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Christine Putur. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Outdoor and fitness gear retailer REI has appointed retail veteran Christine Putur as the company’s new Chief Information Officer, GeekWire has learned. REI confirmed that Putur started in her new role this week but declined to comment further.

Putur has a history of leading digital efforts at national retail chains. She most recently spent four years as the CIO and EVP for high-end fashion brand Coach, and formerly served as the CIO and SVP of office supply chain Staples.

Putur is filling the shoes of former REI CIO Julie Averill, who left the company in May to become the CTO at athletic wear retailer Lululemon.

Averill had been in charge of REI’s technology strategy and IT operations, and notably also led its migration to the cloud.

Ulrich Mueller. (SEngine Precision Medicine Photo)

SEngine Precision Medicine, a biotech startup developing personalized cancer treatment options, announced the addition of former Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center exec Ulrich Mueller as the company’s new Chief Business Officer.

Mueller spent more than six years at Fred Hutch, where he served as VP of industry relations and clinical research support. That effectively means he led the Hutch’s tech translation efforts, assisting its spin-out companies including biotech heavyweight Juno Therapeutics.

Mueller left the organization in 2014 and spent three years as the COO of Houston-based Bio-Path Holdings before joining SEngine.

SEngine is also a Fred Hutch spinout, although it was formed after Mueller had left the organization. During his tenure there, Mueller did work with the company’s CEO, former Fred Hutch researcher Carla Grandori.

“Dr. Grandori is well ahead of the curve with precision medicine, and pharma and biotech is starting to see the unique potential SEngine offers,” Mueller said in a press release.

SEngine’s technology samples a patients’ cancer cells to find their unique genetic mutations, then tests different drug combinations that could take advantage of the cancer’s weak spots.

Dr. Stephanie Lee. (Fred Hutch Photo / Bo Jungmayer)

—  Dr. Stephanie Lee, a cancer researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and clinical doctor at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, has been elected vice president and then president of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Lee will serve one year-long term as VP, then a year each as president-elect and president. She is a longtime physician and scientist, whose research focuses on developing better transplant methods to treat patients with blood cancer.

ASH plays a large role in the arena of blood-based diseases, including cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. It’s also an area heavily involved in the development of groundbreaking CAR T immunotherapies, which genetically engineer T-cells to fight cancer. Fred Hutch spin-out Juno Therapeutics is among the top companies working on those treatments.

“Thanks to decades of hematology research, we have more effective treatments that are easier and safer for patients to take,” Lee said in a press release. “Some of the advances, such as genetically engineered T cells, sound like science fiction, except that the technology is successfully treating blood cancers that previously didn’t respond to other therapies.”

Greg Kott. (The Laurel Group Photo)

— Greg Kott, the longtime president and CEO of Oregon-based emarketing and ecommerce provider Passport Online, has joined Seattle startup Yapta as the company’s VP of sales.

Kott joined Passport Online in 2000 and led the company until his departure in 2016. He formerly served as a sales executive in the electronic design automation industry. His appointment was announced by executive search firm The Laural Group.

Yapta’s software offers airfare price assurance services for corporate travel, with the goal of helping companies cut back on travel expenses.

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