Robert Besthof, M.I.M.

Head of Operations & Chief Commercial Officer

Mr. Besthof is a global biopharmaceutical executive with a 25+ year career covering global pipeline & country operational marketing & sales roles. He has managed numerous specialty diseases areas, including small as well as billion-dollar brands in Ophthalmology, Neuroscience, Pain, and Pulmonary Vascular Disease. His teams have played key roles in translating new science into investable commercial paths, reshaping markets, launching breakthrough products, and closing numerous licensing deals. Mr. Besthof has worked for Eli Lilly, Wyeth, and most recently Pfizer, as Vice President Commercial Development Neuroscience & Pain. Earlier in his career he worked for Deutsche Band and for various consulting firms. He holds a B.A. from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Carrie Carretta, PhD, APN-BC, AHN-BC, PMHNP

Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs

Dr. Carretta has extensive leadership experience in the pharmaceutical industry, developing and executing strategies in medical, clinical, scientific, and regulatory affairs as well as hiring, developing, and managing diverse medical science and clinical teams globally. She brings with her an extensive network of key opinion leaders, healthcare providers, and researchers worldwide. 

Dr. Carretta is the co-founder and managing partner at C&G Holdings, LLC and most recently worked for Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals as the Executive Director, Therapeutic Area Head for Clinical Development and Medical Affairs leading the CNS and Ophthalmology areas. Prior to this role, Dr. Carretta served as the Vice President, Medical and Scientific Affairs at Pendulum Therapeutics.

Prior leadership roles at Novartis contributed to medical excellence for Cosentyx®, Ilaris®, Entresto® and Kisquali®, with Bayer Pharmaceuticals for The Betaconnect™ autoinjector used with Betaseron®, and with Teva Pharmaceuticals for Adasuve®.

In addition to her experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Carretta has acted as an investigator for numerous clinical trials and has worked extensively in clinical practice both in general and forensic psychiatry, and in academia as a funded researcher.

Dr. Carretta holds a doctorate degree in Nursing from Vanderbilt University and both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Nursing from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She is nationally board certified as an APN-BC, AHN-BC & PMHNP. Dr. Carretta is a current visiting scholar at Stanford University, Center for Precision Mental Health and Wellness.

Molly Cogan

Senior Director, Global Communications & Government Affairs

Molly Cogan brings more than 20 years’ experience in international communications and digital strategy, media relations, public and government affairs and has served in both the public and private sectors. She helped to lead the Wireless Life Sciences Alliance as its Executive Director to foster a movement toward digital health technology discovery and adoption in the health and consumer sectors. She has advised C-level leaders and corporate management teams in healthcare including digital and population health, technology, marine, aviation, and real estate development. In federal and state government, Molly has served in appointed roles and advised elected officials at the highest levels in communications, media relations, and external and political affairs.

Prof. Daniel C. Javitt, M.D., Ph.D.

Co-founder & Chair, Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Javitt has devoted the past 30 years to the intersection of psychiatry and brain science. He was the first to identify the role of the NMDA receptor in modulating human thought processes in psycho-affective disorders. He is the author of more than 250 scientific publications and 10 patents in the field and is one of the most-widely cited authors in neuropsychiatry. His work has merited awards from the American Psychiatric Association and other leading organizations.

Jonathan C. Javitt, M.D., M.P.H.

Founder & Chief Scientist

Dr. Javitt has been a founder of seven successful healthcare IT and biopharma startups with public exits. He has additionally led drug-development engagements for Merck, Allergan, Pharmacia, Novartis, and Pfizer. He was appointed to healthcare leadership roles under Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush. In the latter role he was commissioned by President Bush to Chair the Health Committee of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) and to lead the development of Executive Order 13335, establishing the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. In the aftermath of 9/11, Dr. Javitt was appointed a Senior Fellow in the National Security Health Policy Center of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies to focus on biosecurity preparedness and appointed by President Bush to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense. He is a graduate of Princeton University, Cornell University Medical College, Harvard School of Public Health, the Wills Eye Hospital, and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The Harvard Chan School awarded him the Alumnus of Merit award in 2016 and he continues to serve as Adjunct Professor of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Javitt has published more than 200 scientific works in the areas of health outcomes and Pharmacoeconomics that have been cited by more than 29,000 scientists. In his role as Chief Scientist of NRx Pharmaceuticals he continues to lead NRx on Scientific matters to advance and expand our pipeline of lifesaving medicines.

Michael Kunz

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Mr. Kunz joined the legal department of NRx in October 2020. Prior to joining NRx, he was responsible for managing the gas-to-power and LNG-to-power programs at Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractors (BWSC) in Denmark. He previously served as General Counsel for BWSC, and as General Counsel for Rolls-Royce Power Ventures Ltd. in London. Mr. Kunz began his legal career with Dewey Ballantine, where he represented clients on a variety of corporate and commercial transactions. Mr. Kunz holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University.

