership positions at CDMNY and WildTypeTBWAWorldHealth. Prior, she served as Chief Talent Officer for McCann Health NA and as Director of Client Services for McCann Health NJ (McCann Torre Lazur). She has an affinity for organizations that elevate women’s leadership and new, diverse voices, has served on the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s Executive Outreach Group, and has been recognized as an HBA Rising Star.

“I’m thrilled to be part of Klick and bring my expertise to our clients while contributing to the ongoing growth of our team,” Lyons said. “Klick offers a breadth and depth of services that are incomparable and are complemented by our unique, people-first culture. It allows us to create talented teams, who are set up for success in delivering brave work for our clients with immense credibility.”

Ayaz Gowa

In heading up Klick’s large, growing PMO, Gowa brings 20+ years of experience leading award-winning project management and technology teams. Having worked across multiple industries, including banking and insurance, as well as at full-service marketing agencies, he brings a wealth of expertise and passion for building high-performing teams that are scalable, exceedingly effective, client-focused, and able to consistently deliver on expectations.

“Joining a world-class organization like Klick and spearheading the evolution of our project management practice has been very fulfilling,” Gowa said. “This is an exciting time in Klick’s history as we scale the business to meet the needs of our people, our clients, and the patients we serve.”

Klick today also proudly announced the appointment of Brian Kaiser to Executive Vice President, Activation & Experience Strategy on the heels of long-time Klick Executive Vice President Cam Bedford’s retirement. In his new role, Kaiser leads a large integrated team of strategists across Activation, CRM, Experience Design, and Social, developing go-to-market solutions that adapt to the changing market and help clients address a wide range of commercialization challenges.

Brian Kaiser

Kaiser has spent his entire 25+-year career at the intersection of healthcare, marketing, and technology. He has served in various senior strategy positions at Klick since joining the agency in 2014, contributing to pre-commercialization work across a range of product launches for both emerging biotechs and established pharmas. Previously, he played pivotal roles in standing up and scaling nascent digital marketing efforts at Eli Lilly, both Global and US, for early-stage commercial teams. He also launched and led growth for the healthcare practice at Targetbase, the relationship marketing agency within the Omnicom Health Group.

In calling out Klick’s dynamic strategic planning approach, which emphasizes the importance of collaboration when solving challenges, and involves the the Activation & Experience Strategy practice working in partnership with Brand Strategy, Kaiser said, “Clients aren’t as impressed by how many strategy experts we have as they are with the way we’re able to integrate our ideas to solve the most critical challenges today’s brands are facing.”

Chief Brand Strategy Officer Carl Turner added, “We’re looking for strategists who are in search of reciprocal growth—the type of growth that only comes from intense collaboration and strategic mash ups.”

Exponential Evolution in Brand Strategy

Since joining Klick in late-2019, Turner has also been focused on building the best Brand Strategy team in life sciences, growing the craft by more than 300% and launching thriving new practice areas, such as Cross-Cultural Marketing and Intelligence. Today, Turner signaled continued exponential momentum with the launch of Intelligence’s innovative Sharp Targeting audience data tool, the establishment of its Corporate Reputation practice, and the arrival of several senior strategists who further bolster Klick’s Brand Strategy bench.

“We hand-pick the brightest minds in Brand Strategy, Cross-Cultural Marketing, Intelligence, and Corporate Reputation, and give them the space to form an integrated, cooperative community that gives birth to provocative thinking and solves the biggest challenges for our clients’ brands,” Turner said, as he introduced the newest senior additions to his growing team.

As a veteran strategist whose expertise spans both health and non-health sectors, Bamber brings her unique perspective about culture, human insights, and specific lifestyles to Klick’s work in life sciences. Previously, she has held senior healthcare roles, including Chief Strategy Officer at FCB New York, and Head of Strategy at Arnold (Havas Health and You), as well as mainstream advertising roles, such as Head of Planning at Anomaly NYC, Global Head of Strategy for Coca-Cola at SapientNitro, and Deputy Head of Planning at TBWA NYC.

