Scientific Advisory Board

Julian Adams, PhD

Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Dr. Adams is responsible for the full spectrum of Infinity's drug discovery, preclinical and clinical development strategy, and regulatory affairs activities. Prior to joining Infinity in 2003, Dr. Adams was the senior vice president, drug discovery and development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. In this capacity, he had global responsibility for multiple drug discovery programs, including the successful discovery and development of Velcade® (bortezomib), a proteasome inhibitor for cancer therapy. He joined Millennium through its acquisition of LeukoSite in 1999 where he was senior vice president research and development. Dr. Adams joined LeukoSite as a result of its acquisition of ProScript, Inc., where he had served as a member of the founding management team, executive vice president of research and development, and a member of the board of directors. Earlier in his career, Dr. Adams served in various positions, including director, medicinal chemistry at Boehringer Ingelheim, where he successfully discovered the drug Viramune® (nevirapine) for HIV. Also, from 1982-1987, he was a medicinal chemist at Merck. Dr. Adams has received many awards, including the 2012 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize for his role in the discovery and development of bortezomib, the 2012 C. Chester Stock Award Lectureship from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the 2001 Ribbon of Hope Award for Velcade® from the International Myeloma Foundation. Dr. Adams is an inventor of more than 40 patents and has authored over 100 papers and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals. He is the editor of Proteasome Inhibition in Cancer Therapy, published in July 2004. Dr Adams is on the Board of Directors of Warp Drive Bio and the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and is on the scientific advisory boards of Cleave Biosciences and Stand Up to Cancer. Dr. Adams received his B.S. from McGill University and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the field of synthetic organic chemistry. He also received the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from McGill University in 2012.

Seth Cohen, PhD

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of California San Diego

Dr. Cohen is a Professor, and former Chair, of the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at U.C. San Diego. He attended Stanford University where he earned B.S. and B.A. degrees in Chemistry and Political Science, respectively. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from U.C. Berkeley and was an N.I.H. postdoctoral fellow at M.I.T. In 2001, Dr. Cohen joined the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at U.C. San Diego. He has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).  His research and teaching accomplishments have been recognized with the Cottrell Scholar Award from the RCSA and the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the ACS. He was also awarded the AAAS Roger Revelle Fellowship in Global Stewardship, with which he spent a year at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in Washington D.C. He has developed an international reputation in the field of bioinorganic chemistry, with an emphasis on novel approaches to metalloprotease inhibition. For more information, visit

Peter Jackson, PhD

Professor, Director of Proteomics
Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Jackson is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology (Baxter Labs) and of Pathology at Stanford. He received a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Yale College before pursuing graduate work in Chemical Physics at the University of Chicago and receiving a PhD in Biophysics from Harvard University, completing his thesis on tyrosine kinase signaling with David Baltimore at MIT’s Whitehead Institute. Following postdoctoral work at UCSF with Mark Kirschner, studying the cell cycle, Dr. Jackson joined the faculty at Stanford in 1996. His laboratory studies focus on the biochemical and cell biological mechanisms controlling cell division, signaling and cancer, using proteomics and advanced imaging techniques. He has made a broad set of discoveries related to regulatory complexes and signaling in the cell cycle, cancer, signaling within the primary cilium and the link between cilia and human genetic diseases. Dr. Jackson spent from 2005 to 2013 at Genentech, where he was a Director and Staff Scientist focused on the discovery and validation of new targets for cancer chemotherapy. He is currently focused on understanding core mechanisms driving differentiation and using protein networks to find new core cancer driver pathways.

Juan C. Jaen, PhD

Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer
Arcus Biosciences, Inc.

Dr. Jaen has been engaged in all aspects of drug discovery and development for over 30 years. He is currently the President and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Arcus Biosciences, a company he co-founded and that is engaged in the discovery of anti-cancer drugs that reverse the immunosuppressed microenvironment common to many tumor types.

Prior to Arcus, Dr. Jaen co-founded Flexus Biosciences in 2013. The significant progress made by one of Flexus’s internal drug discovery programs (IDO-1 inhibitors for the treatment of cancer) catalyzed the sale of the company to BMS in early 2015.

