Advisory Board

Scientific Advisory Board

Peter Campochiaro, MD - Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Campochiaro was trained at the University of Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the University of Virginia, and the Wilmer Eye Institute, joining the Wilmer Faculty in 1991. He is currently the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience at the Wilmer Institute. His major research interests are in gaining a greater understanding of the roles of peptide growth and trophic factors in the retina and retinal pigmented-epithelium with a goal of developing new treatments for proliferative retinopathies, choroidal neovascularization and retinal degenerations. Dr Campochiaro has been a scientific advisor for several biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and has more than 300 articles published in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Randall Johnson, PhD - University of Cambridge

Prof Randall Johnson received a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Swedish Language and Literature concurrently in 1983 from the University of Washington in Seattle.  Having resolved to choose science over literature, he worked for a couple of years as a research technician for Dr. Don Pious at UW, on a project concerned with the genetics of the human major histocompatibility complex, then went to Harvard to do doctoral work with Prof. Bruce Spiegelman, and received his Ph.D. in Genetics.   His post-doctoral work was as a Jane Coffin Childs Fellow with Prof. Doug Hanahan when he was at UC San Francisco, working on the role of angiogenesis in transgenic tumor models.  Randall Johnson started his career as a group leader in the Dept. of Biology at UC San Diego.

In 2011, he joined Cambridge and the Dept. of PDN as a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow. He then became an associated member of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology of the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, Sweden, and continued to be an adjunct member of the Division of Molecular Biology at UC San Diego.

Christopher D. Kontos, MD - Duke University

Dr. Kontos is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, and Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Duke University Medical Center. He received his BS and MA degrees in Chemistry from the College of William and Mary and his MD from the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) of Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989. He completed Residency and Chief Residency in Internal Medicine at MCV Hospitals in 1993 followed by a fellowship in Cardiology at Duke University Hospital, where he joined the faculty in 1997 after receiving a K08 award from the NHLBI. His laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating vascular growth and remodeling with an emphasis on signaling pathways mediated by endothelial receptor tyrosine kinases, including the TIE and VEGF receptors and their regulation of both vascular and skeletal muscle cell growth and differentiation in limb ischemia.

Dr. Kontos is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Cardiovascular Disease, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, a Fellow of the American Heart Association’s Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Dr. Kontos served as a chartered member of the NIH Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology (VCMB) Study Section from 2009-2013 and as a member of the American Heart Association's Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Research Committee from 2010-2014. He has been a principal or co-investigator on grants funded by the NIH, the American Heart Association, and industry. He has served as Director of the Duke Medical Scientist Training Program and principal investigator of that program's NIH training grant since 2009

Dietmar Vestweber, PhD - Max Planck Institute

Dietmar Vestweber studied biochemistry at the Universities of Tübingen and Munich and at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried. He received his PhD from the University of Tübingen in 1985 for his research conducted at the Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology.

For his post-doctoral studies, he went to the Biocenter of the University of Basel where he received his habilitation in 1990. In the same year he started as head of a research group at the Max-Planck Institute of Immunobiology in Freiburg and assumed in 1994 a professorship for Cell Biology at the medical school of the University of Münster.

In 1999 he assumed the position of director at the Max-Planck-Institute of physiological and clinical research, which he held until 2001, when he became the director of the newly founded Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster.

Samir M. Parikh, MD – Harvard University
Samir Parikh is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a physician in the Division of Nephrology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Parikh graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree in chemistry and received the Founder’s Medal from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed post-graduate training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Parikh has served as principal investigator on research grants from the National Institutes of Health, American Society of Nephrology, American Heart Association, and American Diabetes Association. His research is focused on the discovery and translation of molecular mechanisms underlying acute kidney injury and sepsis. Ongoing studies are examining the intersection of metabolic and vascular signaling in the kidney and exploring mechanistic links among aging, acute organ dysfunction, and chronic disease. Dr. Parikh has been inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). He has received the NIH/NHLBI’s Outstanding Investigator Award.
Dan Stamer, PhD – Duke University

W. Daniel Stamer, Ph.D. currently serves as the Joseph A.C. Wadsworth Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. Professor Stamer was educated at the University of Arizona, earning his bachelors of science in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 1990 and doctorate in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1996. He completed two research fellowships: the first with Dr. Andrea Yool in electrophysiology and the second with Dr. David Epstein in glaucoma/cell biology. Professor Stamer started his research program in 1998 at the University of Arizona, where he remained for 14 years, rising through the ranks to full Professor and Director of Ophthalmic Research. He joined the faculty at the Duke Eye Center 6 years ago. Notable recent accomplishments include the Rudin Prize for Glaucoma in 2012, the Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Scientific Investigator Award in 2013 and election as ARVO trustee in 2015. He currently holds prominent editorial positions in three premier ophthalmology journals: as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, member of editorial board Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science and executive editor of Experimental Eye Research.