Energized by the opportunities to work with Klick clients on addressing real quality-of-life health issues and supporting enhanced patient/physician relationships, Bamber said, “I was excited to

join Klick because of its technological and medical strategy expertise – to go beyond developing messaging and developing actual products and services that make a real difference in people’s lives. Coupled with its creative and media strengths, Klick is a unique playground for someone with a diverse background like mine. Plus, I get the opportunity to help mentor a pretty spectacular group of strategists.”

Christina Mullen

An accomplished, seasoned brand strategist with more than 25 years of experience, Mullen has dedicated the last 12 years of her career to leading global launches and mature brands in the life sciences sector. She has worked across a wide range of therapeutic areas, including oncology, women’s health, cardiology, neurology, and dermatology, and most recently served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Planning at Evoke. Mullen has been a featured speaker at prominent conferences, such as SXSW, ASCO, iPharma and Fierce Digital Pharma East.

“I joined Klick’s booming Brand Strategy practice to help lead its brilliant team of brand strategists, while both learning from them and growing with them,” Mullen said. “I was also drawn to the opportunity to work alongside and be coached by Carl because he’s an inspiring, sharply strategic leader.

Bernish-Fisher joins Klick with over 20 years of healthcare marketing experience. After starting her agency career in creative, she became one of GSW’s first strategy team members—spending the last decade there in Vice President, Strategy roles with focus on brand storytelling, patient education, advocacy partnerships, health literacy, data-informed insight mining, and cross-cultural strategy. Over the years, she has contributed to US and global brand launches for indications, including diabetes, depression and anxiety, women’s reproductive health, HIV, oncology, osteoporosis, hepatitis B and C, cystic fibrosis, and ALS. Prior to agency life, Bernish-Fisher received funding from the CDC and Ohio Department of Health to educate diverse communities on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

“I was drawn to Carl’s vision and the opportunity to be part of an intentionally designed team of strategists,” said Bernish-Fisher. “Each one of us is empowered to collaborate and collectively bring an unparalleled level of imagination, empathy, and expertise to the brands we serve.”

Quinn Murray

With more than 10 years of U.S. and global consumer healthcare marketing experience, Quinn joins Klick after previous roles at TBWA and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. Having launched brands across a broad range of therapeutic areas, including neurology, oncology, rheumatology, and cardiology, he has extensive experience leading brand strategy for some of the biggest brands in health — through master brand and portfolio planning, positioning, creative, communications planning, and even e-commerce. With a background and certification in behavior design, Quinn believes in the importance of creating things that both encourage and enable positive change.

Quinn said, “While the people originally drew me in, I ultimately joined Klick because of what’s possible here. Being a full commercialization partner opens the door for deeper client relationships through richer and more actionable strategic thinking. I’m excited to join one of the fastest growing departments within Klick, develop amazing creative work, and continue to evolve our strategy offerings for our clients.”

Laura Romeu

Romeu brings to Klick more than 25 years of strategic marketing and communications expertise at global pharmaceutical and biotech companies, medical and scientific communications agencies, health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) consultancies, digital health start-ups, and technology-driven data companies. She spent nearly 10 years in Sales, Marketing, and Government Relations & Communications with Merck (US & Spain), and has held executive positions at ConnectiveRx, IMS Health, Sharecare, Digitas Health Life Brands (DHLB), and Cline Davis & Mann (CDM)—with extensive therapeutic experience in the oncology, cardiovascular, and anti-infective spaces. Most recently, Romeu served as a consultant with Brand Strategy Consulting (BSC), the independent strategic marketing and communications consultancy she founded in 2006, and she also served as ConnectiveRx’s interim CMO and Head of Client Solutions and Innovation.

“I was excited to join Klick and bring my expertise to such strong leaders and strategists in the medical communications space,” Romeu said. “Being able to contribute to our clients’ commercial and brand strategies, and help bring positive changes to patients’ lives energizes me every day.”

