Nacuity Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage leader in innovative treatments for oxidative stress. The company’s powerful, targeted therapies aim to stop oxidative tissue damage, a driver of blinding eye diseases and a broad spectrum of serious chronic conditions. Nacuity has several highly differentiated clinical programs, including retinitis pigmentosa, cataract, and cystinosis. The company is pursuing near-term proof-of-concept data in all three programs.

Nacuity seeks to expand the science and clinical potential for prescription products addressing diseases and conditions involving oxidative stress. This largely unaddressed disease mechanism is potentially a key factor in maladies ranging from ophthalmic diseases and conditions, both rare and prevalent, to many serious non-ophthalmic diseases and conditions associated with aging, neurodegeneration and cellular dysfunction.

Based in Fort Worth, TX, Nacuity is founded by veterans of Alcon Laboratories experienced in research, development, and commercialization of products to address ophthalmic disease and conditions. The company’s core science is based on the extensive research of Dr. Peter Campochiaro of the Wilmer Eye Institute involving oxidative stress in the retina. Nacuity has key backing and technical support from Foundation Fighting Blindness and RD Fund, the world’s leading private funders of retinal disease research.


Halden Conner

Chairman, CEO, Co-Founder
  • Former Alcon Laboratories Board Member
  • Former Wilmer Advisory Council Member
  • Co-founder, Protom International

G. Michael Wall, Ph.D.

  • 22 years at Alcon Laboratories, directing all phases of ophthalmic, otic, nasal drug development, numerous products
  • >40 patents, >100 pubs, 2 books, 3 chapters,
  • Directed more than 40 clinical trials
  • PhD, Med Chem, Univ Miss Sch Pharm
  • Harvard Business School AMP

Jami R. Kern, M.B.A., Ph.D.

  • Extensive experience, pharmaceutical and medical device industries
  • Led clinical development and medical affairs at Alcon Research for 15 years
  • M.B.A., Neeley School of Business at TCU, Ph.D. in Biomedical Science, Molecular Bio & Biochem, UNT Health Science Center

Lee Anderson, M.D.

Ophthalmologist in Residence
  • Over 20 years in practice specializing in Ophthalmology and Retinal Disease
  • M.D., University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Fellowship Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Charles Lieser, J.D.,CPA

  • Owner, Weaver, LLP, 32 yrs
  • 40 plus years experience public accounting
  • Principal and advisor to numerous companies

Board of Directors

Halden Conner

  • Chairman, CEO, Co-Founder, Nacuity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Former Alcon Laboratories Board Member
  • Former Wilmer Advisory Council Member
  • Co-founder, Protom International

Gerald D. Cagle, Ph.D.

  • 31 years at Alcon Laboratories, including serving as Global Head R&D, Chief Scientific Officer and VP Regulatory Affairs
  • Holds more than 20 issued patents and has authored numerous peer reviewed scientific articles
  • Director, Aerie, Clearside Biomedical, GrayBug Drug Delivery and FFB-CRI

Emmett T. Cunningham, Jr.,
M.D., Ph.D., MPH

  • Senior Partner, HealthQuest Capital Management
  • Co-founder and Executive Chairman, Eyconis, Inc.
  • Former Senior Managing Director, Blackstone, Inc.
  • Co-founder and former Chairman, Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS)

Russell Kelley, Ph.D., M.B.A.

  • Managing Director, Retinal Degeneration Fund
  • Former Scientist, Director and Head of preclinical, Tengion
  • Director, Opus Genetics and SparingVision
  • Board Observer, Atsena Therapeutics and Vedere Bio II

Robin Steele, J.D., L.L.M.

  • Director, Daré Bioscience, Inc., Coagulant Therapeutics, Inc., and OcuTerra Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Former Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of InterMune, Inc.
  • Former Vice President of Legal Affairs for North America, Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

David Wohlberg, Esq.

  • Co-Founder, Nacuity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Former President, ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Of Counsel, TroyGould PC
  • Managing Partner, Israel Investment Fund Group

Benjamin R. Yerxa, Ph.D.

  • CEO, Opus Genetics
  • Former CEO, Foundation Fighting Blindness and RD Fund
  • Former President and Chief Scientific Officer, Envisia Therapeutics
  • Former Chief Scientific Officer, Liquidia Technologies

Scientific Advisory Board

David Birch, Ph.D.

  • Scientific Director, Retina Foundation of the Southwest
  • Director, Rose-Silverthorne Retinal Degenerations Laboratory
  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Nancy Holekamp, M.D.

  • Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Director of Retina Services, Pepose Vision Institute
  • M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Richard L. Lindstrom, M.D.

  • Founder and Attending surgeon, Minnesota Eye Consultants
  • Senior Lecturer and Trustee, University Foundation at the University of Minnesota
  • Executive Committee and Board of Directors, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • M.D., University of Minnesota

Mark Pennesi, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Professor and Chief of Ophthalmic Genetics, Casey Eye Institute
  • Prevent Blindness and FFB development awards for transitional research in RP
  • M.D./Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine

Tim Stout, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.

  • Director, Cullen Eye Institute, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Baylor College of Medicine
  • M.D./Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
  • MBA University of Oregon

Business Advisory Board

Scott Dorfman

  • Co-founder, CEO and Chairman, Odylia Therapeutics
  • Founder, former Chairman and CEO of Innotrac Corporation
  • Board Member: Dropoff, DriverReach, Complemar, Fulcrum Equity Partners, BioNeex, Usher 2020 Foundation
  • B.B.A, University of Georgia

Daniel Feller

  • Owner and CEO, Talisman Healthcare
  • COO, GEM42S Ltd.
  • Board Member: Genetic Cures Australia
  • B.A. (Hons.) in French with International Relations, University of Warwick


Joy Cavagnaro, Ph.D., DABT, ATS, RAC, FRAPS 

President, Access BIO
  • Areas of expertise include translation of novel therapeutic modalities: vaccines, cellular and gene therapies, animal-based and plant-based biotherapeutics, biotechnology-derived and tissue engineered products. Over 25 years of experience in biotech spanning academia, the CRO and biotech industries, and government (CBER/FDA) 
  • Serves as an SAB Member for several companies globally 
  • Education: Ph.D. in Biochemistry, UNC Chapel Hill; postgraduate work at Duke and Boston University Medical Centers 

James R. Herman, Ph.D., DABT

President and Partner, INDS, Inc.; Consultant, Preclinical Science
  • Previously, Drug Safety Research Site Lead at Pfizer Global Research and Development in Ann Arbor, MI, responsible for all personnel, resources, policies and procedures in General Toxicology, Pathology, and Investigative Toxicology (including Clinical Pathology labs)
  • Authored and/or critically reviewed nonclinical portions of over 100 IND and NDA submissions, including sections required for IBs and product labeling, and in addressing impurity issues
  • Education: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison

Douglas G. Johnson, Ph.D.

President, OCAM Solutions, Inc.
  • Consultant, Chemistry and Manufacturing. Over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Previously led chemistry and manufacturing for 10+ years at Allos Therapeutics where he was Vice President of Manufacturing and Vice President of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Education: B.A. in Philosophy, Wheaton College; Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of Minnesota

Frances Kane, Ph.D.

President of Apropos Pharmaceutical Consulting, LLC.; Consultant, Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Science
  • Extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with a wide range of experience in regulatory, project management, clinical and preclinical functions
  • Dissertation research examined the effects of diabetes mellitus on the retina. Led preparation of clinical portions of NDA for AMD at Alcon
  • Education: B.S. in Chemistry, University of Central Florida; M.S., Chemistry, University of South Carolina; Ph.D., Pharmacology, University of Rochester

Angela Kothe, O.D., Ph.D.

Clinical and Regulatory Affairs Consultant, Silver Pharma Consulting, Inc.
  • Previously, an 18-year tenure at Alcon Laboratories in clinical research and regulatory affairs, where she was responsible for development and implementation of global regulatory strategy and operations
  • Extensive experience in ophthalmic drug development, with over 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Education: B.Sc. Life Sciences, Queen’s University; O.D., Optometry and Ph.D., Visual Electrophysiology, University of Waterloo

Onkar Singh, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Formulations Consultant, President, OS Pharma Consulting, LLC

  • VP, Alentia Therapeutics (solid oral dosage-neurodegeneration)
  • Previously: Director, Product Development, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HIV vaccine); Director, Pharm Dev at CONRAD (EVMS) (tablet, implants, patch, nanoparticles); Director, Insys Therapeutics (oral solution, sublingual, nasal sprays); Sr CMC Team Leader, 20-years at Alcon Labs/ Novartis (sterile otic, ophthalmic, nasal drug products)
  • Education: B.Pharm, Pharmacy, & M. Pharm, Pharmaceutics, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Banaras Hindu University; PhD Pharmaceutics, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago; MBA, Univ. of Texas at Arlington