Board of Directors

Board of Directors

  • Christy Shaffer, Ph.D.

    Christy Shaffer, Ph.D.

    Chairperson of the Board

    Venture Partner and Managing Director of Hatteras Discover
    Dr. Shaffer has served as a director of our company and as the chairman of our board of directors since January 2012. Since 2011, Dr. Shaffer has served as a Venture Partner with Hatteras Venture Partners, an investment firm, and as Managing Director of Hatteras Discovery, which invests in early-stage companies in the life sciences industry sector. From 1995 to March 2010, Dr. Shaffer served in increasing leadership positions at Inspire Pharmaceuticals, a publicly held biopharmaceutical company, beginning as the company’s first full-time employee and Director of Clinical Operations and eventually being appointed as Chief Executive Officer and a director of the company in 1999, as its President in 2005 and a member of its Development Committee in 2009. Prior to Inspire, she was a clinical research scientist, international project leader and Associate Director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Burroughs Wellcome Co. Dr. Shaffer currently serves in leadership roles on several non-profit boards, including as chair of the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center’s advisory board, on the Board of Trustees for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and as chair of the board of CFF Therapeutic, Inc. Dr. Shaffer is a receptor pharmacologist by training, earning her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Tennessee’s Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee. She completed post-doctoral training at The Chicago Medical School as well as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Gerald D. Cagle, Ph.D.

    Chief Operating Officer, Cognoptix, Inc.

    Former SVP, R&D and Chief Scientific Officer, Alcon Laboratories, Inc.
    Dr. Cagle has served on our board of directors since July 2013. Dr. Cagle has served as Chief Operating Officer at Cognoptix, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, since December 2008. He is also Senior Advisor and Head of Business Development for GrayBug, LLC, a platform drug delivery company. Previously, Dr. Cagle served as Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Alcon Laboratories, Inc., from 1997 to 2008, assuming the responsibility of Chief Scientific Officer in 2006. He currently serves on the board of directors of Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly held biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Cagle has also served on the Wilmer Eye Institute Advisory Council and is a member of the ARVO Foundation Board of Governors. Dr. Cagle received his B.S. degree from Wayland College and earned M.S and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Texas.
  • Richard Croarkin

    Richard Croarkin

    Former SVP, CFO, Corporate Strategy Officer, Alcon, Inc.

    Mr. Croarkin served as the Chief Financial Officer of Nestlé Health Science S.A., a division of Nestlé focused on medicalized nutrition solutions for chronic medical conditions. Prior to this, Mr. Croarkin was Senior Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer & Corporate Strategy Officer at Alcon, Inc., which was the world’s leading ophthalmic pharmaceutical and medical device company before its acquisition by Novartis in 2011. Before Alcon, Mr. Croarkin served as EVP and CFO of Nestlé Waters North America after working for Pepsico Incorporated for 11 years where he served in several global senior financial positions including Chief Financial Officer of Pepsi-Cola Latin America and Pepsi-Cola Canada. Mr. Croarkin began his career with AMAX, Inc. where he worked in treasury, corporate development and planning. He holds a BA in Economics from Georgetown University, an MBA in Finance from the University of Connecticut and a Diploma in French language from Alliance Francaise in Paris, France. Mr. Croarkin is currently a Director on the Board of Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and also serves as a panelist on the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Panel.
    Financial Expert
  • W. Humphries

    William D. Humphries

    Executive Vice President of Ortho Dermatologic

    Mr. Humphries has served as a director of our company since January 2012. Since January 2017, he has served as Executive Vice President, Ortho Dermatologic. From March 2012 to December 2016, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the North American business of Merz, Inc., an affiliate of Merz Pharma Group, a specialty healthcare company. From 2006 to March 2012, he served in a number of leadership positions with Stiefel Laboratories, Inc., a dermatology pharmaceutical company, including as its Chief Commercial Officer and then as its President beginning in 2008. Stiefel was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2009. After the acquisition, Mr. Humphries served as the President of Dermatology for Stiefel from 2009 until March 2012. Before Stiefel, Mr. Humphries served in executive roles in sales and marketing, business development, and international marketing for Allergan, Inc., concluding as vice president of its U.S. skincare business. Mr. Humphries currently serves on the board of Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly traded company. Mr. Humphries has served on the board of ZARS Pharma, the GlaxoSmithKline Portfolio Investment Board and the GlaxoSmithKline Ophthalmology Board. Mr. Humphries received his M.B.A. degree from Pepperdine University and a B.A. degree from Bucknell University. Our board of directors believes that Mr. Humphries’ experience as pharmaceutical company executive provides him with the qualifications and skills to serve as a director of our company.

  • Lasezkay

    George Lasezkay, Pharm.D., J.D.