Luke Perez

New Corporate Reputation Health Practice

Perez joins the agency to head up its new Corporate Reputation practice and help clients’ corporate brands ignite the actionable power they have in telling their story and best communicate a resonating narrative to stakeholders across channels. As a seasoned veteran with 15+ years in healthcare strategy and planning, he brings a considerable wealth of industry knowledge and experience, having both launched reputational campaigns for some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies and guided strategy efforts for dynamic biotechs across many therapeutic areas, including oncology, neuroscience, and rare disease.

“Today’s patients, caregivers, HCPs, advocacy groups, and investors are all asking more of the healthcare brands they interact with,” said Perez. “At Klick, I get to work with the industry’s brightest minds across our Healthcare Consulting, Cross-Cultural Marketing, Intelligence, and other growing practices. Together, we can help brands become more noticed and appreciated for the clinical and cultural advancements they contribute to make the world a healthier place.”

Kerri Allen

Allen officially joins Klick after working with the agency’s cross-cultural marketing team for over a year on the “Rise Above COVID” campaign. Her 20-year career as a bilingual communications executive includes nine years with BCW (WPP) as a Senior Vice President in the Brand Solutions practice. There, she led and supported award-winning campaigns for Fortune 500 clients, leading nonprofits, and start-ups across healthcare, CPG, and tech. She previously led PR at Revolución, a full-service agency in NYC, where clients included the American Heart Association, BreastCancer.org and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Allen has contributed to The New York Times among other media.

“I joined Klick Health because I want to work for a competitive company that also has principles,” Allen said. “In Klick’s case, that includes putting people first and prioritizing outcomes over optics. Those two things really matter to me.”

Introducing Klick Sharp Targeting

Senior Vice President of Intelligence, Keri Hettel confirmed the launch of Klick Sharp Targeting — responding to the targeting challenges life sciences companies face due to the need for complex data definitions of patient audiences or disparate data sources. The proprietary, new, customizable targeting tool leverages deep medical knowledge and sophisticated data possibilities to identify and prioritize hard-to-find or hard-to-understand audience groups, and ultimately drive actionable target segments across all marketing channels.

Massive Momentum in Media

Klick Media today also revealed that it has more than doubled in size over the last couple years. Executive Vice President of Media Dave Leitner, who heads up the one-stop media shop for health and wellness marketing, credited his team’s transformative growth to expanded programmatic, paid social, and video offerings, a proprietary full-service media offering for branded and unbranded pharma campaigns that can address disease conditions across both patient and HCP audiences, and expansion into the OTC space. With the transformative growth, Leitner has welcomed a wealth of talent and expertise, including most recently senior healthcare media professional Herman Mallhi.

Herman Mallhi

Mallhi joins the thriving Media team at Klick with a specialization in the healthcare media sector. She has over 15 years of experience across multiple channels, including Media, Search, and Social. Prior to joining Klick, Mallhi spent over three years at CMI Media Group, dedicated to driving innovation and elevating media outcomes for a range of pharma brands.

“I am energized by the untapped potential we have as marketers to deliver on patient/caregiver needs through timely and personalized content, and joined the amazing team at Klick to collaborate and help our clients improve people’s lives with positive health outcomes,” she said.

Turbocharging Transformation & Technology

Less than a year since making his move to Klick to lead its new Digital Transformation team, Chief Transformation Officer Ryan Slipakoff and Executive Vice President of Technology and Operations Marcin Bogobowiz today announced several key senior team members to further build out the agency’s growing capabilities and enhance Klick’s reputation as a trusted end-to-end digital partner and adviser for enterprise-wide digital transformation journeys. Klick also announced the launch of the company’s Organizational Excellence practice to help clients evolve their talent, culture, and ways of working to maximize the utilization of technology and capability investments in the day-to-day work of all business users. Services include building sustainable operating models, talent plans, and transformation strategies that help drive successful digital transformations.

