board of directors

 

Ed Hurwitz

CHAIRMAN OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Mr. Hurwitz is the founding Managing Director of Precision Bioventures, LLC, a consulting and investment advisory firm.  Mr. Hurwitz also currently serves as a director of MacroGenics and Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation, both publicly held companies.   From 2002 through December 2014, he was a Director of Alta BioPharma III, L.P., and Alta Partners VIII, L.P., funds affiliated with Alta Partners, a venture capital firm.  In previous positions, Mr. Hurwitz also served as SVP and CFO of Affymetrix,  as a research analyst for Roberston, Stephens and Co and Smith Barney Shearson  as well as a corporate attorney at Cooley Godward.  Mr. Hurwitz received JD and MBA degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in 1990 and a BA in molecular biology from Cornell University in 1985.

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EMMETT CUNNINGHAM

DIRECTOR

Emmett has accumulated nearly thirty years’ experience in the biomedical and biopharmaceutical sectors.  He is currently a Partner at Clarus Ventures (www.clarusventures.com). Prior to joining Clarus in 2006, Dr. Cunningham was the Senior Vice President of Medical Strategy at Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:EYET), where he helped build and lead the team that developed and commercialized Macugen, a first-in-class product for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Prior to Eyetech, Dr. Cunningham was at Pfizer, Inc (NYSE: PFE), where he was responsible for the clinical development of early phase central nervous system compounds and the in-licensing of early and late-stage therapeutic candidates in ophthalmology.

Emmett received an MD and MPH in epidemiology and statistics from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in neuroscience from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) for work done at The Salk Institute.  He completed both a residency in ophthalmology and fellowship training in Corneal Disease and Uveitis at UCSF and The Francis I. Proctor Foundation, a medical retina and uveitis fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, and a fellowship in public health ophthalmology with Prof. Alfred Sommer at the Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore. Emmett is an internationally recognized specialist in infectious and inflammatory eye disease with over 300 publications.  He is Director of the Uveitis Service at California Pacific Medical Center, Adjunct Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Stanford University, and a Research Associate at The Francis I. Proctor Foundation, UCSF School of Medicine.  

Emmett is a member of the Board of Directors of Restoration Robotics and Avillion, on the Scientific Advisory Board of Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: AERI), and was recently on the Boards of Neomend, Inc. (acquired by CR Bard, Inc., NYSE: BCR) and SARcode BioSciences (acquired by Shire, plc, Nasdaq: SHPG).  Dr. Cunningham was also recently a Board observer for Aerie, Ophthotech Corporation (Nasdaq: OPHT), Pearl Therapeutics (acquired by AstraZeneca, plc, NYSE: AZN), and Ferrokin (acquired by Shire).

Emmett founded and is the Chairman of the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS; www.ophthalmologysummit.com), a well-attended symposium held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.  The OIS brings together leading companies, clinicians, academics and investors in the ophthalmology space.

 
 
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JASON GESTWICKI

FOUNDER, KEY ADVISOR, DIRECTOR

Jason received a Ph.D. in 2002 from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. In 2005, Jason began to study protein misfolding diseases using a chemical biology approach in his independent laboratory at the University of Michigan. In 2013, Jason moved his research program to the University of California San Francisco. Jason's contributions to the fields of protein misfolding and chemical biology were recognized with an AAAS Fellowship and the NSF CAREER award. Jason led the research effort that resulted in the discovery of ViewPoint's flagship technology, and continues to advise the scientific direction of the company.

 

LEAH MAKLEY

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, DIRECTOR, PRESIDENT

Leah received a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Michigan in 2014, and a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Dayton in 2009. She developed ViewPoint's flagship technology as a graduate student in Jason's lab and cofounded the company. While at the University of Michigan, she participated in the Pharmacological Sciences Training Program, was a fellow of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, and was named an Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation Young Investigator. Leah has expertise in biophysical methods, protein biochemistry, high-throughput screening, and medicinal chemistry.

 

MARK BLUMENKRANZ

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 vitreoretinal diseases at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.  He was appointed to serve as the Department Chairman at Stanford from 1997 until 2015. 

Mark has served on the Editorial Boards of The American Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina, Ophthalmology, and Graefe’s Archives for Ophthalmology.

Mark was a director of Oculex Pharmaceuticals, a privately held pharmaceutical company which pioneered the use of bio-degradable polymers for extended release ofocular 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 Mark founded and has since continuously served as Chairman of the Board of Avalanche Biotechnologies (AAVL) a gene therapy company that has been publicly traded on NASDAQ since its IPO inJuly 2014.  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, an early stage venture financed ophthalmic digital health company and Lagunita Biosciences LLC, an early stage biotechnology and medical investment company.

DOUG CRAWFORD

DIRECTOR

Douglas Crawford’s goal is to help entrepreneurial scientists create successful startups. To this end, Doug and his colleagues have systematically lowered the barriers between great ideas and successful companies. For instance, Crawford created and manages QB3@953.  This state-of-the-art co-working laboratory program in San Francisco allows entrepreneurs to rapidly generate data without getting bogged down in facility management.  Rather than spending months getting a facility up and running, QB3@953 startups can generate important data in their first week. In the first 30 months this program has helped launch 74 companies that have raised over $150M.  This incubator program reflects Doug’s passion for startups and his eagerness to help entrepreneurs overcome challenges.  

Doug has overseen the investment in 26 companies, 4 of which have already exited (Redwood Biosciences, iPierian, Zephyrs, and Calithera).  He is a board member of Circle Pharma, Delpor, Magnamosis, Magnap, Ocular Dynamics, and Viewpoint. 
 
Crawford received his PhD in biochemistry from UCSF.  Loves traveling with his family, making great pizza, and killer cappuccinos.