Prior to Flexus, Dr. Jaen held the position of CSO and Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery at ChemoCentryx. During his tenure there (2007-2013), Dr. Jaen led the discovery and progression into the clinic of 8 novel drug candidates in the immunology space. As corporate officer, he participated in multiple corporate collaborations and financing events, including the company’s IPO in February 2012.

From 1996 to 2006, Dr. Jaen held various scientific management positions at Tularik (responsible for about 100 scientists in Medicinal and Computational Chemistry, as well as Structural Biology) and then Amgen Inc. (after its acquisition of Tularik in 2004), most recently as Vice President of Chemistry. From 1983 to 1996, Dr. Jaen held various positions at Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert, prior to its acquisition by Pfizer. Dr. Jaen earned a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Michigan. He has co-authored over 100 scientific papers and is an inventor on 48 issued U.S. patents. Dr. Jaen has been responsible for the advancement of over 20 novel molecules into clinical development for diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, RA, diabetes and diabetic nephropathy, psoriasis, asthma, and vasculitis, among others.

Larry Lasky, PhD

The Column Group

Dr. Lasky is an expert in biotechnology, a field that he has worked in commercially for over 34 years. In 1981, he was a founding scientist of Genetics Institute (acquired by Wyeth), one of the earliest biotechnology companies.

Prior to joining The Column Group, Dr. Lasky was a scientist at Genentech for 20 years where he worked in various disciplines including vaccinology, immunology, stem cell biology, cellular signaling mechanisms, and monoclonal antibody therapy of tumors. Two of the vaccines that he worked on, for herpes simplex virus and HIV infection, entered Phase III clinical trials. He is a coauthor on 138 publications and a co-inventor on 38 issued and pending patents, several of which generate significant (9 figure) licensing royalties for Genentech. He was a standing member of the Research Review Committee that directed research across all product development areas at Genentech. Dr. Lasky attained the company's highest scientific position, Genentech Fellow (there were only three research Genentech Fellows in the company’s history), before he retired in 2002.

Dr. Lasky has also served on numerous NCI and NIH scientific review panels and has reviewed hundreds of papers for many prestigious journals. As a general partner of Latterell Venture Partners from 2002 to 2007, Dr. Lasky was the founding investor of Proteolix (acquired by Onyx Pharmaceuticals), OncoMed (NASDAQ: OMED) and was instrumental in the founding of Cellective Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Medimmune). Proteolix, the company that he started in 2003, received accelerated approval for their drug, Carfilzomib/Kyprolis, for the treatment of multiple myeloma in 2012. At USVP, he has been the founding investor of Cleave Biosciences and eFFector Pharmaceuticals and was an investor in Intellikine Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Millenium/Takeda). Dr. Lasky holds BA and PhD degrees in molecular biology from UCLA and completed his post-doctoral studies at The California Institute of Technology.

David R. Parkinson, MD


David R. Parkinson is President and CEO of Essa Pharma, Inc, a Vancouver and Houston-based pharmaceutical firm developing therapies for patients with advanced prostate cancer. Until recently assuming this role Dr. Parkinson was a Venture Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and remains as a Venture Advisor to NEA. From 2007 until 2012 Dr. Parkinson he served as President and CEO of Nodality, a South San Francisco-based biotechnology company focused on the biological characterization of signaling pathways in patients with malignancy to enable more effective therapeutics development and clinical decision-making. Until October 2007 Dr. Parkinson was Senior Vice President, Oncology Research and Development at Biogen Idec. At Biogen Idec he oversaw all oncology discovery research efforts and the development of the oncology pipeline. Previously he had served as Vice President, Oncology Development, at Amgen and Vice President, Global Clinical Oncology Development at Novartis. During his tenures at Amgen and Novartis, Dr. Parkinson was responsible for clinical development activities leading to a series of successful global drug registrations for important cancer therapeutics, including Gleevec, Femara, Zometa, Kepivance, and Vectibix.

