Grant Life Sciences (Los Angeles) has hired Kim Liao as director of Asian business development effective immediately. Between 1995 and 2006, Liao held a variety of executive positions with Abbott Laboratories Services' Diagnostics Division, Medtronic Taiwan and Becton Dickinson Worldwide (Taiwan). Grant Life Sciences, a development stage company, engages in research, development, marketing, and sale of diagnostic kits for the screening, monitoring, and diagnosis of diseases with emphasis on women's health, infectious diseases, and cancers.

• Stephen Guillard has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of Manor Care (Toledo, Ohio), effective Jan. 1. Guillard was also elected to the board of directors, effective immediately. He replaces Keith Weikel who is retiring this month from the company and the board after a 20-year career with Manor Care and a 40-year career in health care. Since joining Manor Care in June 2005, Guillard has had responsibility for Manor Care's $3 billion skilled nursing, assisted living and rehabilitation businesses, as well as their related clinical services teams. Previously Guillard was CEO and chairman of Harborside Healthcare.

Medtronic's Collins appointed to innovation panel

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez has named Art Collins, chairman and CEO of Medtronic (Minneapolis), to serve on a new panel to understand better how U.S. innovation contributes to American economic prosperity and high living standards. Collins is part of an advisory committee that includes 15 business and academic leaders.

The Measuring Innovation in the 21st Century Economy Advisory Committee will help develop better ways to measure innovation so that the public and policy makers can understand better its impact on economic growth and productivity. The committee will study metrics on effectiveness of innovation in various businesses and sectors, and work to identify which data can be used to develop a broader measure of innovation's impact on the economy.

“American innovation is important to the vitality of our economy, and it is important to understand the impact innovation has on productivity and economic growth,“ Gutierrez said. “Getting a better understanding of how innovation contributes to our economy will help us craft better policies to continue to grow and prosper.“

The panel selection follows an extensive three-month public outreach to business and academic associations, institutions and think tanks to find qualified CEOs and academic experts representing the diversity of the American economy.

The Advisory Committee will meet Feb. 22 in Washington.

Other panel members are: Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft (Redmond, Washington); David Bernd, CEO, Sentara Healthcare (Norfolk, Virginia); James Blanchard, retired chairman of the board and CEO of Synovus Financial (Columbus, Georgia); George Buckley, CEO, 3M (St. Paul, Minnesota); Michael Eskew, chairman/CEO, UPS (Atlanta); Luther Hodges, owner/manager of Santa Fe Hospital and the Hotel Santa Fe ; John Menzer, vice-chairman, Wal-Mart Stores (Bentonville, Arkansas); Samuel Palmisano, CEO, IBM (Armonk, New York); Carl Schramm, PhD, president/CEO, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (Kansas City, Missouri); Ashish Arora, professor of economics and public policy at the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh); Rajesh Chandy, professor of marketing at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities); Kathleen Cooper, dean of the college of business at the University of North Texas (Denton, Texas); Dale Jorgenson, professor of economics at Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts); and Donald Siegel, professor and associate dean of the graduate school of management at the University of California at Riverside.