Our People

Our People

Novan’s cutting-edge research and development comes from our team of dedicated scientists collaborating with top-level talent around the globe. We leverage our internal knowledge and external relationships to create a world-leading nitric oxide technology platform.

Our Leadership

John M. Gay

VP, Finance and Corporate Controller

John M. Gay
VP, Finance and Corporate Controller

John M. Gay serves as the Company’s Principal Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary. Mr. Gay joined Novan in May 2018 and has previously served as the Company’s Senior Director of Finance and Corporate Controller. Prior to Novan, Mr. Gay held director-level positions, including at Valassis Digital, a digital marketing technology company, and Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical development company. Prior to joining Furiex, Mr. Gay served in roles of increasing responsibility at Deloitte & Touche and Arthur Andersen, registered public accounting firms. He is a certified public accountant and holds Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and History and a Master’s in Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Carri Geer

SVP, Chief Technology Officer

Carri Geer
SVP, Chief Technology Officer

Carri Geer, Ph.D., leads drug substance, drug product, device and analytical development for Novan’s drug candidates. Additionally, Dr. Geer serves as the technical liaison for collaborative partnerships. Dr. Geer has 10 years of experience in pharmaceutical product development, and a background in analytical and bioanalytical chemistry. During her tenure at Novan, Dr. Geer has been responsible for establishing and growing the analytical capabilities of the company. Prior to joining Novan, Dr. Geer was employed at Merck and bridged the interface between R&D and cGMP analytical testing. Dr. Geer received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Tomoko Maeda-Chubachi

VP, Medical Dermatology

Tomoko Maeda-Chubachi
VP, Medical Dermatology

Tomoko Maeda-Chubachi, MD, PhD, MBA provides medical input to help drive the strategy, design, and execution of Novan’s development programs. Most recently, she served as senior medical director at GSK, leading clinical development projects for psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, pemphigus, and androgenic alopecia. Prior to GSK, she held clinical and medical affairs roles at Eli Lilly and Company and Pfizer, Inc. Dr. Maeda-Chubachi was an academic physician and dermatologist for ten years before entering the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Maeda-Chubachi received her MD and Ph.D. from Osaka University.

G. Kelly Martin

Chief Executive Officer

G. Kelly Martin
Chief Executive Officer

Kelly Martin is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Novan, Inc. Prior to joining Novan, Mr. Martin was CEO of Malin Corporation, a publicly listed company in Ireland investing in highly innovative life sciences companies around the world. He served as CEO of Elan, Ireland’s largest indigenous biotech company, from 2003 until its successful $8.6 billion sale to Perrigo Company in 2013. Mr. Martin’s professional career includes more than 20 years at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., where he held a broad array of operating and executive responsibilities. Mr. Martin serves as a non-executive director on a number of public and private company boards. Kelly is a graduate of Princeton University.

Elizabeth Messersmith

SVP, Chief Development Officer

Elizabeth Messersmith
SVP, Chief Development Officer

Elizabeth Messersmith, Ph.D is responsible for the oversight of Novan’s clinical, medical, statistical, and regulatory activities. Dr. Messersmith joined Novan in May 2018. Most recently, Dr. Messersmith held the position of Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations and Data Management, at Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to Quark, she held positions at Balance Therapeutics, Inc. and Elan Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Messersmith has a Bachelor’s and Master’s from the University of Kansas in Human Biology and Physiology, respectively, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the University of Texas Health Science at Houston.

Paula Brown Stafford

President and Chief Operating Officer

Paula Brown Stafford
President and Chief Operating Officer

Paula Brown Stafford, MPH, is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Novan, and is responsible for the translation of Novan’s nitric oxide technology across a range of therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Novan, she served as president of clinical development at Quintiles (now IQVIA), where she was responsible for global clinical development operations.

In addition to her role at Novan, Ms. Stafford continues to participate in other professional activities, including serving as a director at Health Decisions, Inc. and an adjunct professor in Public Health Leadership at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science and a Master’s in Public Health, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Board of Directors

Robert A. Ingram

Executive Chairman

Robert A. Ingram
Executive Chairman

Robert A. Ingram is the chairman of Novan’s Board of Directors and has served as a member of the company’s board since 2011. Since 2007, he has been a general partner at Hatteras Venture Partners, LLC, a venture capital firm. He held the roles of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of GlaxoWellcome until his retirement in 2009, when he became the Strategic Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer, GlaxoSmithKline Plc. Mr. Ingram serves as Chairman of the Board for both BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Viamet Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a private company focused on anti-infective research. He recently retired as Chairman of the Board of Cree, Inc., having served on its board for 10 years. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of HBM Healthcare Investments.

