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Management Team

Changing The Future

Board of Directors

Board Member
Lisa Cooper

Lisa is owner and SVP of PMI Ash Technologies, LLC a clean-tech company located in Cary, North Carolina and her many responsibilities include managing the firm’s extensive IP portfolio.


Rich West
Rich is founder and CEO of Baebies, Inc., a new company focused on newborn screening. Previously, Rich was CEO of Advanced Liquid Logic which was acquired by Illumina for $96 million in 2013.


Board Member
Wayne Brinster

Wayne Brinster is the CEO of Wheaton Industries. Previously, Wayne was the Vice President / General Manager of
Women’s Health and Cancer at Becton, Dickinson and Company.

Management and Development Team

Chief Scientific Officer
Bruce Pitner

Bruce Pitner has more than 20 years of industry experience commercializing technologies and leading research efforts in organic chemistry, fluorescence, and immunochemistry. Prior to NIRvana Sciences he was a Senior Scientist with Becton Dickinson Technologies.



Chief Executive Officer
Russell D. Thomas

Russell is a second time start up CEO whose first venture involved commercializing a fluorescent dye analytical instrument. Prior to pursuing NIRvana Sciences, he was Director, New Ventures at NC State University.


Chief Alliance Officer
Preston Linn

Chief Alliance Officer. Preston has held roles including VP of Alliances at Advanced Animal Diagnostics which raised $17 million and Alliance Manager, Business Development, Becton Dickinson Technologies.


Mary Ribando

Mary’s financial and accounting background includes 18 years experience with the Southern Growth Policy Board where she oversaw daily accounting and administrative activities.


Senior Scientist
Rose Evans-Storms

Rose brings over 20 years of experience in cell biology, assay development and protein chemistry. She received her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Texas.


Chih-Yuan Chen

Chen recently finished his post-doctural research fellowship at the Lindsey Lab at NC State. He brings significant expertise in synthesizing chlorin and bacteriochlorin dyes.


Senior Scientist
Christopher J. MacNevin

Chris has designed and synthesized many fluorescent dyes for chemical, biology and microscopy applications. He earned his Ph.D. from Emory University and completed a post-doc at UNC-Chapel Hill.




NIRvana may hire one or two additional Ph.D. chemists in 2016 based upon additional prospective grant awards.

University Scientific Team

Scientific Team
Dr. Masahiko Taniguchi

Dr. Masahiko Taniguchi is a research associate professor at NC State University.  Beyond his research, he maintains a database of over 3,000 papers seminal to chlorins, porphyrins, and bacteriochlorins.

Scientific Team
Dr. Jonathan Lindsey

Dr. Jonathan Lindsey is Glaxo Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at NC State University. His research involves synthetic chemistry of the “pigments of life” with applications in artificial photosynthesis and the life sciences.

Scientific Team
Dr. Dewey Holten

Dr. Dewey Holten is a Professor of Chemistry, at Washington University in St. Louis . His research group is advancing the electronic and photophysical properties of tetrapyrolle chromophores for solar-energy and life science applications.

Scientific Team
Dr. David Bocian

Dr. David Bocian is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, at the University of California, Riverside. His research interests involve photosynthetic proteins, synthetic light-harvesting arrays, and molecular photonics devices.

Scientific Advisory Board

Advisor Member
Dr. Patrick Mize

Dr. Patrick Mize is a NIRvana Sciences co-founder and advisor. Pat has extensive experience in synthetic dye development, singlet oxygen release for photodynamic therapy, and fluorescence-based diagnostics. Pat currently resides near Barcelona, Spain and consults in the medical device industry both in the US and EU.


Advisor Member
Dr. Ram Ramabhadran

Dr. Ram Ramabhadran is former Vice President of R&D at Tranzyme Pharma  and has been recruited onto the team for his expertise in molecular biology and light physics.

Advisor Member
Dr. Nancy Fisher

Dr. Nancy Fisher is Director, of the Flow Cytometry Core Facility at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. There she directs a team of scientists and flow cytometrists who operate four analytic cytometers and four cell sorters.

Advisor Member
Peyton Anderson

Peyton Anderson is CEO of Affinergy, a medical device company in RTP, NC. Peyton is a successful entrepreneur who co-founded SciQuest in 1995 as its founding CEO. SciQuest raised over $175 million in capital, including a successful IPO in 1999.

Advisor Member
Dr. Matthew Snyder

Dr. Matthew Snyder is a pathologist at WakeMed. Dr. Snyder uses flow cytometry data daily to make clinical diagnoses and intimately understands the value of improving this data, and he has served on committees that set standards and certify the operations of commercial flow cytometry laboratories.