Advisory Board

Medical Advisory Board

Gerald A. Maguire, M.D., D.F.A.P.A.

Chief Neurosciences Advisor

Highly regarded as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (DFAPA) and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Maguire has amassed prestige as a leading researcher in the psychiatric and neurological realm of academia, as well as a designation as a world-renowned expert on the pharmacologic treatment of stuttering.

He currently stands as the Chair of Research & Development for the World Stuttering Network, and has formerly served as the Chair of the National Stuttering Association and the Vice Chair of the International Stuttering Association.

Through and beyond his appointment as Professor and Chair in Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, Dr. Maguire’s research brushes upon a vast collection of multidisciplinary phenomenons. Having produced more than sixty publications in several of the foremost leading scientific journals, his work has been influential in understanding and educating upon the biological foundations, effects, and treatment modalities of various psychiatric and neurological conditions. His presence has been sought after both nationally and internationally for his mastery in the field, social advocacy, professional opinions, and profound teaching abilities, and he has delivered hundreds of presentations at scientific conferences, academic institutions, support groups, and professional medical gatherings in nearly every continent—leaving uncharted territory only in Africa and Antarctica.

Bobby W. Sandage, Jr., Ph.D.

Advisory Board

Through his over 35 years of pharmaceutical experience in drug development, regulatory affairs, and life sciences venture capital, Dr. Bobby W. Sandage, Jr. is well-versed in guiding the pharmaceutical direction and processes for growing pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Sandage has a proven track record of success in pharmaceutical development, with specialties ranging from oncology and diagnostics to biotech and pharmaceuticals. To build upon his scientific knowledge and background, Dr. Sandage incorporates further understanding from the business-facing frontier, having guided Coronado BioSciences, Inc. public during his time as President and CEO.

As a collegiate adjunct professor, faculty mentor, and lecturer for institutions such as Southern Illinois University, Dr. Sandage has authored more than 50 scientific publications. He stands on the Advisory Board of the Drug Development Institute for the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and holds various academic advisory appointments with institutions throughout America.

Dr. Sandage received his undergraduate degree in Pharmacy from the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. in Clinical Pharmacy from Purdue. He currently holds positions as Managing Director of the Riney Family Foundation, General Partner in venture fund Cultivation Capital Life Sciences Fund II, President and CEO of Euclises Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Gonçalo Leal

Neurosciences Scientific Advisor

With 15 years of clinical experience in the treatment of fluency disorders, Mr. Gonçalo Leal is devoted to improving patient outcomes in therapeutic intervention, especially surrounding the use of technology for the evaluation and treatment of stuttering.

Internationally, Mr. Leal guides educational conversations around the treatment of fluency disorders through various lectures, workshops, conferences, and courses in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. He is a guest researcher holding a voluntary scholarship appointment at the UC Riverside School of Medicine and serves as professor and mentor for the University of Concepción Faculty of Medicine in Chile.

Specializing in speech-language pathology, Mr. Leal is the founder and CEO of speech therapy center, SpeechCare, in Portugal and serves as the Clinical Director of iStutter, an online treatment center for PWS throughout the world. He is a founding member of the Portuguese Society of Speech Therapy (SPTF) and serves as Coordinator of the Ethics Committee of the Portuguese Association of Speech Therapists (APTF).

Mr. Gonçalo Leal received his degree in speech therapy from the Egas Moniz Higher Institute of Health Science in Portugal and is a current doctoral candidate at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP), pursuing his Ph.D. in Cognition and Language Sciences, with a focus on the treatment of stuttering.

Paul S. Nassif, M.D.​

Medical Advisory Board

With over 25 years of experience as a world-renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Nassif has helped repair the most challenging clinical cases in the world. As a skincare and facial plastic surgery expert, Dr. Nassif’s work has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, Good Morning America, People Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. He has continued to capture fame as a television personality in the medical realm, known best for his work as co-star revision rhinoplasty surgeon on the reality television series, Botched, and spinoff, Botched by Nature.

Dr. Nassif holds academic appointments as an instructor at both the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles Schools of Medicine. Having authored numerous peer-reviewed articles on facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, Dr. Nassif is a respected doctor of his specialty and has presented his work at a collection of medical conferences surrounding the latest surgical procedures and techniques.

In addition to being an esteemed member of the American Medical Association and the California Society of Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Nassif is a regarded Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Otolaryngology, and the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr. Nassif gives back by providing plastic surgery to survivors of domestic violence with the organization, Face to Face, and by inspiring creativity in hospitalized children through the creative therapy organization, Portraits of Hope.

Professional Advisory Board

His Excellency Salah Al Shamsi

Advisory Board

During his more than 15-year tenure at the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), His Excellency Al Shamsi sharpened his business skills through his roles as the Executive Director of the Hydrocarbon Processing Directorate from 1984-1990, and as the Executive Director of Projects Directorate from 1990-1996. In these roles, not only did His Excellency push forth projects in excess of $1 billion USD for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, but simultaneously he brought innovative solutions to streamline various corporate processes and reduce costs while redefining the corporate infrastructure.

In spearheading the development of Saadiyat Island, His Excellency Al Shamsi took part in the UAE’s most ambitious construction project through his role as Chairman and Managing Director of Emirates Global Capital Corporation, Ltd.—an international management and consulting firm focused on high-growth entrepreneurial ventures in the Middle East and around the world. Professionally, His Excellency went on to become President of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce from 2006-2009, before continuing this public trajectory through his position as President of the Gulf Cooperation Council Chamber of Commerce.

For his skill and impact in the business sector, His Excellency Al Shamsi has been entitled the most recognized business leader in the Gulf Cooperation Council by Arabian Business, the leader in Middle East Business & Gulf Industry News.