Philip T. Lavin, PH.D.

Chief Methodologist

Dr. Lavin is a highly respected biostatistician with more than 30 years of experience supporting the design and analysis of clinical trials. Previously, he was a member of the biostatistics faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health and a member of the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School where he was affiliated for over 25 years. He co-founded Boston Biostatistics in 1983, a company known as Aptiv Solutions. During his career, Dr. Lavin has served as lead biostatistician for 50 FDA approvals, including 38 PMAs, more to date than any other biostatistician. He has also served as a Special Government Employee for 30 years where he has advised the FDA on complex statistical and policy issues.

Dennis K. McBride, PH.D.

Chief Strategy Officer & Senior Scientist

Dr. McBride has led numerous national and international initiatives in neuroscience and its interface with information technology, national security, and medical technology/drug development within the federal government, three of which are now multi-billion dollar enterprises. He began his career as a medical scientist in Naval Aviation and ergonomics and served in eight nationally prominent laboratories and headquarters organizations, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Naval Aerospace Medical Research Lab, Naval Research Lab, the Office of Naval Research, and the Naval Medical Research Institute. Upon retiring as a highly decorated senior officer (O-6), he assumed the leadership of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, which he continues to serve as President Emeritus. Following his ten-year term, he was recruited back to the National Defense University to lead the Center for Technology and National Security Policy, culminating his government career there as Senior Executive-4 (Civilian equivalent to Rear Admiral/Vice Admiral).

Dennis has served as adviser to Cabinet Secretaries, congressional committees, and to major corporate C-Suite executives. His educational background includes formal enrollment at the University of Georgia, Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (Flight Surgeon School), the University of Southern California, the London School of Economics, and Harvard Business School, with the award of the Ph.D. in experimental psychology, four master’s degrees, and additional postdoctoral education in aviation medicine, systems engineering science, and strategic disruption. He has published widely, was elected by faculty in 1999 to full professor, and has served at multiple universities, full- and part-time in colleges of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Public Policy, and Medicine. For the past 12 years, Dr. McBride has served as adjunct professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine and co-Director of Georgetown’s Regulatory Science Program.

Melvin L. Morganroth, M.D.

Clinical Advisor COVID-19

Dr. Morganroth received both his undergraduate degree and medical degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is completing both his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. He completed a Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. He was an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division from 1984-1990. At the University of Michigan, in addition to being active in patient care, he was also director of the Critical Care Medicine Unit, co-director of the critical care fellowship training program and carried out basic research on acute lung injury. Since 1990 he has been the director of the research department in the Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Division of The Oregon Clinic. He is active in patient care, teaching and clinical research. He has been the principal investigator in many research studies and authored multiple journal articles and book chapters on topics related to respiratory disease.

Harry B. Peled, M.D. FACC, CCS, CCS-P, HEC-C

Clinical Advisor COVID-19

Dr. Harry Peled is the Medical Director of Cardiology and Critical Care at Saint Jude medical center in Fullerton, California. In addition to being board-certified in cardiology and critical care, he is also board-certified in geriatrics, palliative care, and Neurocritical care. He graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine with special distinction for research. He has authored work published In the New England Journal of Medicine, Chest, Annals of internal medicine, and many others. He also holds a master's in bioethics and health policy from Loyola University.

Wayne Pines

Regulatory & Patient Advocacy Adviser

Mr. Pines previously served as Associate Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration.

Seth Van Voorhees

Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Seth Van Voorhees most recently served as CFO of PDS Biotechnology (Nasdaq: PDSB) during which he completed several financing transactions in 2021. Prior to joining PDS Biotechnology, he spent 10 years as the CFO for Research Frontiers (Nasdaq: REFR) and for American Pacific (Nasdaq: APFC). Earlier in his career, Dr. Van Voorhees worked in investment banking supporting chemical/pharmaceutical clients at Merrill Lynch, UBS Warburg, and Wasserstein Perella. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia University.

Stephen Willard

Chief Executive Officer and Director

Mr. Willard brings a wealth of experience in the management of publicly traded biotechnology companies, together with his background in law and finance. Most recently, Mr. Willard served as CEO of Cellphire Therapeutics, where he grew the company and shepherded their revolutionary human platelet platform through key clinical trials, growing the company and significantly increasing the share price. Prior to Cellphire, he served as CEO of publicly traded Flamel Technologies now known as Avadel Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Willard is currently serving a six-year term from 2018-2024 as a presidential appointee to the National Science Board.

Mr. Willard's career in financial services includes government service as Associate Director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), where he served in the United States Senior Executive Service (SES) from 1991-1994, and on the board of E*Trade Financial Services from 2000-2014. He has practiced law in New York, London, and Washington, D.C. Mr. Willard earned his undergraduate degree from Williams College and attended Yale University where he earned a JD in law.