Jenna Mitby

Mitby brings to Klick her innovative thinking and deep knowledge in healthcare commercialization strategy, marketing, data, and technology – focussed on ensuring business needs drive enterprise capabilities and brand investments. She has worked extensively with biotech companies on enterprise transformations across marketing, market access, third-party logistics and medical affairs. Previously, she built and led the Commercial Strategy and Insights organization for McKesson’s access, affordability, and adherence businesses (now a single operating unit as CoverMyMeds) and spent five years working in a number of roles at Epsilon, including Vice President of Strategy.

“The pandemic has drastically accelerated the pace of change for the entire healthcare industry,” Mitby said. “I’m excited to help lead Klick’s Transformation practice and be at the forefront of these evolutions as we help our clients deliver better customer experiences.”

Eric Vacin

Vacin makes his move to Klick with 20 years of digital consulting and transformation experience. He spent the last five years at Accenture Interactive as a leader on their business transformation practice. There, he led large engagements in healthcare, financial services, and technology—bringing customer-centric thinking to the heart of every decision and driving new revenue and growth opportunities for his clients. Vacin began his career at the NASA Ames Research Center in the heart of Silicon Valley.

“The amazing talent at Klick is laser-focused on creating the best patient and provider experiences on the planet,” said Vacin. “So am I. What makes Klick so unique is the amazing culture that values outcomes over optics and which harnesses that focus to deliver outsized results. It’s humbling to be part of the team.”

Jasmeet Kambo

With over 20 years of experience partnering with Fortune 100 organizations, Kambo excels at driving human-centered experiences through digital strategy and enterprise business transformations. Prior to joining Klick, he worked at Deloitte Digital where he worked globally across industries in leading large-scale transformations.

Driven by a passion for leading change and innovation, Kambo said, “it is through the transformation of how we work and the adoption of customer and data-driven platforms that we can drive impactful human experiences. I joined Klick, inspired to drive impactful patient and healthcare experiences with an organization demonstrating resilience, kindness, and a people-first, outcomes-based focus.”

Danielle Tasson

Tasson comes to Klick to lead its new Organizational Excellence practice area, bringing over 12 years of experience in building complex business and organizational strategies for consultancies and global companies. She most recently served as Global Future of Work Leader and People & Change Consulting practice leader at CGI, a global technology consulting firm, focused on developing strategies for rapid adoption of talent and workplace changes, hybrid workplace models, and accelerated future of work practices for post-pandemic planning.

“I’m excited to help play a role in Klick’s next stage of growth and support the expansion of strategic, operational, and talent capabilities to enhance our clients’ digital evolutions,” said Tasson. “The welcoming culture here, combined with Klicksters’ creativity and refusal to accept the status quo, collectively contributes to an unparalleled level of collaboration and innovation that’s inspiring.”

Kalyan Koduri

Leveraging over 23 years in consulting, providing technology options, and designing re-usable data solutions for pharma companies, Koduri brings to Klick vast expertise in incorporating best-in-class data governance practices. He previously worked at Capgemini where he was instrumental in designing and developing a scalable specialty pharma solution focused on aggregation, complete patient journey and prescriber mastering.

“What has really attracted me to Klick is the people-first culture,” Koduri said. “After spending a few weeks here, I can say with confidence that it really is different here and I am happy to be working with awesome, smart, and kind people as we work to make a difference for our clients and the patients and physicians they serve.”

Nelson Figueiredo

A proven development leader with 20+ years of expertise, Figueiredo has executed complex, multi-channel, brand-driven digital assets for some of the biggest names in pharma. He spent the past 12 years at Ogilvy Health after a decade working in web development across other industries. A collaborative team builder known for his ability to lead cross-functional, cross-platform projects that deliver value, he has launched numerous award-winning web properties and apps, client engagements, and innovation-focused project teams.

“More than ever, healthcare companies want to adopt savvy, new ways to get their messaging to providers, patients, and caregivers, and Klick is an industry-leading powerhouse that delivers on technological innovation,” said  Figueiredo. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to join all the passionate and talented people who make Klick such a special place.”

Nastase joins Klick with a focus on developing and driving new technology consulting services – leaning into his 25+ years of experience in technology development and consulting for global healthcare and financial institutions. Previously, he worked at multinational technology consulting and system integration firm CGI, where he developed and implemented high-value technology-based solutions and created partnerships to help organizations gain strategic market advantage.