The primary research focus of the Stamer laboratory is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate conventional outflow such that novel targets can be identified, validated and used for the development of therapeutics that target/modify the diseased tissue responsible for elevated intraocular pressure in glaucoma. Professor Stamer has been working in the area of glaucoma research for the past 25 years, pioneering cellular, tissue, organ culture and murine model systems for use by his laboratory and others to study conventional outflow physiology and pharmacology. His laboratory has worked closely with industry, assisting in the development/pre-clinical testing of several new classes of glaucoma drugs that target the diseased conventional outflow pathway responsible for ocular hypertension.

Research progress by the Stamer laboratory group is documented in over 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts and two dozen reviews/book chapters/editorials.

Ophthalmology Advisory Board

David Boyer, MD

David S. Boyer, M.D. is a senior partner at Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group in Los Angeles and a Clinical Professor with the University of Southern California with an extensive research background. His professional affiliations include the Los Angeles Medical Association, Los Angeles Eye Society, American Board of Ophthalmology, Discovery Fund for Eye Research, American Academy of Ophthalmology, California Medical Association, Retina Society, Macula Society, American Medical Association and Retinitis Pigmentosa International. Dr. Boyer is a widely-published author and lecturer, and has been an advisor for several biotech and pharmaceutical companies. He is a member of the board of directors of the Research Study Club, Discovery Fund for Eye Research and has been a member of the board of directors of the American Diabetes Association Los Angeles Chapter and the Center for the Partially Sighted.

Dr. Boyer received a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Champaign, after which he completed a medical degree at the Chicago Medical School. In 1976 he finished his residency at the U.S.C. County Medical Center, and completed a retinal surgery fellowship at the Wills Eye Hospital.

Peter Campochiaro, MD

Dr. Campochiaro was trained at the University of Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the University of Virginia, and Wilmer Eye Institute, joining the Wilmer Faculty in 1991. He is currently the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience at the Wilmer Institute. His major research interests are in gaining a greater understanding of the roles of peptide growth and trophic factors in the retina and retinal pigmented-epithelium with a goal of developing new treatments for proliferative retinopathies, choroidal neovascularization and retinal degenerations. Dr Campochiaro has been a scientific advisor for several biotech and pharmaceutical companies, he has more than 300 articles published in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Peter Kaiser, MD

Peter K. Kaiser, MD, is the Chaney Family Endowed Chair for Ophthalmology Research, Professor of Ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Founder and Director of the Digital Optical Coherence Tomography Reading Center (DOCTR), and Director of the Cole Ophthalmic Imaging Center.

Dr. Kaiser graduated magna cum laude with Highest Honors from Harvard College and magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School. He completed an internal medicine internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, an ophthalmology residency at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and a vitreoretinal fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute before joining the Vitreoretinal Department of the Cole Eye Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Kaiser serves on numerous Scientific Advisory Boards, and on the Editorial Boards of American Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina, Retina Today, and Ocular Surgery News. Dr. Kaiser is also editor-in-chief of Retinal Physician magazine. In addition, Dr. Kaiser is the team ophthalmologist for the Cleveland Browns (National Football League) and Cleveland Cavaliers (National Basketball Association).

Jeffrey S. Heier, MD
Dr. Heier is the Co-President and Medical Director, Director of the Vitreoretinal Service, and Director of Retina Research at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston (OCB). Dr. Heier is one of the leading retinal clinical researchers in the country for new treatments in exudative and non-exudative macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, venous occlusive disease, vitreoretinal surgical techniques and instrumentation, and diagnostic imaging of the retina.  He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of several biotech and pharmaceutical companies.  Dr. Heier is the lead investigator on numerous clinical trials, ranging from phase I safety and proof of concept trials to phase IV post-marketing studies Dr. Heier received his medical degree from Boston University, then did a transitional internship and ophthalmology residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center.  Between his internship and residency, Dr. Heier served as a physician in a Combat Support Hospital in the Persian Gulf War, where he was awarded a Bronze Star.  Dr. Heier then completed a vitreoretinal fellowship at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston/Tufts University School of Medicine.