We use our science to reinvent how therapies are created with a goal to meaningfully improve patients’ lives.

Neoleukin is a pioneer in de novo protein development, leveraging computational methods to create new therapies. This new approach has unlimited potential to treat human disease by improving on nature, designing for life. We are building a company with a vibrant and inclusive culture that we believe will make a meaningful impact for patients, our people and our community.

An experienced team of distinguished innovators, scientists and industry leaders.


Jonathan Drachman, MD

Chief Executive Officer & President

Jonathan Drachman photoJonathan is a seasoned clinician, researcher, and biopharmaceutical executive who joined Neoleukin at the company’s founding in 2018. For 14 years prior, he was at Seattle Genetics, where he most recently served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development. From 1998 to 2004, Dr. Drachman was a faculty member of the Division of Hematology at the University of Washington in Seattle, and a Senior Investigator in the Division of Research and Education at Puget Sound Blood Center. He currently serves on the board of directors for Calithera Biosciences and Harpoon Therapeutics. Dr. Drachman received a BA in Biochemistry from Harvard University and an MD from Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Washington.

Priti Patel, M.D., M.S.

Chief Medical Officer

Priti Patel photoDr. Patel is an experienced clinical leader with a successful track record in development of oncology therapeutics. She is former Vice President, Head of Hematology Clinical Development at AstraZeneca and served as Senior Medical Director and Executive Medical Director at Acerta Pharma before its acquisition by AstraZeneca. During her time at AstraZeneca and Acerta, Dr. Patel led clinical development strategy and trial execution of investigational therapeutics for blood cancers, including leading studies for acalabrutinib as monotherapy and combination therapy for solid tumors and hematological cancers with global approvals in chronic lymphocytic leukemia and mantle cell lymphoma. Prior to that, Dr. Patel served as Medical Director at Onyx Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Amgen) where she helped guide strategic clinical development efforts in the development and approval of carfilzomib, an FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Dr. Patel has co-authored numerous scientific papers in peer reviewed medical journals. She received her B.A. and Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and her M.D. from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Dr. Patel completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and post-doctoral fellowships in hematology and medical oncology at Stanford University Hospital.

Carl Walkey, PhD

Senior Vice President of Corporate Development

Carl Walkey photoCarl brings scientific, product, and business development experience spanning multiple industries. Prior to joining Neoleukin Therapeutics, he served as a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Protein Design, where he led projects focused on the application of computational protein design to address unmet needs in oncology and autoimmunity. In 2014, he co-founded Ansible Marketing, which develops machine learning tools to automate omni-channel communications for small and medium businesses. Over the past decade, Dr. Walkey has co-authored over a dozen research works and received numerous prestigious scholarships and awards, including the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship and NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Walkey received his PhD from the University of Toronto, where he applied machine learning to develop enhanced nanomedicines for drug delivery and vaccine development.

Samantha Willing

Senior Vice President, People & culture

Samantha Willing photoSamantha brings over 20 years of human resources experience spanning the hospitality, hi-tech and biotech industries. This includes roles at Limeade, a Bellevue-based technology company, Seattle Genetics, and Microsoft. In addition, Willing has operated an executive coaching business for 10 years and studied Business and Human Resources at Washington State University.

Bill Arthur

Vice President and Head of Research

Bill Arthur photoDr. Arthur is an experienced leader in the development of oncology therapeutics. His career includes a decade at Seagen, most recently as Senior Director & Head of Cancer Biology, where he directed research efforts on therapeutic candidates, from discovery through clinical development, utilizing novel platform technologies, including antibody-drug conjugates with cytotoxic and immunostimulatory mechanisms, antibody-like scaffolds, and small molecule inhibitors. Prior to Seagen, Dr. Arthur worked at Merck & Co. and Rosetta Inpharmatics, leading the discovery of oncology targets, predictive biomarkers and synergistic drug combinations. Dr. Arthur received his B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Western Washington University and Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of North Carolina. He completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Donna Cochener

General Counsel, Senior Vice President Legal

Donna Cochener photoDonna brings a wealth of legal experience in corporate and securities law. She is former Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel at HomeStreet, Inc., the parent company of HomeStreet Bank. In that role, she was primarily responsible for corporate governance, securities reporting and compliance matters, and also served as lead attorney on a range of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity financings. Prior to her position with HomeStreet, Donna was a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP in Seattle, and worked as an associate at the Seattle offices of Heller Ehrman, LLP, Riddell Williams, P.S. and Perkins Coie, LLP.