“I am thrilled to join Klick’s people-first culture and its world-class team of digital strategists and technologists,” Nastase said, “as we help more clients accelerate their digital enablement during these times of profound demand for healthcare services transformation.”

Anthony Velez

Velez brings to Klick over 13 years of digital, consulting, and marketing technology experience across the life sciences, communications, retail, and banking industries.

With past roles at Publicis Groupe (Epsilon) and Accenture, he specializes in designing and implementing multi- and omni-channel marketing programs for patients and physicians. He has a proven background in successfully navigating clients through critical decisions in marketing technology operations, strategy, and execution.

“Klick is different from other marketing agencies,” Velez said. “I’m honored to be a part of such an amazing and talented group of people. I feel like I’m a part of a family that really cares about making a difference in the lives of our client, patient, and partner communities.”

Expansion Across Corporate Development

Klick also announced the following senior additions to its growing team to continue rolling out its future-forward vision:

Bruce Chin

With 25+ years of global financial advisory experience, Chin leads Klick’s corporate development mission and is focused on continuing to broaden the Klick ecosystem and expand important industry relationships and partnerships. Previously, he was a senior partner at Deloitte and has a reputation for taking innovative approaches to complicated business and finance issues—working with his team to understand and solve for the underlying causes of and barriers to efficiency and growth. Chin is also an Executive Board Member for the Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation, which aims to give children a better future through education.

“I’ve known the Klick team for over a decade and when the time came for a new adventure, there was only one team I wanted to join,” said Chin. “I couldn’t feel more at home and am energized about applying my expertise to spark continued growth, help evolve Klick’s platform, and ensure we keep delivering the unfair advantages our clients have come to expect.”

Dishan Ratnajothi

Ratnajothi plays a key role in Klick’s corporate development initiatives and early-stage investments in healthcare companies. As a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)-designated finance professional with experience in transaction advisory, mergers and acquisitions, and financial planning and analysis, he previously worked with mid-market companies in pursuing acquisitions in industries, such as professional services, software, retail, and industrial goods. He is also an Instructor at York University’s Schulich School of Business. In 2021, he was honored with a prestigious CPA Emerging Leader Award, which celebrates distinguished CPAs under the age of 34, who excel both in their profession and in the community.

“Klick is an entrepreneurial playground where the greatest minds get together to help advance the life sciences industry,” Ratnajothi said. “I consider myself fortunate to work with such talented people as we focus on the future with strategic investments and partnerships that are poised to disrupt, innovate, and deliver positive health outcomes.”

Fueling Continued and Relentless Evolution

Deanna Pathak

As the Global Head of the Talent Attraction team, Pathak leads Klick’s thriving team of talent partners and strategists – leaning into over two decades of experience in talent management, strategy, attraction, and large-scale people transformation projects. She previously worked at Accenture for 13 years, where she was responsible for helping local and global leaders transform their talent strategies.

“I am obsessed with attracting the world’s brightest minds and cultivating meaningful experiences for candidates,” said Pathak, “and joining Klick is one of the best decisions I have ever made. The culture, the people, and the pure brilliance that exists here is unmatched. I am passionate about what I do and working at Klick allows me to bring that passion to life alongside people who inspire me every single day.”

Cynthia Carrasco-Hernandez

Carrasco-Hernandez joins Klick’s large, in-house Talent Acquisition team, leading its creative recruitment area. She brings over a decade of experience in attracting top-tier, award-winning creative talent to health agencies like FBC Health and, most recently, The Bloc. Focused on strategic, actionable programs that facilitate and elevate creative recruitment, she also brings a proven track record in fostering strong connections with new talent and ensuring success for both candidates and agency teams alike.

“I joined Klick because I always want to surround myself with great people and great work,” she said. “Elevating creative output with the best talent, while maintaining a true people-first practice can be tricky, but Klick seems to have figured it out. I’m excited to reconnect with some fantastic, familiar faces, and contribute to building out an already high-performing team with the next generation of emerging talent.”