Sally Pera

Advisory Board

With more than 20 years of experience as the preeminent connector of all manner of Silicon Valley professionals, Ms. Pera has turned her social skills, relationship strategy, and thought leadership into a steadfast career, expanding organizations and communities into socially beneficial ventures.

As immediate CEO of the Association for Corporate Growth of Silicon Valley, an exclusive venue for CEOs and senior executives to network, learn, and link to the future of Silicon Valley, Ms. Pera offers a uniquely expansive portfolio of opportunities for Vivera Pharmaceuticals. Through her life’s work, her peers have recognized her as one of the most connected people in the Valley. Currently serving on the Advisory Boards of Sybil Systems, Imedrix, Phylos, and with her prior Board experience with the Pan Pacific Bank, a publicly traded regional bank serving San Jose and the greater Silicon Valley, her extensive network, transformative directorship, and strategic vision have been widely sought after via her trusted consultancy PeraConnect.

Ms. Pera has expanded her focus from her professional endeavors to pursue her strong feelings toward civic responsibility through education. Following her passions for K-12 education and mentorship, Ms. Pera is the co-founder of LegacyTech—a public Silicon Valley-based high school due to open which will have a premier focus on immersing the youth in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.

Antonio Villaraigosa

Advisory Board

He has been recognized by Time Magazine as one of the twenty-five most influential Latinos in the country for his bridge-building political stance and advocational focus on creating a united community coalition.

Mr. Villaraigosa has served civilians on a state-level as Democratic Whip, Majority Leader, and Speaker of the California State Assembly from 1994 to 2000. As a Member of the Los Angeles City Council from 2003-2005, Mr. Villaraigosa propelled the city to redevelop fair, systematic changes toward solving various community issues taxing the lives of thousands of citizens and families in Los Angeles. Mr. Villaraigosa went on to serve two terms as the 41st elected Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, furthering his policies and taking major strides in the realms of transportation, crime reduction, infrastructure, sustainability, business development, and education reform. In addition to his state and community work, Mr. Villaraigosa has political experience on a national scale, as through his appointment as 2012 Chairman for the Democratic National Convention and as a trusted member of President Barack Obama’s Transition Economic Advisory Board.

Mr. Villaraigosa’s impact has traveled far beyond the policies and legislation of which he has pushed forth. Complementing his work on the political stage, Mr. Villaraigosa has taken initiative toward grooming the next generation of leaders—taking on transformative roles as a Fellow at Harvard University and a Professor in Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Mr. Villaraigosa has garnered such academic appointments as Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Institute and as Member of the Board of Directors for McGraw-Hill Global Education. Bringing his community-minded passion and decades of experience to the business sector, Mr. Villaraigosa offers his guidance as Senior Advisor with Banc of California.

Rick Darnell

Advisory Board

As a retired professional basketball center for the American Basketball Association, Mr. Darnell has seen firsthand the consequences of addiction within the athletic world. Having stood as a longtime advocate against athletic opioid use, Mr. Darnell has worked tirelessly to educate the athletic space on the dangers of prescription addictions resulting from sports-related injuries. Currently coaching basketball with underprivileged children in South Los Angeles, he brings his guidance and mentorship to those who are most likely to become affected by the crisis of addiction. Professionally, he has used his influence as current President of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, Los Angeles Chapter, to bring new opportunities in curbing the phenomenon of athletics and addiction. Continuing his hard work and advocation into a much larger athletic scheme, Mr. Darnell has played an instrumental role in promoting vital alliances with the NBA, NFL, MLB, and LEAP.

Mr. Darnell continues to provide an indispensable community advocate for Vivera Pharmaceuticals in our mission to bring non-addictive pain management solutions to those most systematically affected.

Tony Sanchez, Jr.

Tribal Government Relations

Having proudly served as the former President & Director of The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as through his designation as an honorable member of the Tribe’s Board of Directors, Mr. Sanchez boasts an impressive and well-respected history in Tribal initiative and leadership. His keen vision for the future of the Seminole Tribe has always involved taking a stronger part in today’s ever-changing economy, while still implementing the utmost respect for custom and tradition. Strengthening the more modern cultural ties of the Tribe, his progressive yet authentic undertones have lived on with the success of the Seminole nation. Through this legacy, he has sparked the leverage of strategic connections and the cultivation of new opportunities, all while maintaining sincerity and appreciation for their longstanding heritage.

Prior to his Presidential election, Mr. Sanchez spent substantial time as the General Manager of the Seminole Casino in Immokalee. During his 12-year tenure, which began in 1999, the Seminole Casino experienced significant financial growth through his leadership and business insight. With the best intentions for the Tribes at hand, Mr. Sanchez acts as a necessary liaison between Vivera and Tribal health care initiatives.

Greg Cervantes​

Government Relations

Specializing in government relations and public policy on the Federal, State, Tribal, and County levels, Mr. Cervantes embodies the keystone essence of Vivera’s strategic government and Tribal affairs.  As is evident through his rich experience as the mayor-elect for the City of Coachella and as Policy Advisor to U.S. Congressman—Estéban E. Torres, Mr. Cervantes is a widely-esteemed political voice both at home in the State of California, as well as nationally atop Capitol Hill.

With the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, Mr. Cervantes’ political expertise as Executive Director of Government Affairs supported eras of change for our beloved local Tribal communities. His network has since expanded to assist the respected Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. as their Special Advisor. Through his vast resources and strength in relations such as these, he has been instrumental in developing national opportunities to conduct studies and implement programs in partnership with the Tribes. It is with the utmost pride that Mr. Cervantes’ ties into the political and Tribal worlds, having cultivated a hybrid wealth of value for both the Company and its valued Tribal Partners.