W. Kent Geer

Lead Independent Director

W. Kent Geer
Lead Independent Director

W. Kent Geer is a retired audit partner with Ernst & Young, LLP. His 37-year career working with public and private companies includes an extensive track record in a variety of industries including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and other technology companies. During his tenure, Mr. Geer was the audit practice leader for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Services Group in Raleigh, North Carolina and was the market team leader for the technology industry practice of the Carolinas. Beginning in 2012, Mr. Geer served as the Chairman of the Board of PowerSecure International, Inc. until the successful sale of the company in May 2016.

Robert J. Keegan

Robert J. Keegan

Robert Keegan is the former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, roles that he held until his retirement in 2010. Most recently, he was an operating partner of the San Francisco-based private equity firm Friedman, Fleischer & Lowe. From 1972 to 2000, Mr. Keegan held various marketing, financial and managerial posts at Eastman Kodak, except for a two-year period from when he worked as an Executive Vice President of the Avery Dennison Corporation. Mr. Keegan is Chairman of the Board of Loparex, Inc., serves on the boards of the Fuqua Business School and the Heart Center of Duke University, and is a partner at L&K Properties of North Carolina, LLC.

G. Kelly Martin

Chief Executive Officer

G. Kelly Martin
Chief Executive Officer

Kelly Martin is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Novan, Inc. Prior to joining Novan, Mr. Martin was CEO of Malin Corporation, a publicly listed company in Ireland investing in highly innovative life sciences companies around the world. He served as CEO of Elan, Ireland’s largest indigenous biotech company, from 2003 until its successful $8.6 billion sale to Perrigo Company in 2013. Mr. Martin’s professional career includes more than 20 years at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., where he held a broad array of operating and executive responsibilities. Mr. Martin serves as a non-executive director on a number of public and private company boards. Kelly is a graduate of Princeton University.

John Palmour

John Palmour

Dr. Palmour is a co-founder, the Chief Technology Officer, Power & RF, and a Vice President of Cree, Inc. Dr. Palmour has authored or co-authored more than 360 publications and is a co-inventor on 65 U.S. patents and 150 corresponding foreign patents. He has been a program manager or principal investigator on government research contracts to Cree totaling more than $160 million. Having served as a member of the Board of Directors of Cree for 15 years, Dr. Palmour has extensive experience and expertise in advancing innovation to broad-scale product commercialization.

Machelle Sanders

Machelle Sanders

Machelle Sanders is a seasoned executive with over 29 years of progressive pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience. Ms. Sanders is secretary of the N.C. Department of Administration, appointed by Governor Roy Cooper. In the private sector, Ms. Sanders was most recently responsible for the pharmaceutical operations and technology operational strategy for Biogen’s multiple sclerosis franchise (i.e. AVONEX™, PLEGRIDY™, TECFIDERA™, and TYSABRI™). She held the title of vice president of manufacturing and general manager of the company’s largest and most advanced manufacturing facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Ms. Sanders has also held leadership positions in manufacturing, global quality assurance and quality control at Biogen, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, and Diosynth-Akzo Nobel. She holds a bachelor of science degree in Biochemistry from North Carolina State University and a master of health administration from Pfeiffer University.

Paula Brown Stafford

President and Chief Operating Officer

Paula Brown Stafford
President and Chief Operating Officer

Paula Brown Stafford, MPH, is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Novan, and is responsible for the translation of Novan’s nitric oxide technology across a range of therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Novan, she served as president of clinical development at Quintiles (now IQVIA), where she was responsible for global clinical development operations.

In addition to her role at Novan, Ms. Stafford continues to participate in other professional activities, including serving as a director at Health Decisions, Inc. and an adjunct professor in Public Health Leadership at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science and a Master’s in Public Health, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Eugene Sun

Eugene Sun

Dr. Sun currently serves as Senior Vice President of Research and Development at the TB Alliance, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the discovery, development and delivery of drugs for the treatment of tuberculosis. He was previously Senior Medical Advisor to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Sun served as the Chief Executive Officer for Melinta Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on antibiotics, from 2015 to 2017 and as its Executive Vice President from 2013 to 2015. Prior to joining Melinta, Dr. Sun served for 17 years and held senior positions at Abbott Laboratories, a multinational healthcare company, most recently as Corporate Vice President, Global Pharmaceutical Clinical Development. From 2001 to 2007, Dr. Sun served on the FDA Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee, a panel of independent infectious disease experts.

Scientific Advisors

Novan’s current Scientific Advisors are key opinion leaders with broad expertise across therapeutic areas. Novan has recruited these leading and well-respected physicians to provide medical advice and drug development insight to the company’s senior leadership team and board of directors. Additional experts will be added as appropriate to support new areas of research and development.

Lawrence Eichenfield, MD

Pediatric Dermatology

Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield, chairman of Novan’s Advisory Council, is chief of pediatric and adolescent dermatology at Rady Children’s Hospital–San Diego, vice chair of the Department of Dermatology and professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine.