    Board Member

    Dr. Lasezkay has served as a director of our company since August 2017. Dr. Lasezkay has an accomplished history of success in the life sciences industry. For the past 15 years, he has served as an independent director on the boards of a number of domestic and foreign emerging biopharmaceutical companies, both public and private. Dr. Lasezkay currently serves on the board of directors of TheraVida, Inc., a clinical stage drug development company. Previously, Dr. Lasezkay served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel at Acucela Inc., a development stage company that specializes in identifying and developing novel ophthalmic therapeutics. For the 12 years prior to joining Acucela, he was President of Horizon Pharma Group, a private life sciences consultancy practice. Prior to his private consultancy practice, Dr. Lasezkay was Corporate Vice President for Corporate Development at Allergan, Inc., the global pharmaceutical and medical aesthetics company. His 13 years of progressive experience at Allergan includes a number of executive leadership positions, including being a member of the company’s Executive Committee, Assistant General Counsel for Commercial Affairs, and General Counsel for the Asia-Pacific Region. In these positions, he played a critical role in developing corporate strategy and was responsible for a wide variety of licensing, R&D collaboration and acquisition transactions involving new technologies, products and companies. Earning B.S. Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a J.D. degree from the Southern California Gould School of Law, Dr. Lasezkay also has a multi-disciplinary background in private firm and in-house legal practice, hospital pharmacy practice, clinical pharmacokinetics consultation and clinical drug research. Our board of directors believes that Dr. Lasezkay’s unique combination of clinical, legal and executive expertise, and his diverse experience working with a number of emerging biopharmaceutical companies provides him with the qualifications and skills to serve as a director of our company.

    • Clay B. Thorp

      General Partner, Hatteras Venture Partners

      Mr. Thorp has served as a director of our company since January 2012. In 2001, Mr. Thorp co-founded and has since served as General Partner of Hatteras Venture Partners, an investment firm, where he leads investments in a range of life science companies in the biopharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics and research informatics sectors. Previously, he was instrumental in the founding of several life sciences companies, including serving as co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Synthematix, Inc., a chemistry informatics company that was acquired by Symyx Technologies in 2005, co-founder and former Chairman of PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., co-founder and head of corporate development for Novalon Pharmaceutical Corporation, which was sold to Karo Bio in 2000, and co-founder and president of Xanthon, Inc., a bioinformatics company with electro-chemical detection technology for direct analysis of DNA, RNA and proteins. Mr. Thorp holds a Masters of Public Policy from Harvard University and a B.A. degree in Mathematics and History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
      • Daniel H. White

        President and Chief Executive Officer

        Mr. White is the founder of our company and has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our board of directors since our inception in May 2011. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. White served as Executive Director, Global Corporate Development, for Stiefel Laboratories, Inc., a dermatology pharmaceutical company acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2009. From 2007 to 2008, he co-founded and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Percept BioScience, Inc., a biotechnology company. In 2003, Mr. White co-founded, and until 2007 served as Vice President of Finance and Corporate Development of Alimera Sciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on ophthalmology. Previously he was Head of Business Development and Licensing for CIBA Vision, a Novartis company, and Director of Licensing and Business Development for AAIPharma. Mr. White holds an M.B.A. degree from Wake Forest University and a B.S. degree in molecular biology from Auburn University.
        • Evgeny Zaytsev, M.D., Ph.D.

          Managing Partner, PMI Partners

          Dr. Zaytsev is a venture capitalist with more than twelve years’ investment experience in life sciences. Before joining RMI Partners (the management company for RusnanoMedInvest) he was a general partner at Palo-Alto, CA-based Helix Ventures, which he co-founded to exclusively invest in novel therapeutic opportunities in biopharmaceuticals and medical devices. Prior to Helix Dr. Zaytsev was a partner of the venture capital pioneer Pitch Johnson at Asset Management Company, one of the oldest venture firms in Silicon Valley. He has been involved in more than 30 investments in biomedical companies, including such success stories of venture capital as BiPar Sciences (acquired by Sanofi-Aventis), Chimerix (NADSDAQ: CMRX), Enteric Medical Technologies (acquired by Boston Scientific), Fusion Medical Technologies (acquired by Baxter International), MicroVention (acquired by Terumo Corporation), TriVascular (acquired by Boston Scientific). He has been a Board Member of a number of companies in Silicon Valley and Russia. Dr. Zaytsev has been Chief Scientific Officer of Institute of Medico-Ecological Problems in Barnaul, Siberia, Russia, responsible for studying the health and environmental effects of the former Soviet Union’s nuclear tests. Under his leadership the Institute developed into an internationally recognized research center. Dr. Zaytsev is an active business community leader, a founder and the first president of US-Russia Technology Symposium at Stanford University (now Global Technology Symposium), and the annual Silicon Valley Open Doors investment conference. Dr. Zaytsev is an author of more than 70 scientific and business publications on entrepreneurship, venture capital and biotechnology. Evgeny Zaytsev received his M.D. (cum laude) in 1991 and his Ph.D. in physiology in 1993, both from the Altai State Medical University. He earned his M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2002.

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