Matthew Dolce

Dolce has almost a decade of talent acquisition experience within the healthcare marketing industry and a wide breadth of knowledge, process, and innovation in the recruiting space. Prior to joining Klick, he served as Director of Talent Acquisition at Publicis Health, leading the department across multiple agencies after rising through the ranks on its recruiting team. He also held roles at FCBCure and VitaminT. Dolce’s focus at Klick includes launching a Talent Accelerator Program and building a pathway to a larger talent pool by opening the door to candidates who may not have pharmaceutical or healthcare experience.

“What drew me into Klick was its passion for innovation and evolution,” Dolce remarked. “Very few companies can claim to embody an entrepreneurial spirit and start-up mentality, particularly when they’re turning 25 years old with over 1,600 people and growing. Here at Klick however, every word of it has been true and I am truly excited to see what the future has to offer!” 

About Klick Health

Klick Health is the world’s largest independent commercialization partner for life sciences. For over two decades, Klick has been laser-focused on developing, launching, and supporting life sciences brands to maximize their full market potential. Klick was named a Large Agency of the Year for both 2020 and 2021 by Medical Marketing + Media (MM+M), marking 10 Agency of the Year industry awards in 10 years. Follow Klick Health on Twitter at @KlickHealth. For more information on joining Klick, go to careers.klick.com.

About Klick Group

The Klick Group of companies – Klick Health (including Klick Katalyst), Klick Media Group, Klick Applied Sciences (including Klick Labs), Klick Consulting, Klick Ventures, and Sensei Labs – is an ecosystem of brilliant talent collectively working to maximize their people and clients’ full potential. Established in 1997, Klick has teams in New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, and across North America. Klick has consistently been named a Best Managed Company and Great Place to Work. In 2021, the company was recognized with 15 Best Workplace awards, including Best Workplaces for Women, Best Workplaces for Inclusion, Best Workplaces for Giving Back, Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators, and FORTUNE’s Best Places for Millennials.

 

For media inquiries:

Sheryl Steinberg, SVP, Communications

Phone: 416-214-4977 ext. 2412  Email: pr@klick.com

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Science

University of Kentucky researchers develop online portal to show how biases in RNA sequences affect gene expression

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 29, 2022) — A recent publication from researchers at the University of Kentucky explains the importance of identifying and understanding…

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 29, 2022) — A recent publication from researchers at the University of Kentucky explains the importance of identifying and understanding how differences between tissues and cells alter gene expression without changing the underlying genetic code.

Credit: Pete Comparoni | University of Kentucky Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 29, 2022) — A recent publication from researchers at the University of Kentucky explains the importance of identifying and understanding how differences between tissues and cells alter gene expression without changing the underlying genetic code.

Introductory biology classes teach that DNA is transcribed into RNA, which is then translated into proteins. However, many cellular processes affect how quickly transcription and translation occur. Gene expression looks at the differences in RNA concentrations within a cell, and it can help scientists know which genes are active within that tissue or cell.

“Changes in gene expression can significantly affect various diseases and disease trajectories,” said Justin Miller, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UK College of Medicine’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Miller, who is also affiliated with the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and Biomedical Informatics, says he and his colleagues previously developed the first algorithm to identify ramp sequences from a single gene sequence. Through their recent work, Miller and fellow UK co-authors Mark Ebbert, Ph.D., and Matthew Hodgman created an online version of that algorithm and showed that ramp sequences change between tissues and cells without changing the RNA sequence.

A ramp sequence is part of the RNA sequence that slows translation at the beginning of the gene by using codons (sequences of three DNA or RNA nucleotides) that are not easily translated. Ramp sequences counterintuitively increase overall gene expression by evenly spacing the translational machinery and preventing collisions later in translation.

In their recent publication in NAR Genomics and Bioinformatics, the researchers present the first comprehensive analysis of tissue- and cell type-specific ramp sequences and report more than 3,000 genes with ramp sequences that change between tissues and cell types, which correspond with increased gene expression within those tissues and cells.

