Leadership Bios

Carter Wells, Chairman

Photo - Carter WellsCarter Wells is the Vice President of Business Development for HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology where he leads the economic development team and is responsible for the Institute’s relationships with local, state, and federal government officials, site selectors, and the Institute’s associate companies. A native Huntsvillian, Carter brings to the role a wealth of experience, having served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Robert E. “Bud” Cramer and as CEO of bio-tech start-up iCubate. An ardent reader and supporter of education, one of Wells’ passions is community libraries; he currently serves on the board of directors of the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library.

Kathy Nugent, Ph.D., President

Dr. Kathy Nugent serves as Managing Director for the UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  Dr. Nugent is a senior biotechnology executive with over 20 years of healthcare industry experience. Dr. Nugent currently serves as the director and assistant professor of the Masters of Biotechnology program at UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham.)  Dr. Nugent specializes in providing senior counsel to companies focused on pharmaceutical discovery and development. Specifically, she provides strategic guidance in the areas of financial, scientific and regulatory communications, product launches and crisis management. Dr. Nugent also serves as the current President of the Biotechnology Association of Alabama. In this role, Dr. Nugent interacts with state biotechnology companies, affiliated organizations, economic development allies, academia, and state government officials. Dr. Nugent was an adjunct professor at the City University of New York, Hunter College, Baruch College and Medgar Evers College. Dr. Nugent earned her Ph.D. in biopsychology at the City University of New York and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Pharmacology at the Weill-Cornell Medical College.

Art Tipton, Ph.D., Past Chairman

Arthur J. Tipton, Ph.D., assumed the role of President and CEO of Southern Research Institute on July 1, 2013. He has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry for 25 years, participating in the growth aspects of three start-up companies. The company he founded in 2005 as a Southern Research Institute spin-out company—Brookwood Pharmaceuticals—was acquired by SurModics in August 2007 and then by Evonik in November 2011. At Evonik, Tipton served as Senior Vice President of the Birmingham Division and also led the company’s global drug delivery program.

From 1993 to 2004, Tipton held roles of increasing responsibility at Durect Corporation, including that of Senior Vice President of biodegradable systems, Chief Operating Officer, Vice President of its wholly-owned subsidiary Southern BioSystems, and President of Birmingham Polymers. He was with Atrix Laboratories (now part of QLT Inc.) from 1988 until 1993, as Manager of Polymer Science and Senior Polymer Chemist.

Tipton serves on multiple boards including the Controlled Release Society (CRS), the Birmingham Venture Club, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation, and the Biotech Association of Alabama (BioAlabama). He previously served on the boards of the Society for Biomaterials, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (AIMBE) and the corporate boards of Brookwood Pharmaceuticals and Southern BioSystems. He has led or participated in multiple transactions, including sell-side and buy-side acquisitions and licenses. Tipton has 31 issued U.S. patents, 22 published U.S. patent applications, and numerous foreign equivalents, with more than 70 presentations and publications.

He is a fellow of AIMBE and CRS and was awarded the CRS Distinguished Service Award in 2012. He serves as an external advisor to the Biomedical Engineering Department at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and volunteers as a mentor and judge in business plan competitions.

Tipton earned a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and a B.S. in Chemistry from Spring Hill College.

Cecil Bostany, Treasurer

Cecil Bostany joined Warren Averett as a Member in the Tax Division in 2002. He is a former partner with Ernst & Young and has over 32 years of experience working with privately-owned, venture-backed and publicly-held companies. He has extensive experience in mergers & acquisitions, due-diligence, transaction structuring and financing and is a taxation planning specialist.  Cecil serves clients in a variety of industries including technology, venture capital, manufacturing and automotive.

Michael Chambers, Secretary

bioalabama-secretary-michael-chambersDr. Michael Chambers is an experienced businessman, entrepreneur and attorney. He currently serves as President and CEO of Swift Biotechnology, a company he founded located in Mobile, Alabama that is developing screens and diagnostics for ovarian and endometrial cancer in collaboration with the Mitchell Cancer Institute at the University of South Alabama.

