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Mark S. Blumenkranz, M.D., MMS, is HJ Smead Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ophthalmology at Stanford University. He received his Undergraduate, Master’s degree in Biochemical Pharmacology, and MD at Brown. He completed his surgical internship and ophthalmic residency training at Stanford and a fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute where he was appointed a member of the faculty following completion of his training in 1980. . In 1985 he founded the Retinal Fellowship Training Program at the William Beaumont Eye Institute in Royal Oak Michigan, and served as the Fellowship Director until 1992. He returned to Stanford in 1992 as head of the vitreoretinal service and was appointed to serve as the Department Chairman in 1997. He served in that capacity until 2015. He completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Graduate School of Business in 2004 He played a leading role in the planning, fundraising and construction of the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford and served as founding Director from its opening in September 2010 through June 2015. Dr. Blumenkranz has served on the Editorial Boards of The American Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina, Ophthalmology, and Graefe’s 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 was a Trustee and Fellow of the Corporation of Brown University from 2002 until 2019 where he was the Chair of the Corporation Medical School Committee for eleven years.Dr. Blumenkranz was an early innovator in vitrectomy techniques to treat complex forms of retinal detachment, and helped to usher in the modern era of intravitreal and surgical adjuvant drug therapy with laboratory and clinical studies identifying 5- fluorouracil and low molecular weight heparin as potent agents to inhibit ocular scarring. These studies led to subsequent trials for these agents in glaucoma and proliferative vitreoretinopathy. He was a member of the group that first reported the herpetic etiology and successful acyclovir treatment of acute retinal necrosis, the use of bioerodible polymers to deliver intraocular steroids for macular edema and published the first human safety study of ranibizumab (lucentis) and gene therapy based anti-VEGF therapy for age related macular degeneration. He has published more than one hundred and sixty papers in peer-reviewed journals and multiple book chapters, abstracts and patents in the field.Dr. Blumenkranz has a longstanding interest and expertise in university corporate technology. He was a director and principal trial designer at Oculex Pharmaceuticals for their successful phase 2 Ozurdex study, 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 2006 he co-founded and served as Chairman of the Board of Adverum Biotechnologies (ADVM:NASDAQ) until October 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 serves as a director of Verana Health a digital medicine and health analytics company, BVI Visitec, One Medical, Chairman and CEO of Kedalion Therapeutics, and Managing Director of Lagunita Biosciences LLC.
Clinical Interest and ResearchMy primary areas of interest are in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of vitreal retinal diseases. These principally include age-related macular degeneration and other diseases of the macula, and tractional syndromes, diabetic retinopathy, and complex forms of retinal detachment. I have been interested in the development of novel technology to diagnose and treat these diseases, including new forms of imaging, laser delivery systems, other microsurgical tools, and new drugs and drug delivery systems that inhibit new blood vessel growth, scarring and intraocular inflammation. I have been actively involved in translational research in the laboratory as well as technology transfer associated with that research for a variety of new therapies that have received FDA clearance and been introduced into clinical practice over the past 30 years.Administrative and Community ServiceI have served on the Board of Directors of a variety of voluntary education and service organizations, including the Corporation of Brown University, multiple scientific advisory boards and various philanthropic and research organizations.