David Parkinson, M.D.
Chairman and Scientific Co-Founder
Biotechnology industry veteran Dr. Parkinson is a co-founder and board member of Refuge. He also currently serves as CEO for ESSA Pharmaceutical, a clinical-stage company focused on cancer. Dr. Parkinson is fluent in the development, clinical and regulatory path needed to bring innovative cancer therapies to market. He was most recently a venture partner at the venture firm NEA, CEO of biotech company Nodality, and senior vice president of oncology R&D at Biogen Idec. He also previously served as vice president of R&D at Amgen, vice president of oncology development at Novartis, and as chairman of the FDA’s biologics advisory committee. 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. He earned his M.D. from University of Toronto.