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

Paula Brown Stafford

President, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman

Paula Brown Stafford
President, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman

Paula Brown Stafford, MPH, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Novan. Ms. Stafford also serves as Chairman of the Novan Board of Directors. Prior to joining Novan, in March 2017, Ms. Stafford was President of Clinical Development at Quintiles (now IQVIA). In this role, Ms. Stafford was responsible for global clinical development operations. While at Quintiles, Ms. Stafford was a member of the Executive Committee, the Technology Investment Committee, and a Board Observer. In addition to her role at Novan, Ms. Stafford serves on the board of Health Decisions, Inc. and is an adjunct professor in Public Health Leadership at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ms. Stafford holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Public Health, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a specialization in Biostatistics.

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.

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.

Board of Directors

Paula Brown Stafford

President, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman

Paula Brown Stafford
President, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman

Paula Brown Stafford, MPH, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Novan. Ms. Stafford also serves as Chairman of the Novan Board of Directors. Prior to joining Novan, in March 2017, Ms. Stafford was President of Clinical Development at Quintiles (now IQVIA). In this role, Ms. Stafford was responsible for global clinical development operations. While at Quintiles, Ms. Stafford was a member of the Executive Committee, the Technology Investment Committee, and a Board Observer. In addition to her role at Novan, Ms. Stafford serves on the board of Health Decisions, Inc. and is an adjunct professor in Public Health Leadership at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ms. Stafford holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Public Health, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a specialization in Biostatistics.

Robert A. Ingram

Robert A. Ingram

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.

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.

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.

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.