Mark S. Blumenkranz, M.D., MMS, is HJ Smead Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ophthalmology at Stanford University and Co-Director of its Ophthalmic Innovation Program. He received his Undergraduate, Master’s degree in Biochemical Pharmacology, and MD at Brown, his surgical internship and ophthalmic residency at Stanford and a fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute where he was appointed a member of the faculty in 1980. In 1985 he founded the Retinal Fellowship Training Program at the William Beaumont Eye Institute. He returned to Stanford in 1992 as head of the vitreoretinal service and served as Department Chair from 1997 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.
He 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 was an inaugural member of the Steering Committee of the Audacious Goals Initiative of the NEI, and 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. He is the recipient of multiple awards in the fields including the Heed Foundation Award, the Jackson Award Lecture from the AJO, the Schepens Award Lecture from the AAO, the Gass Award Lecture from the Retina Society, the William Green Award Lecture from the Macula Society, the Wacker Prize from the Club Jules Gonin, the WW Keen Award from Brown University, and the Albion Walter Hewlett Award Lecture from Stanford Medicine amongst other others.
Dr. Blumenkranz was an early innovator in vitrectomy techniques to treat complex forms of retinal detachment. He 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. He was a member of the group that first reported the herpetic etiology and successful acyclovir treatment of acute retinal necrosis, the use of bio-erodible polymers to deliver intraocular steroids for macular edema and was an author on the first human safety studies of ranibizumab (Lucentis) and gene therapy based anti-VEGF therapy for age related macular degeneration using a modified AAV vector and the transgene for aflibercept. He has published more than one hundred and seventy five papers in peer-reviewed journals and multiple book chapters, abstracts and patents in the field.
He has a longstanding interest and expertise in university corporate technology transfer. He was a Director and principal trial designer at Oculex Pharmaceuticals who were acquired by Allergan in 2003. He served as a co-founder, Director and Chairman of the SAB of Macusight, an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company, 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 foundational IP for the PASCAL and Catalys lasers, and which was acquired by AMO and subsequently J&J. 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 which was acquired by Allergan in August of 2015. He was a founder and served as a Director of Verana Health (formerly Digisight Technologies) a digital medicine and health analytics company from 2009 until 2020. He served as the founding Chairman of Kedalion Therapeutics an ophthalmic drug delivery company from 2015 until 2022, and CEO from 2019 until 2022, when it was acquired by Novartis AG. He served as the founding Chairman of Combangio Inc, a topical ophthalmic biopharmaceutical company prior to its acquisition by Kala Therapeutics in 2021. He is a scientific founder of Eudora an ophthalmic gene therapy company. He also currently serves as a director BVI Visitec, an ophthalmic surgical company, One Medical (ONEM:NASDAQ), Iveric Bio (ISEE:NASDAQ), Kala Therapeutics (KALA:NASDAQ), and the Managing Partner of Lagunita Biosciences LLC an early stage medical investment company.
He is a co-founder and the current president of the Collaborative Community on Ophthalmic Imaging Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization formed to clarify challenges, best practices, strategies and standards while advancing innovation in the ophthalmic imaging space.