Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced that John Palma has joined the company as vice president, Medical Affairs. In this role, he will build and lead the company-wide Global Medical Affairs organization.

Palma has more than 26 years of experience in the development, management, and delivery of complex diagnostics and research products. He has consulted with global, clinical, and key opinion leaders for the advancement of high medical value companion diagnostics and has been engaged in working across the pathology and molecular laboratory customer segments. Palma’s background includes deep expertise in the design and execution of liquid biopsy strategy, including clinical studies, health outcomes, development, and management.

“We’re extremely pleased John has joined the Agilent team,” said Dr. Kate Knobil, Agilent chief medical officer. “His role will be critical to establishing our Global Medical Affairs organization as he drives important links across our commercial, marketing, R&D and quality and regulatory affairs organizations. John’s experience will create new capabilities for us as we expand our presence in next generation sequencing, and he will be key to our efforts driving Agilent strategy for liquid biopsy development.”

Prior to joining Agilent, Palma served in several roles at Roche over the last 10 years. Most recently, he was vice president, head of Medical & Scientific Affairs and chief medical officer for the Roche Sequencing Solutions business.

“John’s insights and background will help us expand our position in cancer diagnostics, and specifically in precision oncology,” said Sam Raha, president of Agilent’s Diagnostics and Genomics Group. “His addition builds on our acquisition of Resolution Bioscience earlier this year and reaffirms our commitment to being a preferred partner to pharmaceutical companies for companion diagnostic development, registration and commercialization, and to clinical labs around the world for cancer diagnostic testing.”

In addition to memberships across a broad list of medical professional organizations, Palma has been involved in six successful patent application awards and has co-authored more than three dozen technical papers.

Palma received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Manhattan College and his doctorate in microbiology and immunology from State University of New York, Downstate.