About Us

Executive Team

Rick Carliss, Ph.D., Founder, President, Chief Scientific Officer

Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University
M.S. in Psychobiology, University of Miami
B.A. in Psychology, University of New Mexico

Dr. Carliss founded Chorda Pharma out of his long interest in medications to manage chronic pain. Dr. Carliss has a 30-year history in the pharmaceutical industry as a Chief Scientific Officer, Team Leader, Pharmaceutical Consultant, and Director of Toxicology and Pharmacology.  He was a Principal Scientist in drug discovery for Schering-Plough and then Endo Pharmaceuticals, for which he was co-inventor on several patents. He was also a Team leader to investigate new chemical entities, and headed the pre-clinical launch team for Opana®, a novel opioid medication. He joined an early-stage pharmaceutical company, Trinity Laboratories, to supervise the manufacture and launch of Paloxin®. Dr. Carliss has a long list of peer-reviewed publications and patent awards. Most recently, he was an Assistant Professor of Genetics and Pharmacology in the Department of Biology at Radford University Carilion.

Victor Iannello, Sc.D., Chief Executive Officer, Chairman

Sc.D. in Nuclear Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
S.M. in Nuclear Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
S.B. in Nuclear Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Iannello has spent his career developing and commercializing new technologies, and is an inventor on 13 US patents. He founded Radiant Physics Inc., which develops and commercializes advanced products related to health care and industrial technology. Prior to Radiant Physics, Dr. Iannello was Founder and CEO of Synchrony Inc., which developed magnetic bearings and instrumentation systems for high speed turbomachinery. Synchrony was sold to Dresser-Rand for $55 million.

Dr. Iannello has held Board positions with Carilion Clinic for 15 years, including Chairman of the Board of Directors of Carilion Medical Center, member of the Board of Directors of Carilion Clinic, and member of the Quality Subcommittee. He is active in the regional innovation ecosystem, having served as the Co-Chairman for the Valleys Innovation Council and Director for GO Virginia local council. He’s also served as the Chairman of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Business Council and three times as President of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. Dr. Iannello has also invested in early-stage companies through his angel network, Radiant Ventures.

Lucian Y. Grove, Jr, MD, FACP, Medical Advisor

M.D., University of Virginia
Resident in Internal Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham
Resident in Internal Medicine, University of Virginia Hospital
B.A. in Biology, University of Virginia

Dr. Grove has spent his career as a well-respected member of the medical community while caring for patients as an Internal Medicine physician at Lewis Gale Clinic, Primary Care Associates, and Carilion Clinic. He previously was a Director for the Bradley Free Clinic and currently serves as a Director on the Friendship Retirement Community Board. Dr. Grove is active in the community, and has served on Advisory Boards for Wachovia Bank, Roanoke Valley Boys & Girls Club, and the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation Grants. He holds a patent for a foot flexion device. Dr. Grove also helped manage several industrial ventures owned by his family.

At Chorda Pharma, Dr. Grove provides clinical expertise to our executive team and is a key liaison to the medical community. He is deeply involved in advocating for Capsadyn™ as a safe and effective topical analgesic to treat musculoskeletal disorders and neuralgia.

Non-Executive Directors

G. Robert Vaughan, Senior Vice President, Finance, Carilion Clinic

M.B.A. in Finance, Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech
B.S. in Finance, Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech

Aileen Helsel, PhD, Director of Innovation, Carilion Clinic

Ph.D. in Molecular Bioscience, Washington State University
B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Idaho

John B. Williamson, III, Chairman, RGC Resources

M.B.A., College of William and Mary
B.S., Virginia Commonwealth University