Board of Directors

H. Stewart Parker

Executive Chair

Stewart is an experienced Seattle biotech executive. She has served as CEO of the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) and remains on their Board. Stewart founded Targeted Genetics Corporation (Nasdaq: TGEN) in 1992, a Seattle-based biotechnology company formed to develop gene-based treatments for acquired and inherited disease. She held the position of President and CEO from the company’s inception until November of 2008. Prior to founding Targeted Genetics, Stewart held various positions at Immunex Corp. from 1981-1992, ending her tenure there as VP of Corporate Development. Stewart currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for several for-profit and non-profit institutions, including the WBBA. Ms. Parker received her B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Washington.


Timothy S. Nelson

Independent Director

Tim served as MAP Pharmaceuticals’ President and Chief Executive Officer and as a Member of its Board of Directors from April 2005 until March 2013 when the company was acquired by Allergan for $960 million. From 1998 to 2005, Tim served as Senior Vice President of Commercial and Business Development at DURECT Corporation. From 1992 to 1998, Tim held various senior management positions with Medtronic, including Business Director of the Neurological Division for Europe, the Middle East and Africa from 1996 to 1998, and Manager of Drug Delivery Ventures from 1992-1996. Tim has served on other Boards of Directors, including as Chairman of the Board of Civitas, a private biopharmaceutical company focused on treating undermet medical needs in neurological indications, from December 2013 to October 2014, when the company was acquired by Acorda Therapeutics for $525 million. Tim also served on the Board of Directors of Surmodics, a public medical technology company, from February 2014 to March 2015. Tim earned a Masters degree in Management with distinction from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

James W. Young, PhD

Jim joined 5AM Ventures in 2006 as a Venture Partner. Dr. Young has been involved with Sunesis since 2000, as Chief Executive Officer, Executive Chairman and currently as Chairman. Prior to Sunesis, Jim was Senior Vice President, Research and Development and Group Vice President at ALZA Corporation. Before joining ALZA, Jim was President of the Pharmaceuticals Division of Affymax, N.V., and Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Pharmaceuticals Division at Sepracor. Previously, Jim was Vice President of Research at Zoecon/Sandoz Crop Protection Corporation. He is currently a Director of Chrono Therapeutics and Portal Instruments. Jim served as Executive Chairman and then as a Director of Pearl until its acquisition by AstraZeneca. He was also a Director of Incline (acquired by The Medicines Company). Jim earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Fordham University and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Cornell University. Jim is based in the San Francisco, CA office.

Aaron Royston, M.D.

Aaron Royston, M.D., M.B.A. is a Partner at venBio with a background in life science investing, healthcare strategy, and as an entrepreneur. Aaron previously led venBio’s Fund II investment into Apellis Pharmaceuticals and currently serves as a director on the boards of Impel NeuroPharma, Menlo Therapeutics, Harmony Biosciences and Neurogastrx.

Prior to joining venBio, Aaron was a member of the investment team at Vivo Capital, a life science venture capital firm. While at Vivo, he was involved in the firm’s investments in Biotie Therapies (Nasdaq: BITI, acquired by Acorda), RegenxBio (Nasdaq:RGNX), and Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, among others. Previously, he worked at Bain & Company, where he advised biotechnology companies on a range of strategic and operational issues. Earlier in his career, Aaron coordinated clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where his research has been published and presented in multiple medical journals and conferences.

Aaron received his B.S. in biological sciences from Duke University, and his M.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. While a student, he founded and launched a technology company that was acquired after receiving multiple awards and funding from the New York City Economic Development Corporation. In 2010, Aaron was recognized by the United States White House as a Champion of Change for his work in Technology and Innovation. Aaron is active in the community and currently serves on the board of SFBWS, an environmental non-profit authorized by Congress to support the education, interpretation, and research of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Mahendra G. Shah, Ph.D.

Mahendra is a highly successful pharmaceutical entrepreneur and executive who has been at Vivo Capital since March 2010. He is also the founder and executive chairman of Semnur Pharmaceuticals. Mahendra currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Essentialis Therapeutics, Board Member of Biotie Therapies (NASDAQ: BITI), and a Member of the Board of Trustees of St. John’s University. He is also a Board Member and Charter Member of EPPIC and a Charter Member of TIE.

From September 2005 to December 2009, he was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, a pediatric-focused specialty pharmaceutical company, which was sold to Pfizer for a total of $700 million in upfront and milestone payments. From 1993 to May 2003, he was the Chairman and CEO of First Horizon Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company, where he raised over $200 million and built a highly profitable company before it was sold to Shionogi Pharmaceuticals for $1.4 billion. From 1991 to October 1999, he was Vice President of E. J. Financial Enterprises, Inc., which manages a fund that invests in healthcare companies.

Jon Congleton

President & CEO

Jon has over thirty years of pharmaceutical experience with an emphasis on strategic execution, general management, and commercialization. Jon was an initial member of the Teva team responsible for the launch of Copaxone. During his time at Teva he held commercial and general management roles; both in Canada and the United States. Jon then moved into corporate strategy roles focused on Teva’s branded business. Jon then moved to Nivalis, a start-up focused on cystic fibrosis, as CEO where he led a successful IPO and clinical development program. Jon has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Kansas State University.


John Hoekman

Co-founder and CSO

John has spent the last 10 years investigating intranasal drug delivery to the brain. He started this work at the Alzheimer’s Research Center in St. Paul, MN under Dr. William H. Frey II. John then attended graduate school at the University of Washington, where he invented the POD technology and made contributions to understanding intranasal drug delivery to the brain. To further advance his work, John co-founded Impel in 2008 while still in graduate school. He holds a BS in Physics from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Washington.