Leadership Team


Matthew Davidson, PhD - Founder and CEO

Dr. Davidson is the founder and CEO of Verrica Pharmaceuticals Inc.  He brings with him nearly a decade of biomedical research experience and an entrepreneurial mindset.  His research has been published in high impact journals including The Lancet, Nature, Nature Medicine, Blood and The Journal of Immunology.  Dr. Davidson graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UC Berkeley with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and earned his PhD in Immunology from the Stanford University School of Medicine.  Dr. Davidson also completed the Ignite entrepreneurship program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. 

Howard Welgus, MD - Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Welgus is a board-certified dermatologist. Most recently Dr. Welgus was the VP R&D and CMO for Nycomed U.S. (Fougera / PharmaDerm). From 1999 to 2009, Dr. Welgus served as VP R&D for both the Dermatology and Inflammation Therapeutic Areas of Warner Lambert and then Pfizer. In this capacity, he led a team of almost 200 R&D colleagues, moving ten dermatology compounds and nine arthritis compounds into clinical development and shepherded them through key proof of concept trials. Dr. Welgus received his medical, scientific and dermatology training at Washington University School of Medicine, and had served as Professor and Chief of Dermatology at both Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Welgus has published over 120 original scientific articles.


Jayson Rieger, PhD, MBA - Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Rieger has about 15 years experience in cross-functional scientific and business leadership roles spanning business development, research operations, drug discovery and product development in the life sciences industry.  He is an entrepreneurial-minded scientist and business leader with material involvement in multiple successful investor exits including Dova Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: DOVA), AveXis (NASDAQ: AVXS), Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), Clinical Data, Inc. (NSDQ: CLDA). He is a co-inventor on more than 25 patents and has authorship on more than 25 peer-reviewed scientific publications.  Dr. Rieger obtained his PhD from the University of Virginia in Chemistry, has an MBA from the Darden Business School and earned his B.A. from Rollins College.

Cindy Willson, RN, BSN -  Director Clinical Operations

Ms. Willson's experience spans both clinical operations and management at top academic centers and cutting edge businesses.  Most recently, Ms. Willson was consultant to the Research Compliance Office as well as special projects for the Cancer Clinical Trials Office at Stanford University.  Prior to this, Ms. Willson managed clinical research programs at Stanford, UCSF and NYU.  On the commercial side, she held clinical positions at Genentech and Millennium also making significant clinical contributions in smaller organizations such as Adeza Biomedical,  Milkhaus Laboratory, Viveve Inc., and Matrix Pharmaceutical.  Ms. Willson obtained her BSN from the University of Texas School of Nursing.

Gene Scavola, MS - VP of Manufacturing

Mr. Scavola has held various executive level positions during his career, including more than 15 years of direct pharmaceutical experience in Supply Chain Operations, Business Systems and Finance.  Notably, Mr. Scavola enjoyed a career of more than 15 years with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. He made significant contributions at company sites in New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico across a variety of functional areas. He has led Finance Organizations at both the site and corporate level.  He served as the Global Lead for Manufacturing IT Systems and held leadership positions at Pfizer in the areas of Business Strategy and Business Process Management. Mr. Scavola has been directly responsible for management of the entire supply chain process from planning through release of many key pharmaceutical products, including the on-time launch of more than 20 new products.  Mr. Scavola has a Masters in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and a B.S. in Applied Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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David Glover, ME, PhD - Director of R&D

Dr. Glover is a scientist who was most recently an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Dept. of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division, at the University of Virginia, and the Director of the Experimental Nuclear Cardiology and Molecular Imaging Laboratory for 27 years.   During his academic career, he studied novel targeted molecular imaging agents and the vasodilatory, anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective properties of  selective adenosine receptor agonists/antagonists. Dr. Glover pioneered the use of adenosine A2A receptor agonists as vasodilators for clinical pharmacologic stress imaging studies.   He has co-authored 182 publications, written 9 textbook chapters and was co-inventor on 2 patents.  Dr. Glover was a scientific co-founder of Adenosine Therapeutics where he served on the scientific advisory board and Phase III clinical trial steering committee for an product being developed for cardiac stress imaging.  He also co-founded Lewis and Clark Pharmaceuticals and was the Director of Pharmacology.  Dr. Glover received his B.S. from Randolph-Macon College and his Masters in biomedical engineering and PhD in Molecular Physiology from the University of Virginia.

Dennie Dyer, MBA - VP of Operations

Mr. Dyer has more than 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical product development, commercial marketing launches, facilities design and operations.  He has contributed to the success of companies including Allergan, Neutrogena, SkinMedica, Trancept Pharmaceuticals and Oclassen Pharmaceuticals.  To date, over 40 pharmaceutical products and devices have been successfully commercialized.  Mr. Dyer received his MBA from Pepperdine University.

Derrick Hill, - Quality Assurance

Mr. Hill started his career at Genentech rising through the ranks and departing as Manager of Quality Assurance Operations.   Since that time, he has led quality assurance teams at Scios, InterMune, MacuSight and Medivation.  Mr. Hill is currently the President of Hill & Hill Quality Associates.   Mr. Hill received his B.S. in chemistry from Oakwood University.