Devon Laney, Ex-Officio

Devon Laney is the Chief Executive Officer of Innovation Depot, Inc., the high-tech/biotech business incubator located in downtown Birmingham and recipient of the 2011 Technology Incubator of the Year Award from the National Business Incubation Association. Prior to joining Innovation Depot, Devon worked on a broad range of marketing, I/T and strategic organizational projects with various Fortune 500 companies as an analyst with Accenture LLP in Atlanta. Previously, he worked on the development, redesign and launch of Energen Corporation’s intranet, and also served as the Entertainment Editor for nationally distributed Family Issues Magazine during its first 18 months of publication. In the Birmingham community, Devon serves as President on the Board of the Birmingham Venture Club, where he is the youngest member to ever serve and the only consecutive back-to-back President. Additionally, Devon serves on the Executive Committees of TechBirmingham and the Biotechnology Association of Alabama. He also serves on the Board of Operation New Birmingham’s Magic City Art Connection, The Alys Stephens Center Young Patrons Board and on the Birmingham Children’s Theatre Young Supporters Board. Devon is a member of the 2008 inaugural class of Leadership UAB and the 2010 Class of Leadership Birmingham. In 2009 Devon was selected as one of The Birmingham Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40”. He has spoken at conferences in the U.S. and internationally on entrepreneurial development and business incubation. Mr. Laney has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelors Degree in International Business, both from The University of Alabama. Devon also completed studies at the International Business School in Groningen, the Netherlands. He currently lives in the Crestwood neighborhood of Birmingham with his wife Meg and their three dogs. Devon also enjoys playing racquetball, coaching tee-ball, and playing music every chance he gets.

Daniel Daly, Ph.D., Ex-Officio

 Dr. Dan Daly received B.S. in Chemistry and Psychology from Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in Physical-Organic Chemistry from the University of Florida inGainesville, Florida. He did two post-doctoral studies at The University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida and Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon in computer-assisted molecular design. Dr. Daly is currently the Director of Technology Transfer at The University of Alabama. He has 17 years experience in the fuel and lubricant businesses were he served as Technology and Business Development Manager. He has led the development of several commercially successful projects and has managed and coordinated fundamental programs at several universities and national laboratories. Dr. Daly has won several awards for this work including: Nortech Top 50 Industrial Innovation Award for Northeast Ohio; Recipient, R&D Magazine Top 100 Industrial Innovation Awards Recipient; and ACS Environmental Industrial Innovation Award.

Alan Dean, At-Large

Alan Dean is the Managing Partner of Fund Operations for Greer Capital Advisors. Mr. Dean brings to Greer Capital Advisors more than 20 years experience in all aspects of technology transfer, in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors.  Prior to joining GCA, Mr. Dean was Director of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio’s Office of Technology Transfer, where he played a prominent role in the formation of numerous successful technology companies, and in greatly elevating licensing productivity.  One of the defining and lucrative financial deals brought together the inventor of the original vascular stent, Dr. Julio Palmaz, the University, and Johnson & Johnson to further commercialize a new generation of stents and other implants.  Mr. Dean was also head of technology commercialization at Southern Research Institute, an institution known for its oncology drug discoveries, and led the team responsible for licensing Institute inventions and forming technology spin-offs.  He co-founded the drug-delivery company, Southern BioSystems, Inc., which was later acquired by a public company.  Mr. Dean has served in a director and advisory capacity on many corporate boards, a notable example being an advisor for GCA’s S.C.O.U.T. Fund.  He has had extensive experience and responsibility for financing the growth of technology companies, including private placements and industrial development bonds, and has served in all management capacities at one time or another for various start-ups.  Mr. Dean sits on the board of CardioSpectra, Inc., one of Scout Health Care Fund’s portfolio companies as well as BioDtech, one of the Birmingham Technology Fund’s portfolio companies.  Mr. Dean’s educational background includes an MBA from the UAB and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Alabama.

Board of Directors

Khursheed Anwer, Ph.D., Expression Genetics

Cecil Bostany, Warren, Averett, Kimbrough & Marino

Will Brooke, Harbert Venture Partners

Michael Chambers, Swift Biotech

James Childs,Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

Dan Daly, Ph.D., The University of Alabama

Alan Dean, Targeted Technology Fund

Ker Ferguson, Ph.D., The University of South Alabama

Jian Han, Ph.D.,  iRepertoire

Devon Laney, Innovation Depot

Tom Koshut, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Huntsville

Maureen Mack., HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology

Richard Marchase, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham

Kathy Nugent, UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Brian Pollock, Kalios Genetics

Gene Price, Burr & Forman LLP

Clay Ryan, Maynard Cooper Gale, P.C.

Peggy Sammon, GeneCapture

Marshall Schreeder, Conversant

Jan Thornton, Auburn University

Art Tipton, Ph.D.,  Southern Research

Mike Walters, Kailos Genetics

Carter Wells, HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology

Angela Wier,  Economics Development Partnership of Alabama