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Naria Santa Lucia. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)

Naria Santa Lucia announced that she’ll be stepping down from her role as executive director of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS).

WSOS is a public-private partnership that gives out scholarships to low- and middle-income students who are pursuing degrees in STEM and healthcare. The organization has partnered with GeekWire to support STEM students in Washington state.

“My time at WSOS has truly been the highlight of my career,” Santa Lucia said in a statement. “Of our many collective accomplishments, I am most proud of WSOS’ ability to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty — just one year after graduation, a majority of our Scholars are earning more than their entire family earned at the time of application.”

Santa Lucia told GeekWire that she’d have news to share soon about her upcoming plans.

— Seattle startup studio Madrona Venture Labs made several new additions as it gears up to launch as many as 12 new companies in the next two years.

  • Keith Rosema joined as an entrepreneur-in-residence with a focus on insurance. Rosema was the executive director of innovation at Vulcan and director of research at Intellectual Ventures.
  • Ishani Gujral joined the team as a product lead. Gujral was formerly product lead at 3D laser printing company Glowforge and Tesla.
  • Prashant Ketkar is also an entrepreneur in residence. He previously worked at Oracle as vice president of product innovation and at Microsoft as director of product management for Microsoft Azure.
  • Kenan Hneide, who was formerly a leader at Amazon’s Concept Lab, was named product lead.
  • Henry Huang became a partner. Huang was executive vice president of product and operations at Mighty.com and vice president of product at Axial.
Hernan Alvarez. (Algorithmia Photo)

— Seattle startup Algorithmia named Hernan Alvarez as vice president of product. Alvarez formerly held senior IT roles at IBM, Blue Box Cloud, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

“Hernan’s demonstrated creativity, tenacious personal drive, and ability to build high-performing teams is precisely what we wanted to scale Algorithmia’s AI Layer,” Algorithmia CEO Diego Oppenheimer said in a statement.

Algorithmia originally built a marketplace for machine-learning algorithms but has refocused on helping large enterprises and government agencies deploy machine learning models. Earlier this year, Algorithmia launched a blockchain-based protocol for machine-learning algorithm shoppers.

Drs. Nancy E. Davidson and Denise Galloway. (Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service)

— Two scientists from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center were elected to the Academy of Arts and Sciences, a scholarly society that dates back to 1780. Dr. Nancy Davidson and Dr. Denise Galloway joined Michelle Obama and more than 200 others as members in this year’s class.

Davidson is a leading breast cancer expert and researcher who also serves as president and director of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. “I am thrilled to be elected to an organization that recognizes and celebrates the diversity of thought, disciplines and people who work to advance the common good,” Davidson said in a statement.

Galloway was honored for her research that helped to establish the link between HPV at cervical cancer and for her work on the HPV vaccine. “I attribute any success I have to working at the Hutch. I’ve been here my whole career, and it is a wonderful environment for science,” Galloway said.

Fred Hutch now boasts 11 members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. Last year, director of Fred Hutch’s basic sciences division Dr. Sue Biggins became a member.

Dr. Jonathan Baell (SEngine Photo)

— Seattle oncology startup SEngine Precision Medicine added Dr. Jonathan Baell to its scientific advisory board. Dr. Baell, a full professor in medicinal chemistry at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, has been cited in nearly 5,000 research papers and published nearly 100 research articles in peer-reviewed academic journals.

“I admire the innovative scientific approach at the foundation of SEngine Precision Medicine,” Baell said in a statement. “Their scientists are discovering novel and promising breakthroughs that will fundamentally change the way doctors treat each unique cancer patient. I’m excited for the opportunity to contribute my chemistry expertise to advance promising anti-cancer molecules identified through these discoveries and to help chart the future of cancer treatment.”

“Dr. Baell’s unprecedented insight into translating biological discoveries into promising anti-cancer molecules further strengthens and clarifies SEngine Precision Medicine’s path forward as we accelerate development of promising anti-cancer drug discoveries,” SEengine founder and CEO Dr. Carla Grandori said in a statement.

SEngine raised a $3 million round this past October and added former Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center President Dr. Lee Hartwell to its board of directors.

Square 1 Bank appointed Sean Lynden as executive vice president of Banking West. Lynden will oversee the bank’s operations in Seattle, the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego.

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