Board of Directors

John Kaiser, CEO

Interim Chairman

Jacob Jacobsen, PhD, CSO


Marc Caron, PhD


Roger Jeffs, PhD


David Zaccardelli, PharmD


John Kaiser


Chief Executive Officer, Interim Chairman

Mr. Kaiser serves as Evecxia’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and interim Chairman of the Board of Directors. Prior to Evecxia, he was interim CEO of Cerecor, Inc., a public, CNS focused biopharmaceutical company located in Baltimore, MD.  Mr. Kaiser also held the title of Chief Business Officer with responsibilities for corporate strategy, strategic marketing and business development and led the company to acquire both CERC-301 & CERC-406 from Merck in 2013, CERC-501 in 2015 and CERC-611 in 2016, both from Lilly respectively. He also led the company’s efforts to divest of CERC-501, selling the asset to Johnson & Johnson in 2017.


Prior to joining Cerecor, Mr. Kaiser founded Denysias Bioscience, LLC, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders, where he served as CEO. At the same time, Mr. Kaiser also served as President of Kaiser & Associates Consulting, a boutique consulting firm providing strategic corporate and commercial expertise to the biopharmaceutical industry. From 2008-2009, Mr. Kaiser served as Vice President of Commercial and Business Development at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. 

Before ACADIA, Mr. Kaiser held numerous positions of increasing responsibilities at Eli Lilly and Company for more than 25 years. At Lilly, Mr. Kaiser held various assignments of increasing responsibilities in sales, marketing and general management in the US and the European theater. At Lilly, Mr. Kaiser led the global commercialization efforts of Prozac®, the global strategic marketing efforts for Cymbalta®, and helped drive the commercial success of Zyprexa® internationally. Mr. Kaiser also led the strategic marketing efforts for the company’s CNS development portfolio and co-led the development and execution of the company’s CNS strategy. 

Mr. Kaiser leads Evecxia’s Senior Management Team and Board of Directors, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of NH Therapeutics. Mr. Kaiser received his B.S. in pharmaceutical sciences from the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati.

Jacob Jacobsen, PhD


Chief Scientific Officer, Founder

Dr. Jacobsen serves as Evecxia’s Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Jacobsen is the inventor of the 5-hydroxytryptophan slow-release (5-HTP SR) therapeutic concept. Prior to Evecxia, he served in various scientist roles at Duke University and Duke-National University Singapore, 2008-2018. In these capacities, Dr. Jacobsen has been the main driver on a cross-disciplinary team executing the seminal work on the 5-HTP SR therapeutic concept, including building the clinical concept, preclinical proof-of-concept, IP, and regulatory affairs.

Prior, Dr. Jacobsen spend 8 years in pharma-biotech, at Neurosearch and Lundbeck. Here, he executed a variety of projects within the realm of drug discovery and target validation.

Dr. Jacobsen has published multiple scientific papers, including in the highest ranked in Psychiatry. He is the inventor of on several patents pertaining to the 5-HTP SR therapeutic concept. He holds a PhD in neuropharmacology from the University of Copenhagen.   

Marc Caron, PhD



Marc G. Caron holds a PhD from the University of Miami and has been a faculty at Duke University for more than 40 years  He is currently the James B. Duke Professor of Cell Biology and holds joint appointments in the Departments of Medicine and Neurobiology.  He is also a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. 

His long-standing research interests have been on how neurotransmitter transporters and G protein-coupled receptors control the physiological underpinnings of central nervous disorders such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, addiction and mood disorders. He has trained and mentored more than 140 postdoctoral, clinical fellows and students. He has published more than 700 peer reviewed papers. He has served on the Scientific Advisory boards of Farmitalia Carlo Erba, Bristol Myer Squibb, Acadia, Lundbeck, Osaka Bioscience Institute and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

Dr. Caron has delivered numerous named and plenary lectures as well as obtained several distinctions, including: The Julius Axelrod Medal (ASPET) (2005); Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Universite de Montreal (2008); The Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science Award, Indiana Univ. (2011); The Lieber Prize for Schizophrenia Research, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD) (2013), The Goodman and Gilman Award in Receptor Pharmacology (2018); election as a Fellow of AAAS (2013) and Member of the American Academy of Art and Sciences (2015).

Roger Jeffs, PhD



Dr. Jeffs has served as a member of the board since February 2016. He has over 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He recently served as President and co-CEO of United Therapeutics, where he led the company through the approval of six rare disease products and managed the company’s development, regulatory, and commercial operations. Dr. Jeffs also served as a member of the company’s board of directors from 2001 to 2016.

Before joining United Therapeutics, he held positions in clinical development at Amgen and Burroughs Wellcome. He is currently an early-stage investor in the biopharmaceutical industry, and serves on the boards of directors of Albireo Pharma, Axsome Therapeutics, Dova Pharmaceuticals, Axovant, and Sangamo Therapeutics.

David Zaccardelli, PharmD



Dr. Zaccardelli has served on Evecxia’s board of directors starting in February 2016. He was the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Cempra from December 2016 until Cempra’s merger with Melinta in 2017. From 2004 until 2016, Dr. Zaccardelli served in several senior management roles at United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR), including chief operating officer, chief manufacturing officer and executive vice president, pharmaceutical development and operations. 

Prior to joining United Therapeutics, Dr. Zaccardelli founded and led a startup company focused on contract pharmaceutical development services, from 1997 through 2003. From 1988 to 1996, Dr. Zaccardelli worked at Burroughs Wellcome & Co. and Glaxo Wellcome, Inc. in a variety of clinical research positions. He also served as director of clinical and scientific affairs for Bausch & Lomb Pharmaceuticals from 1996 to 1997. Dr. Zaccardelli also currently serves on the board of directors of CoreRx, Inc., a privately held company. Dr. Zaccardelli received a Pharm.D. from the University of Michigan.