Feb 28, 2023

RD Fund Appoints Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD, MMS to Board of Directors

The Foundation in the News

Ophthalmology visionary Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD, MMS, to join RD Fund’s Board.

Media Contact:
Chris Adams
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

RALEIGH, North Carolina – February 28, 2023 – Today, the RD Fund (Retinal Degeneration Fund), the venture arm of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, aimed at rapidly driving research toward preventions, treatments, and cures for retinal degenerative diseases, is proud to announce the appointment of Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD, MMS, to the RD Fund Board of Directors. Founding Board Member, Eugene de Juan, MD, has cycled off the RD Fund Board following four years of service.  

“Dr. Blumenkranz is an academic, clinical, and entrepreneurial leader in the field of retinal disease,” said Adrienne Graves, PhD, Chair, RD Fund. “I’ve had the privilege of knowing and collaborating with Mark over many years, witnessing his incredible curiosity, work ethic, and depth of influence firsthand. On behalf of the entire board, I am proud to officially welcome Dr. Blumenkranz, whose presence will undoubtedly enrich our organization and advance our mission. At the same time, we offer our sincerest thanks and deepest gratitude to Dr. de Juan, whose years of service were instrumental to our growth, evolution, and success.”

Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD, MMS, is HJ Smead Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ophthalmology at Stanford University. Dr. Blumenkranz is also the Managing Director of Lagunita Biosciences, an early-stage healthcare incubator. He has a long-standing interest in the areas of: university/industry technology transfer as well as ophthalmic laser delivery systems, ocular pharmacology, gene therapy, and health information technology. He is the recipient of multiple distinguished awards in the field, including the AAO and AJO’s Edward Jackson Award Lecture and, most recently, Stanford’s Albion Walter Hewlett Award, and is the author of more than 160 scientific papers and multiple patents in the field. He served as the Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Stanford from 1997 until 2015 and played a leading role in the planning, fundraising, and construction of the Byers Eye Institute there.

“I am honored to accept the role of board member with the RD Fund, an organization whose work cannot be overstated,” said Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD, MMS. “The advancement of retinal care requires a coherent vision, dedicated will, and carefully galvanized resources — key elements that the RD Fund works tirelessly to provide. I look forward to stepping into this new role and working alongside some of the most talented, capable, and caring leaders in ophthalmology.”

About the RD Fund
The RD Fund (Retinal Degeneration Fund) is the venture arm of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and a leading investor in the retinal disease space. It was established in 2018 to serve the Foundation’s mission to rapidly drive research toward preventions, treatments, and cures for blinding retinal diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. The RD Fund focuses on mission-related investments in companies with projects nearing clinical testing. Visit RDFund.org for more information.