Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD, MMS
Chairman, Founding Director
Mark S. Blumenkranz, M.D., MMS, is HJ Smead Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Stanford University. He received his Undergraduate, Masters degree in biochemical pharmacology, and MD at Brown, Ophthalmic residency training at Stanford, and a Fellowship in vitreo-retinal diseases at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. He was appointed to serve as the Department Chairman at Stanford from 1997 until 2015. He played a leading role in the planning, fundraising and construction of the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford and served as inaugural Director beginning with its opening in September 2010 through June 2015.
He is an internationally known vitreo-retinal specialist, with notable contributions in the area of new laser systems, novel pharmaceuticals for macular diseases, ocular gene therapy and ophthalmic tele-health and technology development. He has served on the Editorial Boards of The American Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina, Ophthalmology, and Graefe¹s Archives for Ophthalmology. He is a past President of the American University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), and a past President of the Retina Society and the Macula Society. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Audacious Goals Initiative of the NEI, and is a Fellow of the Corporation of Brown University, where he is the Chair of the Medical School Committee. He is the recipient of multiple honors and awards in the field. These include the American Academy of Ophthalmology Lifetime Achievement Award and Edward Jackson Lecture, the Heed Award, The Schepens Medal, the Pyron Award, the Wacker Prize and the Gass Award amongst others.
Dr. Blumenkranz has a longstanding interest and expertise in university corporate technology transfer and early stage biomedical company and is the author of more than 150 peer reviewed articles and 18 patents. He was a director of Oculex Pharmaceuticals, a privately held pharmaceutical company that pioneered the use of bio-erodable polymers for extended release of ocular steroids. At Oculex he was also Chairman of the SAB and the principal designer of the successful phase 2 Ozurdex trial, leading to its acquisition by Allergan in 2003. He served as a co-founder, Director and Chairman of the SAB of Macusight, an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company developing proprietary mTor inhibitors for ophthalmic disease, which was acquired by Santen in 2010. He was a founder and director of Peak Surgical, an innovator in pulsed plasma mediated electro-surgery that was acquired by Medtronics in 2011. In 2004 he co-founded Optimedica Corporation for which he co-wrote the foundation IP for the PASCAL and Catalys lasers, and which was acquired by AMO in 2013. In 2006 co-founded Adverum Biotechnologies (ADVM; NASDAQ) a gene therapy company and served as Chairman of the Board until 2016. He was a co-founder and director of Oculeve, a dry eye company employing a neuro-modulatory approach to therapy, which was acquired by Allergan in August of 2015. He is a co-founder and serves as a director of Digisight Corporation, a venture financed ophthalmic digital health company and Lagunita Biosciences LLC an early stage biotechnology and medical investment company.