“This research is the first time that variable ramp sequences have been described. Our comprehensive web interface allows other researchers to creatively explore ramp sequences and gene expression,” said Miller.

The research team says this work is important because while there are multiple ways for our RNA to encode the same proteins, the specific RNA sequence is important to regulate protein and RNA levels.

“Essentially, a ramp sequence works like an on-ramp to a freeway so that ribosomes do not crash into each other, but the length and speed limit of that onramp can change depending on the cell and the available resources within that cell,” Miller explained.

He says he enjoyed working on this project not only with his colleagues at UK but as well as his former colleagues at Brigham Young University and his brother, Kyle Miller, at Utah Valley University. Together, the group created a web interface for people to see how ramp sequences correspond with human and COVID-19 gene expression in different tissues and cells.

Miller says he believes this work will eventually impact patient care. “We created an online interface for researchers to query all human genes and see if a specific gene has a ramp sequence in a given tissue and how that gene is expressed within that tissue,” said Miller. “We also show that various COVID-19 genes and human entry factors for COVID-19 have ramp sequences that change between different tissues. Ramp sequences are much more likely to occur in tissues where the virus is known to proliferate.”

So, the researchers believe that COVID-19 genes have genetic biases (ramp sequences) that allow them to use the available cellular machinery to increase their expression. “Our research may help us better predict which tissues and cells new viruses will infect and also provides a potential therapeutic target to regulate tissue-specific gene expression without changing the translated protein,” said Miller.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers P30AG072946 and R01AG068331, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R35GM138636. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

This work was also funded by the BrightFocus Foundation, under awards A2020118F and A2020161S, and the Alzheimer’s Association, under award 2019-AARG-644082.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for” three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Employers.”  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.


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Government

White House Is Quietly Modeling For $200 Oil “Shock”

White House Is Quietly Modeling For $200 Oil "Shock"

While the Biden administration is hoping and praying that someone – anyone – will watch…

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White House Is Quietly Modeling For $200 Oil "Shock"

While the Biden administration is hoping and praying that someone - anyone - will watch the comical "Jan 6" kangaroo hearsay court taking place in Congress and meant to somehow block Trump from running for president in 2024 while also making hundreds of millions of Americans forget that the current administration could very well be the worst in US history, it is quietly preparing for the worst.

As none other than pro-Biden propaganda spinmaster CNN reports, when it comes to what really matters (at least according to Gallup), namely the economy, and specifically galloping gasoline prices, the White House is in a historic shambles.

For an administration that ended last year forecasting a leveling off of 40-year high inflation and eager to tout a historically rapid recovery from the pandemic-driven economic crisis, there is a level of frustration that comes with an acutely perilous moment. Asked by CNN about progress on a seemingly intractable challenge, another senior White House official responded flatly: "Which one?"

The suspects behind the historic implosion are well known: "soaring prices, teetering poll numbers and congressional majorities that appear to be on the brink have created no shortage of reasons for unease. Gas prices are hovering at or around $5 per gallon, plastered on signs and billboards across the country as a symbolic daily reminder of the reality -- one in which White House officials are extremely aware -- that the country's view of the economy is growing darker and taking Biden's political future with it."

"You don't have to be a very sophisticated person to know how lines of presidential approval and gas prices go historically in the United States," a senior White House official told CNN.

A CNN Poll of Polls average of ratings for Biden's handling of the presidency finds that 39% of Americans approve of the job he's doing. His numbers on the economy, gas prices and inflation specifically are even worse in recent polls. What CNN won't tell you is that Biden is now polling well below Trump at this time in his tenure.

The CNN article then goes into a lengthy analysis of what is behind the current gasoline crisis (those with lots of time to kill can read it here) and also tries to explains, without actually saying it, that the only thing that can fix the problem is more supply, but - as we first explained - this can't and won't happen because green fanatics and socialist environmentalists will never agree to boosting output.