Board of Directors

Martin Babler

Board Member

Mr. Babler is President and Chief Executive Officer of Principia Biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRNB). In August 2020, Principia and Sanofi entered into a definitive acquisition agreement valued at approximately $3.7 billion. Mr. Babler previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Talima Therapeutics from 2007 to 2011. Prior to this, Mr. Babler was a senior executive at Genentech including Vice President, Immunology Sales and Marketing. During his time at Genentech, he oversaw the Commercial Development organization and led the Cardiovascular Marketing organization.Mr. Babler began his pharmaceutical industry career at Eli Lilly and Company. He holds a Swiss Federal Diploma in Pharmacy from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Mr. Babler graduated from the Executive Development Program at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Cantey Boyd

Board Member

Ms. Boyd serves as a Managing Director of Baker Bros. Advisors LP, a registered investment adviser focused on long-term investments in life-sciences companies. Prior to joining Baker Bros. Advisors LP in 2005, she was an Analyst in the Health Care Investment Banking Group of Deutsche Bank Securities from 2002 to 2004. Ms. Boyd graduated with an AB in business-economics from Brown University.

Jonathan Drachman, MD

Board Member

Dr. Drachman is a seasoned clinician, researcher, and biopharmaceutical executive who joined Neoleukin at the company’s founding in 2018. For 14 years prior, he was at Seattle Genetics, where he most recently served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development. From 1998 to 2004, Dr. Drachman was a faculty member of the Division of Hematology at the University of Washington in Seattle, and a Senior Investigator in the Division of Research and Education at Puget Sound Blood Center. He currently serves on the board of directors for Calithera Biosciences and Harpoon Therapeutics. Dr. Drachman received a BA in Biochemistry from Harvard University and an MD from Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Washington.

Erin Lavelle

Board Member

Ms. Lavelle has more than 20 years of strategic and operational leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. She has served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Eliem Therapeutics, a Seattle-based neurology therapeutics company, since October 2020. Ms. Lavelle previously served as Chief Operating Officer for Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. from April of 2018 until February 2020, shortly after its $2.3bn acquisition by H. Lundbeck. Prior to Alder, she held a variety of roles during 15 years at Amgen Inc. In her last role at Amgen, she served as General Manager of Amgen’s Taiwan affiliate. Prior to that role, Ms. Lavelle was based in Hong Kong as an Executive Director for the Japan Asia-Pacific region, leading Commercial Excellence and Digital Health. Before her time in Asia, she held roles as an Executive Director in the areas of Global Marketing, Global Commercial Finance, and Strategy & Corporate Development. Ms. Lavelle began her career in 1998 as an investment banker in the healthcare group at Merrill Lynch & Co. Ms. Lavelle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Yale University.

Sarah Noonberg, MD, PhD

Board Member

Dr. Noonberg has more than 15 years of industry experience leading development programs from discovery to commercialization across a range of indications. She is currently Chief Medical Officer at Maze Therapeutics working to translate insights from human genetics into new therapeutics. Prior to joining Maze she was Chief Medical Officer at Nohla Therapeutics leading development of a universal cell therapy for hematologic malignancies. Other executive leadership roles have included Head of Global Clinical Development at BioMarin where she advanced a broad portfolio of development programs for rare genetically-defined diseases, and Senior Vice President at Medivation where she led translational and early development activities as well as late stage development of enzalutamide (XTANDI™) for advanced prostate cancer. Dr. Noonberg currently serves on the Board of Directors at Protagonist Therapeutics and is a member of the audit committee. She trained in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins, received an MD from the University of California, San Francisco, a PhD in bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS in engineering science from Dartmouth College.

Rohan Palekar

Board Member

Mr. Palekar’s career in the biopharmaceuticals industry spans more than 30 years. He joined 89Bio in 2018 as the company’s first Chief Executive Officer. Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of Avanir Pharmaceuticals after a series of leadership roles in commercial and operations. Prior to Avanir, Rohan served as the Chief Commercial Officer of Medivation. Earlier in his career, Rohan spent 16 years at Johnson & Johnson in various senior commercial and strategic management roles including worldwide VP of immunology. Mr. Rohan holds an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College, a Chartered Accountant certification and degrees in law and accounting from the University of Bombay.

