Yvonne Briggs was appointed to the newly created position of vice president of business development for IRIS International (Chatsworth, California), a manufacturer of automated in vitro diagnostics urinalysis systems and medical devices. Prior to her appointment to IRIS, she was a vice president of investment banking at Oppenheimer & Co., focusing on emerging growth and middle-market companies in the healthcare sector.

Craig Joffe, current chief operating officer and general counsel of LCA-Vision (Cincinnati), will serve in the interim position of CEO. The appointment is effective March 1, when Stephen Joffe steps down as CEO. Stephen Joffe will remain chairman of the LCA-Vision board of directors and will assist in the orderly transition of CEO responsibilities. LCA-Vision provides laser vision correction services under the LasikPlus brand.

Jinsheng (Jimmy) Li, PhD, MD, has joined Medeikon (Ewing, New Jersey) as senior medical scientist. From 2000-2005, Li was the vascular physiology staff scientist at the American Cardiovascular Research Institute. Medeikon provides medical devices for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, with an initial emphasis on vulnerable plaque.

Ajit Gill will be retiring as CEO, president, and director of Nektar Therapeutics (San Carlos, California) as of March 17. Gill, who joined Nektar in 1992 and has served as CEO since April 2000, will act as an advisor to the company after his retirement. Robert Chess, Nektar's current executive chairman and former CEO, will serve as acting CEO on an interim basis after March 17 until a new CEO is found. Chess joined Nektar in 1991, when the company was still known as Inhale Therapeutic Systems, as its first non-founder employee. Nektar Therapeutics enables differentiated therapeutics with its drug delivery technologies and manufacturing capabilities.