Board of Directors
David Johnson brings more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. His most recent executive position was with Acerta Pharma, an oncology-focused pharmaceutical company, where he was CEO and led the company through a critical phase of growth from approximately 40 to 150+ employees and from signal seeking first-in-human trials to more than 20 active clinical studies. His tenure included the launch of 2 global Phase 3 trials and culminated in the execution of a strategic transaction with AstraZeneca valued at up to $7 billion. Mr. Johnson’s prior experience spans from pre-clinical to all phases of clinical development. He has made meaningful contributions to drugs ultimately garnering NDA/SNDA approval including idelalisib, romidepsin, and bortezomib. He has held roles with increasing responsibilities within Clinical Development, Medical Affairs, Pipeline Development, and Commercial at companies including Calistoga (acquired by Gilead), Gloucester (acquired by Celgene), Favrille, Millennium, Immunex (acquired by Amgen), and Hoffman La Roche. Mr. Johnson is a proven leader, deeply-rooted in oncology with a long track record as a successful collaborator with a broad global network of investigators. He is a co-author on numerous publications including three NEJM publications. Mr. Johnson is a graduate of Indiana University.
Christoph Lengauer, PhD, MBA
Christopher Lengauer is the Chief Scientific Officer of Blueprint Medicines, a public personalized medicine company. Dr. Lengauer has a proven track record in cancer drug discovery, including contributing to 13 programs that reached first-in-human clinical trials and three registered drugs. He was previously at Sanofi, where he was Vice President and Global Head of Oncology Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development. Before joining Sanofi, he was Executive Director & Senior Unit Head, Oncology Discovery at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. Prior to Novartis, Dr. Lengauer served as associate professor of oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Lengauer studied human genetics in Salzburg, Austria, and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He did his postdoctoral research at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna and then in the laboratory of Profs. Bert Vogelstein and Ken Kinzler at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received his MBA from Johns Hopkins University Business School.
An accomplished entrepreneur in the life sciences industry, Brad Margus has co-founded and led several life sciences companies, most recently founding Exigence Neurosciences, a new drug discovery company. Prior to Exigence, Mr. Margus started Genome Bridge, a non-profit subsidiary of the Broad Institute of Harvard and M.I.T., to build a computational platform for sharing genomic and clinical data. Previously, as co-founder and CEO of Envoy Therapeutics, Mr. Margus raised $8 million from investors, discovered new compounds for brain diseases, and sold the company to a global pharmaceutical company for $140 million. Earlier, he was co-founder and served as CEO of Perlegen Sciences, a leader in analyzing genetic variation. Concurrent with his business career, for the last 20 years, Mr. Margus has worked as founder and volunteer President of the A-T Children’s Project, a non-profit that orchestrates research on a rare, brutal, genetic disease – ataxia telangiectasia or “A-T” – that two of his sons have. A-T causes neurodegeneration, cancer and immune system problems. Mr. Margus co-chairs the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT) External Oversight Board at the National Institutes of Health. He also serves on the Steering Committee for the Global Alliance for Genomics & Health and on the Board of Global Genes.
James Olson, M.D., Ph.D. – Founder & Chairman
Jim Olson is a pediatric oncologist practicing at Seattle Children’s Hospital and an Associate Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Olson’s laboratory studies the gene expression programs controlling neural differentiation, brain tumor genesis and neurodegenerative diseases. His team has conducted laboratory research that led to five national clinical trials for children with brain tumors. Dr. Olson trained at the University of Michigan School of Medicine and Department of Pharmacology.
Tachi Yamada, MD
Tachi Yamada, MD recently led all of Takeda’s research and development activities as the Chief Medical and Scientific Officer. He is currently a venture partner with Frazier Healthcare in Seattle. Prior to Takeda he was the President of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also served as the Chairman of Research and Development and was a member of the board of directors at GlaxoSmithKline. Earlier, Dr. Yamada was the Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and the Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In addition to his current role at Frazier and Presage, Dr. Yamada serves as a member of the board of directors at the Clinton Health Access Initiative and a member of the Council of the National Academy of Medicine. He is also a Fellow of the Imperial College of Medicine, a Master of the American College of Physicians, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and a past-President of the American Gastroenterological Association and the Association of American Physicians.