Todd Simpson

Board Member

Mr. Simpson has held executive management positions across a range of biotechnology companies and brings more than 35 years of experience to the board driving growth and transformation. Since October 2005, he has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Seattle Genetics, Inc., a global, multi-product oncology company. Previously, he served from October 2001 to October 2005 as Vice President, Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer of Targeted Genetics Corporation. From January 1996 to October 2001, Mr. Simpson served as Vice President, Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer of Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. From August 1995 to December 1995, he served as Treasurer of Integra LifeSciences Corporation, which acquired Telios Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in August 1995. From 1992 until its acquisition by Integra, he served as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Telios and in various other finance-related positions. Mr. Simpson is a certified public accountant (inactive), and from 1983 to 1992 he practiced public accounting with the firm of Ernst & Young LLP. Mr. Simpson received a BS in accounting and computer science from Oregon State University.

Scientific Advisory Board

David Baker, PhD

Dr. Baker is the Henrietta and Aubrey Davis Endowed Professor in Biochemistry, Director of the Institute for Protein Design, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and adjunct professor of Genome Sciences, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics at the University of Washington. His research group is a world leader in computational protein design and protein structure prediction. Dr. Baker received young investigator awards from the National Science Foundation and the Beckman Foundation, and the Packard Foundation fellowship in Science and Engineering. He has also received the Irving Sigal Young Investigator award from the Protein Society and the Overton Prize from the International Society of Computational Biology. He is a recipient of the Feynman Prize from the Foresight Institute, the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland prize, the Sackler prize in biophysics, and the Centenary award from the Biochemical society. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences. He received his PhD degree in Biochemistry with Randy Schekman at the University of California, Berkeley and did postdoctoral work in Biophysics with David Agard at UCSF.

Michael Dougan, MD, PhD

Dr. Dougan serves as Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an assistant in Medicine, Division of gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital. As an independent investigator, Dr. Dougan has focused his research efforts on understanding the etiology and immune mechanisms underlying the immune-related adverse events (irAEs) resulting from cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Dougan received his MD and PhD from Harvard Medical School.

Marion Pepper, PhD

Dr. Pepper serves as Associate Professor, Immunology in the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington. Dr. Pepper’s research focuses on adaptive immune responses. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Biology and English from Williams College and received her PhD in Immunology in 2006 from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota and joined the Department of Immunology as an Assistant Professor in 2011.

Gonçalo Bernardes, PhD

Dr. Bernardes is a Group Leader at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, U.K. He is also the Director of the Chemical Biology and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Unit at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Portugal. After completing his D.Phil. degree in 2008 at the University of Oxford, U.K., he undertook postdoctoral work at the Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany, and the ETH Zürich, Switzerland, and worked as a Group Leader at Alfama Lda in Portugal. He started his independent research career in 2013, and his research group tackles a range of biological problems of fundamental importance to understand and fight human disease primarily through the use of chemistry principles. He is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and the awardee of a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (TagIt).

Ingrid Swanson Pultz, PhD

Ingrid Swanson Pultz, Ph.D. is Chief Scientific Officer and a Founder at PvP Biologics, Inc. She received her Ph.D. degree in microbiology with Dr. Samuel Miller at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle and performed her postdoctoral work in computational enzyme design with Dr. David Baker at the UW, before accepting a faculty position as a Translational Investigator at the Institute for Protein Design (IPD). At the IPD, Dr. Pultz’s lab developed Kuma062, an enzyme meant as a therapeutic for celiac disease, that was based on a prototype molecule initially generated for the iGEM undergraduate competition for which Dr. Pultz was an advisor. PvP Biologics was founded to pursue the clinical development of Kuma062, and led by Dr. Pultz until spinout from the UW in late 2016. She now acts as head of the PvP Laboratory based in Seattle, and works with the PvP Development Team located in San Diego. Dr. Pultz has received several awards including an Innovator of the Year award from the Seattle Health Innovation Forum.

Greg Thurber, PhD

Dr. Thurber serves as Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Education in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research is focused on molecular imaging agent design in order to generate novel compounds that may assist with disease diagnoses and monitoring of treatment outcomes, as well as quantitative pharmacology to maximize therapeutic efficacy of therapeutic molecules. Dr. Thurber received his PhD in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a BS in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Pennsylvania State University.

Corporate Responsibility

At Neoleukin, we are committed to developing therapeutics that will have a meaningful impact on patients. We strive to do this in a sustainable way by establishing a value-based culture with a focus on our people and our community.

Read more about our commitment to Corporate Responsibility


General Inquiries




News & Media




Collaborations & Partnerships


Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc.

188 East Blaine, Suite 450
Seattle WA 98102
(855) 226-6447

photo of the lobby of the Neoleukin offices