About the Yamadas
The Yamadas trace their roots in the University of Michigan community to 1983, when Dr. Yamada arrived as the Medical School’s new chief of gastroenterology. In 1990, he was named chair of the department of Internal Medicine.
Departing the university in 1996, Dr. Yamada assumed leadership roles in the pharmaceutical industry, serving as chairman of research for GlaxoSmithKline and chief medical and scientific officer at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. He spent five years leading the global health program for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation before becoming a venture partner with Frazier Healthcare Partners in Seattle Washington, where he served until his passing in 2021.
Leslie Yamada graduated from the American School in Japan and earned a BA in Religious Studies from New York University. Following graduation from NYU, she embarked on a career in social service. She has a deep passion and commitment to the arts and to supporting her community. Leslie currently serves on the Board of the Pacific Northwest Ballet and is involved with the Recovery Café and the Washington Women’s Foundation.