Prior to joining industry, Dr. Parkinson worked at the National Cancer Institute from 1990 to 1997, serving as Chief of the Investigational Drug Branch, then as Acting Associate Director of the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. He is a past Chairman of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Biologics Advisory Committee and is a recipient of the FDA's Cody Medal. He has served on the National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine and is a past co-chair of the Cancer Steering Committee of the NIH Foundation Biomarkers Consortium. He has also served as a member of the FDA's Science Board, as an elected Director on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Cancer Research, and as a Director on the Board of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. He currently serves as a Board Director for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and as the Chairperson of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Finance and Audit Committee. Dr. Parkinson was formerly a Director of Facet Biotech, Inc., a public biopharma company which was acquired by Abbott Pharmaceuticals as well as a Board Director of Ambit Biosciences, a public biopharma company recently acquired by Daiichi Sankyo. He currently serves as Director on the Boards of Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Cerulean Pharma Inc., and 3S Bio, Inc public biopharma companies focused on the discovery and development of anti-cancer drugs.

Dr. Parkinson received his medical degree from the University of Toronto. He completed a Hematology Fellowship at Royal Victoria Hospital at McGill University in Montreal and was a Research Fellow at the New England Medical Center at Tufts University in Boston. He has held academic positions both at Tufts and at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications.

Mark Rolfe Ph.D.

Corporate Vice President Protein Homeostasis Research & Early Development

Dr. Rolfe is an experienced oncology drug discovery and development executive with extensive expertise in small molecule and antibody therapeutics. He is currently Corporate Vice President Protein Homeostasis Research & Early Development at Celgene Corporation. Prior to Celgene he served as President & CSO at Cleave Biosciences for five and a half years. During this time the novel, first in class p97 inhibitor CB-5083 entered into multiple phase 1 clinical trials and Cleave built a discovery effort targeting a novel group of enzymes, the AAA ATPases. Prior to joining Cleave Biosciences he was CSO of CytomX Therapeutics, a venture backed start-up developing a novel class of protease activated therapeutic antibodies called Probodies. Before his tenure at CytomX he was SVP, CSO and Interim CMO at Facet Biotech, which was acquired by Abbott Laboratories (now Abbvie) in April 2010. At Facet he contributed to the strategic development of two antibody therapeutics that ultimately gained FDA approval, daclizumab for multiple sclerosis and elotuzumab for multiple myeloma.Prior to Facet he spent 10 years at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. For the last five years of his tenure at Millennium he was Vice President, Oncology Discovery; during this period his group progressed several novel first or best-in-class molecules into development including two novel protein kinase inhibitors, a 2nd generation proteasome inhibitor that is now FDA approved (ixazomib) and the first in class nedd8 activating enzyme inhibitor MLN4924. From 1993-1999 he was at Mitotix Inc., where he initiated a drug-discovery effort in the nascent field of ubiquitination and also contributed extensively to various cell cycle kinase projects. He began his biotech career at Celltech (now UCB Pharma) contributing to the early discovery efforts on the first FDA approved antibody drug conjugate Mylotarg. He graduated with his BA and MA from Oxford University, obtained his PhD degree from the Medical Research Council and completed Post-Doctoral Fellowships at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He has published extensively in the areas of antibody therapeutics, cancer biology and the ubiquitin proteasome system and has been an invited speaker at numerous international cancer conferences including AACR, ASCO, The Japanese Cancer Association and the EORTC/NCI/AACR Molecular Targets in Cancer Conference. He serves on the External Advisory Board of the Stephen and Nancy Grand Multiple Myeloma Translational Initiative at UCSF and on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Aspen Cancer Conference.

Richard Ulevitch, PhD

5AM Ventures

Richard J. Ulevitch, PhD joined 5AM Ventures in February 2008 as a Venture Partner. Previously he was Chairman of the 5AM Scientific Advisory Board while serving as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Immunology at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California. He remains as Professor and Chairman Emeritus at The Scripps Research Institute. For over 40 years, Dr. Ulevitch has performed research to understand the role of the immune system in human disease. He serves as a scientific advisor to Aravis Ventures, a European life science venture capital fund and previously served as an advisor to the Lombard Odier Immunology Fund, where he evaluated numerous biotechnology companies over a fifteen-year span. Dr. Ulevitch serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Arvinas, Biodesy, Cidara, Cleave, Ideaya, Igenica, and Bird Rock Bio (previously Anaphore/RuiYi) as well as on the Board of PhaseRx. Dr. Ulevitch was formerly a member of Scientific Advisory Boards at Envoy (acquired by Takeda), Pulmatrix and Ikaria. Dr. Ulevitch received an A.B. from Washington and Jefferson College and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ulevitch is based in the Menlo Park, CA office.