Dr. Eichenfield received his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, was a pediatric resident and chief resident at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and completed his dermatology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Eichenfield’s clinical interests include atopic dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, vascular lesions including port wine stains and hemangiomas, neonatal dermatology, laser surgery, nevi and skin signs of systemic disease. He has authored more than 300 journal articles, chapters, abstracts, and books on these topics, and has served as the senior editor of Neonatal and Infant Dermatology, published by Elsevier, as well as The Eczemas, published by Summit Communications. He is also editor-in-chief of Pediatric Dermatology and serves on the editorial boards of multiple journals and periodicals. He has been named one of the “Best Doctors in America” since 1994. Dr. Eichenfield is past president of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology and a past board member of the American Academy of Dermatology, as well as chair for the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Eichenfield is also a founding board member of the American Acne and Rosacea Society. He is a founder and co-chair of the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance.

Brian Berman, MD, PhD

Antiviral

Dr. Brian Berman is professor emeritus of dermatology and cutaneous surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is vice president of both the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology Association, and vice president of the American Dermatological Association. He has held many leadership positions including vice chairman of the Department of Dermatology at The University of California, Davis and chairman of the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center of Florida in Miami Beach. He is past president and founder of the National Association of Veterans Affairs Dermatologists and chaired the Dermatology Field Advisory Group for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He also serves on numerous scientific advisory/editorial boards, including the European Journal of Dermatology and the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.

In addition to caring for patients at Skin and Cancer Associates in Aventura, Florida, Dr. Berman teaches at the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He also serves as co-director of the Center for Clinical and Cosmetic Research, where he continues his broad-based clinical research program while focusing laboratory investigations on the study of the control of scarring. He has presented at more than 300 dermatologic societies and meetings and has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific and clinical articles, chapters, and books. He is the recipient of the Dean’s Senior Faculty Clinical Research Award from UMMSM, was bestowed the “Scientist of the Year” Award from Sigma Xi, a Science and Research Honor Society, and is included in U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Doctors in America.”

Diane Thiboutot, MD

Acne

Dr. Diane Thiboutot is a board-certified dermatologist who graduated from Penn State College of Medicine and completed her Residency in Dermatology at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. She is currently Director of Clinical and Transitional Science Research Education, Professor of Dermatology, and Vice-Chair for Research for Dermatology at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA.

Dr. Thiboutot and her team are continuously conducting mild, moderate and/or severe acne vulgaris studies to enhance the treatment options for teens and adults who suffer from acne. The studies have involved several combinations of investigational and/or FDA approved topical and/or oral medication. Additionally, her clinical trials office has fully executed research studies applying topical and oral medications, both Investigational and FDA approved products, for rosacea.

She is Co-Director of the Penn State MD/PhD program. Dr. Thiboutot is a reviewer for the National Institute of Health as well as several dermatology journals. She directs an active basic and clinical research program with the support from the NIH and sponsorship from large and small pharmaceutical firms as an independent clinical/scientific consultant. She is a member of the AOA Honor Medical Society She is a member of the AOA Honor Medical Society She is a member of the AOA Honor Medical Society.

Eric Simpson, MD

Inflammatory Skin Disease

Dr. Eric Simpson is a board-certified dermatologist who graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He additionally received a master’s degree of Clinical Research from Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Simpson practices medical dermatology with special interests in chronic inflammatory skin diseases and skin cancer. He is actively involved in clinical research and is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health and industry partners to study new approaches to chronic skin disease treatment and prevention.

Dr. Simpson’s collaborations are global in scope and has been invited to present his research and approach to patient care at international conferences in Europe, North and South America, and Asia. He has published over 80 scientific articles in several high-impact peer-reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. Dr. Simpson supports patient advocacy by serving as the Co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the National Eczema Association. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Harmonizing Outcome Measures in Eczema (HOME)- a volunteer group of patients, providers, and other stakeholders whose mission is to improve the quality of eczema research to better suit the needs of patients and policy-makers.

William Hoekstra, PhD

Medicinal Chemistry

Dr. Bill Hoekstra is a medicinal chemist who received his graduate degree in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from Emory University and his bachelor’s of science degree from Hope College, MI.

He has contributed to the discovery of products and product candidates in the pharmaceutical industry since 1987. He spent his most recent eleven years with Viamet Pharmaceuticals and previously worked with GSK, J&J and Merrell Dow, all in the area of medicinal chemistry.

Dr. Hoekstra has been the inventor or program leader for a number of clinical assets in the areas of anti-fungal, anti-cancer, anti-thrombotic, anti-cirrhotic and anti-mold. He has been the principal inventor on 59 issued U.S. Patents. He is the co-editor of the journal Current Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Hoekstra has been author or co-author of over 70 publications.