— Matthew Trunnell is stepping down from his post as chief data officer at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. It’s the second major leadership loss for Fred Hutch in recent months following president Gary Gilliland’s decision to leave the institution next year.
During his time at Fred Hutch, Trunnell was at the vanguard of a new fight against cancer in which cloud computing and big data are the weapons of choice. Trunnell established the Hutch Data Commonwealth at Fred Hutch after joining the cancer research powerhouse in 2015, originally as chief information officer. Before signing on with Fred Hutch, Trunnell was chief information officer at the Broad Institute, a biomedical and genomic research center at MIT and Harvard.
Trunnell also helped to create the Cascadia Data Discovery Initiative, an effort to share health research data between organizations in the Pacific Northwest like Microsoft, the University of British Columbia, the University of Washington, and Oregon Health & Science University.
“Our ability to take advantage of — and drive — innovations in data science and infrastructure to accelerate our research remains mission-critical. So with Matthew’s transition, we will look carefully at how best to continue evolving our data strategy,” Gilliland and chief operating officer Steve Stadum said in an email to employees. “Our goal is to further deepen the connections between our data infrastructure and our science to open up new avenues for preventing and treating cancer, HIV and related diseases. Doing so also enriches the collaborations that are possible both within the Hutch and with our research and tech partners.”
Trunnell will remain an advisor at the organization and will continue to lead the Cascadia Data Discovery Initiative at least through January. Dr. Bruce Clurman and Dr. Raphael Gottardo will lead Fred Hutch’s data efforts during the transition.
— Cancer drug discovery startup SEngine Precision Medicine hired Dr. Astrid Margossian as chief medical officer. Margossian was most recently the director of the Breast Center Institute Buenos Aires, where she oversaw research and clinical trials related to breast cancer biomarkers.
Margossian’s appointment alongside CEO Dr. Carla Grandori makes SEngine a rare example of female leadership in the world of biotechs. The Seattle startup recently raised $5.1 million and launched a drug discovery partnership with Atomwise.
“SEngine’s 3D tumor organoid technology offers the real promise to deliver cancer patients, care providers, and pharmaceutical companies a platform that quickly matches the most effective treatment to an individual’s unique cancer,” Margossian said in a statement. “The science underpinning SEngine’s technology is undeniable, now the task before us is to increase access through smart, steady, and sustained growth.”
— J. Thomas Ranken is moving on from his role as president and CEO of the CleanTech Alliance, a position he has held for the past decade. The Seattle-based organization, which supports clean-tech businesses across the Pacific Northwest, hopes to find a successor by the end of the first quarter of next year.
“I intend to hang around as long as needed (within reason, of course!) to see [the search for a new CEO] accomplished,” Ranken said in a farewell announcement. “The one thing I have planned for certain thereafter is to spend a lot more time studying and mastering various aspects of playing the guitar.”
— Amy Zhang is launching the Social Computing Lab at the University of Washington’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering.
Zhang was most recently a postdoc at Stanford, where she collaborated with Microsoft researcher Justin Cranshaw on a Slack bot called Tilda that automatically summarizes chat conversations at work.
“My new lab will be reimagining online social and collaborative systems to empower people and improve society. Topics not limited to: collaboration & knowledge management, community resilience, info ecosystems, [and] user agency,” Zhang wrote on Twitter. She’s actively recruiting graduate students for next year.
— Christina McPherson joined data visualization firm Tableau as vice president of global communications and public affairs. McPherson spent the past 15 years at Starbucks in senior communications roles.
“A servant leader, with a passion for digital transformation, I am looking forward to delivering on Tableau’s mission to ‘help people see and understand data,'” McPherson told GeekWire in an email. “I know the power of data in delivering a strong brand narrative and will expand on the amazing engagement with stakeholders, internally and externally, to continue to amplify the unique assets of the Tableau brand and capabilities.”
Salesforce finalized its $15.7 billion purchase of Tableau in August, creating a powerful force in the lucrative enterprise software world.
— Craig Eastwood is the new chief financial officer of CitoDyn, a Vancouver, Wash.-based biotech company. Eastwood first joined the company earlier this year and held controller and accounting roles at Erickson, ESCO and Daimler Trucks prior to that.
“I am delighted to welcome Craig to the CFO role, where he will undoubtedly make an impact as we migrate from being a research and development-driven biotech company, to a fully functional commercial enterprise,” CytoDyn CEO Dr. Nader Pourhassan said in a statement.
— The Washington State Investment Board (WSIB) named Allyson Tucker as its new chief investment officer effective Jan. 1. Tucker currently heads the agency’s Risk Management and Asset Allocation team and has been with WSIB since 2009. WSIB oversees a $140 billion investment program for state retirement plans and other public trust accounts in Washington.
— Bellevue, Wash.-based firm GLY Construction named Ted Herb as its next CEO. Herb is taking over from Jim Karambelas, who is retiring after 25 years with the company.