Which brings us to the punchline: as CNN's Phil Mattingly writes, "instead of managing an economy in the midst of a natural rotation away from recovery and into a stable period of growth, economic officials are analyzing and modeling worst-case scenarios like what the shock of gas prices hitting $200 per barrel may mean for the economy."

Well, in an article titled "Give us a plan or give us someone to blame", this seems like both a plan, and someone to blame.

But unfortunately for Biden - and CNN which is hoping to reset expectations - it's only going to get worse, because as we noted moments ago, while nobody was paying attention, Cushing inventories dropped to just 1 million away from operational bottoms at roughly 20MM barrels. This means that the US is officially looking at tank bottoms.

But wait, there's more... or rather, it's even worse, because as even Bloomberg's chief energy guru Javier Blas notes, over the last 2 weeks, the US gov has drained 13.7 million barrels from the SPR, "and yet, commercial oil stockpiles still fell 3 million barrels over the period."

Just imagine, Blas asks rhetorically, "if the SPR wasn't there. Or what would happen post-Oct when sales end."

And here is the punchline: at the current record pace of SPR drainage, one way or another the Biden admin will have to end its artificial attempts to keep the price of oil lower some time in October (or risk entering a war with China over Taiwan with virtually no oil reserve). This means that unless Putin ends his war some time in the next 5 months, there is a non-trivial chance that oil will hit a record price around $200 - precisely the price the White House is bracing for - a few days before the midterms. While translates into $10+ gasoline.

And while one can speculate how much longer Democrats can continue the "Jan 6" dog and pony show as the entire economy implodes around them, how America will vote in November when gas is double digits should not be a mystery to anyone.

Tyler Durden Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:05

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European Commission says it doesn’t have texts between president Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla

Under fire from the European ombudsman, the Commission said on Wednesday that it hasn’t found any text messages between president Ursula von der Leyen…

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Under fire from the European ombudsman, the Commission said on Wednesday that it hasn’t found any text messages between president Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer chief Albert Bourla regarding the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.

The messages became of interest last April, when the New York Times reported that a series of texts and calls between von der Leyen and Bourla led to Pfizer’s largest vaccine deal — 900 million doses of the current vaccine and a vaccine adapted to variants, with the option to purchase an additional 900 million doses through 2023.

Emily O’Reilly

Upon a public access request made by a journalist, the EC responded that it had no record of them. However, it was later revealed by ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, the EU’s internal watchdog, that the EC never explicitly asked the cabinet to look for the texts.

Instead, the EC requested other documents that fall under its internal criteria for recording, which doesn’t include text messages.

O’Reilly accused the Commission of “maladministration,” and urged the administration to conduct a more thorough search.

“When it comes to the right of public access to EU documents, it is the content of the document that matters and not the device or form,” she said in a statement back in January. “If text messages concern EU policies and decisions, they should be treated as EU documents.”

On Wednesday, the EC claimed to side with O’Reilly: “The Commission and the Ombudsman agree that what matters is the content of a document,” a spokesperson said in an email to Endpoints News. 

However, the Commission maintained that the texts were not registered as documents “due to their short-lived and ephemeral nature.”

“Text and instant messages in general do not contain important information relating to policies, activities and decisions of the Commission, nor are they in the possession of the institution,” the EC shared in a letter.

The administration added that it intends to issue further guidance on the use of “modern communication tools” such as text and instant messages to clear up any confusion.

“The Ombudsman could equally be invited to participate in those discussions, if she wishes to do so,” the statement said.

Pfizer declined to comment on the content of the text messages.

Stella Kyriakides

The EC struck its third vaccine deal with Pfizer and BioNTech last May, after its other major supplier AstraZeneca ran into production issues and announced it would significantly reduce deliveries.

The contract, which called for up to 1.8 billion doses through 2023, also reserved the EU right to resell or donate doses to countries in need.

“We need to be one step ahead of the virus. This means having access to adapted vaccines to protect us against the threat of variants, booster vaccines to prolong immunity, as well as protecting our younger population,” commissioner for health and food safety Stella Kyriakides said at the time.

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