Ryo Kubota, MD, PhD
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Prior to founding Acucela in 2002, Dr. Kubota worked in the ophthalmology field, including serving as a faculty member at Keio University and at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Kubota holds an MD and a PhD in medicine from Keio University. There, he discovered the glaucoma gene, myocilin, a discovery that earned him the Suda Award for his contribution to the field of neurodegenerative retinal disease. He was board certified in ophthalmology by the Japanese Ophthalmological Society in 1996 and is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Japanese Ophthalmology Society, Keio Medical Society, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and the America-Japan Society, Inc. Since 2008, Dr. Kubota has been a director of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington. He was appointed as Foresight Advisory Group Member, Department of Pharmacology, Case Western Reserve University in 2012. In 2014, Dr. Kubota was appointed to the National Bureau of Asian Research Board of Directors, and a visiting professor at School of Medicine, Keio University. Since 2015, he has been an Advisory member for The Japanese Association of Medical University Network of Technology Transfer.
John Gebhart, MBA
Chief Financial Officer; Treasurer and Secretary
Mr. Gebhart joined Acucela in May 2015. Prior to that, from 2012 to 2015, he was Chief Financial Officer for Qliance Medical Management Inc., a leader in direct primary care services, where he led the company's financial and operations functions during a period of significant growth. From 2004 through 2012 he operated an independent consultancy providing project management and interim executive services to a variety of health services and technology companies including Remote Medical International, Ventripoint, PhysioSonics, Carena, Clarity Health, Nexcura, and DS-IQ. Mr. Gebhart has worked in emerging health and technology companies for more than 30 years in the roles of CFO, COO, and CEO. He began his career as a CPA with Ernst & Young and received his MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA.
Ted Danse, MBA
Chief Business Officer
Mr. Danse joined Acucela in May 2015. Prior to that he served as President of Replenish, Inc., the developer of a novel MicroPump for retinal drug delivery, for which he was brought in to lead a restructuring, recapitalization and technology transfer to the company's global partner. From 2005 to 2014, Ted served as President and CEO of Neurotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In 2006 he transitioned Neurotech from a Paris to a Delaware-based corporate domicile, and restructured and recapitalized the company. Subsequently he was instrumental in the development of two transformational products that address neovascular age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Ted's development and commercial experience spans over 30 years in ophthalmology. Previously he was President and CEO of ISTA Pharmaceuticals Inc. and was responsible for taking the Company public (NASDAQ) in 2000. Ted also held various senior positions at Allergan where he was responsible for establishing a high-growth, profitable business operation in Japan, China and the rest of Asia, including the consummation of several successful corporate acquisitions. His early career was spent in business development roles at Coopervision, Bausch & Lomb and Schering-Plough. Ted holds an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ.
Lukas Scheibler, PhD
Executive Scientific Advisor
Dr. Scheibler joined Acucela in August 2015 after a 13-year career in research and development, business development and clinical trial management at Novartis. Dr. Scheibler had worked since 2008 at Alcon, a division of Novartis. He most recently was a Vice President in charge of Alcon's Ideation and Technology Evaluation Center, the company's center of excellence in charge of identifying novel technologies that address unmet needs in ophthalmology. Before that, he served as Alcon's Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Trial Management. Dr. Scheibler started work at Novartis headquarters in Switzerland in 2002 as Manager of Global Drug Regulatory Affairs. While he served as VP and Global Head of R&D Alliances at Alcon from 2008 to 2011, the company made several major acquisitions and deals, including the purchase of LenSx Lasers for up to US $744 million, ESBATech for up to US $589 million and a Research Agreement with AstraZeneca for exclusive access to the company's ophthalmology compound library. Dr. Scheibler received a Master's degree in chemistry from University of Basel, Switzerland; a Ph.D. in chemistry from University of Lausanne, Switzerland; and his Postdoctoral Training from Harvard Medical School.
Board of Directors
Ryo Kubota, MD, PhD
Representative Executive Officer, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Acucela Inc.
Chief Financial Officer, DeNA Co., Ltd.
Shiro Mita, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer, M's Science Corporation
Corporate Auditor, Koinobori Associates Inc.
President, RT Consulting, Inc.
David G. Birch, PhD
Research Director, Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Director of the Rose-Silverthorne Retinal Degenerations Laboratory, Dallas
Karl G. Csaky, MD, PhD
T. Boone Pickens Senior Scientist, Director, Harrington Molecular Laboratory, Member, Texas Retina Associates
Pravin U. Dugel, MD
Managing Partner, Retinal Consultants of Arizona
Dean Eliott, MD
Co-Director, Mass Eye & Ear, Vitrectomy Course, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Jeffrey S. Heier, MD
Vitreoretinal Specialist, Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston
Frank G. Holz, MD
Chairman & Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Bonn, Germany
Anne S. Lindblad, PhD
Executive Vice President, The EMMES Corporation
Carl D. Regillo, MD, FACS
Director, Retina Service, Wills Eye Institute-Mid-Atlantic Retina; Professor, Ophthalmology, Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine
Philip J. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD
Professor, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Palm Beach Gardens University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Gaurav K. Shah, MD, PhD
Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences; Director of Vitreoretinal Fellowship Program, Washington University School of Medicine
Michael A. Singer, MD
Vitreoretinal Surgeon and Managing Partner, Medical Center Ophthalmology Associates; Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Texas Health Center
Janet S. Sunness, MD
Medical Director of Hoover Rehabilitation Services for Low Vision and Blindness, Greater Baltimore Medical Center
Kang Zhang, MD, PhD
Professor of Ophthalmology & Human Genetics, Shiley Eye Center, University of California San Diego
Eberhart Zrenner, MD
Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Director of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Centre for Ophthalmology, University of Tuebingen, Germany