OWM: Please describe your education, training, and work experiences that have prepared you for your current position as CEO of NovaBay Inc.
As a young man, I worked as a pharmaceutical sales rep for my father’s company in Tehran, Iran. I always enjoyed interacting with healthcare professionals and found providing patients with medications that would have a positive impact on their quality of life very rewarding. Over time, I grew more interested in the mechanism of action of drugs and their power to cure, such as with antibiotics, or to treat diseases like diabetes. After arriving in the United States, I spent years studying chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and University of San Francisco, and ultimately I received my PhD in synthetic organic chemistry at UC Davis. Post graduation, I was eager to invest my knowledge in the field of pharmaceutical drug development. I gained valuable experience working at Sigma Aldrich (St. Louis, MO), Sanofi Aventis (Bridgewater, NJ), and Applied Biosystems (Carlsbad, CA). My early years working at my father’s pharmaceutical company and later for Sanofi Aventis prepared me for a career in healthcare and specifically the pharmaceutical industry. My experience in drug development combined with my entrepreneurial spirit led to my founding of NovaBay Pharmaceuticals in 2000.