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Eyecelerator @ ASCRS 2024

Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport | Thursday, April 4


New this year: Audience members can submit questions to moderators to include in discussions for sessions 2-7, including the breakouts! 

Registration + Networking Breakfast

7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

Registration and breakfast

(Registration open till 3:30 p.m.)

Welcome Remarks

8:00 – 8:15 a.m.

  • Steve Speares, Executive Director, ASCRS

  • Gil Kliman, MD, Program Director

  • John Berdahl, MD, Program Co-Chair

  • Julie Schallhorn, MD, MS, Program Co-Chair

S1: State of Ophthalmology

8:15 – 8:45 a.m.

Dive into a market overview and data-driven look at trends and capital markets.


  • John Berdahl, MD, Program Co-Chair

  • Julie Schallhorn, MD, MS, Program Co-Chair


  • Neha Begwani, Morgan Stanley

  • Aaron DeGagne, CFA, PitchBook

  • Kristen Harmon Ingenito, Market Scope

S2: Ophthalmic MedTech Investing 

8:45 – 9:30 a.m.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but investments in ophthalmology require 20/10 vision. Hear perspectives from institutional investors, venture capital, and investment banking on the investment process, research, and framework they use to evaluate assets.


  • Gil Kliman, MD, Program Director

  • Ryan Zimmerman, BTIG


  • Neha Begwani, Morgan Stanley

  • Winston Chang, Polar Asset Management

  • Andy Corley, RxSight

  • Frank Coughlin, Columbia Threadneedle Investments

  • Jeff Weinhuff, Visionary Ventures

Networking Break 

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Networking Break

S3: Wheels Up: New Products Attempting Takeoff

10:00 – 10:45 a.m.

Where is the next blockbuster innovation? Back by popular demand, the Wheels Up session debuts products attempting takeoff in 2024, while also providing a quick overview of how last year’s launchpad products are faring. Commercialization teams will share their market development approaches and take challenging questions from strategics. 


  • Nicole Fram, MD

  • Julie Schallhorn, MD, MS, Program Co-Chair


  • Ron Kurtz, MD, President and CEO of RxSight

  • Aziz Mottiwala, Chief Commercial Officer of Tarsus Pharmaceuticals

  • Elizabeth Yeu, MD, Director and Chief Medical Advisor of Tarsus Pharmaceuticals

  • Dirk Muehlhoff, Vice President for the Refractive Laser Business within Carl Zeiss Meditec

S4: Masterclass: How Deals Get Done

10:45 – 11:15 a.m.

In this Masterclass, audience members can submit questions to one of the industry's most prolific dealmakers, Chairman and CEO of Bausch + Lomb Brent Saunders and hear how he identifies and vets opportunities, and closes deals. In discussion with American Academy of Ophthalmology CEO Stephen D. McLeod, MD.

S5: The Winning Pitch Challenge

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Back by popular demand! The Shark Tank-style competition features pitches from three early-stage ophthalmology innovators, with judges and the audience deciding who will take home cash prizes worth $45,000.


  • InGel Therapeutics Pierre Dromel, PhD

  • The LASIK Tonometer Maria Iglesias, MD, PhD

  • TheiaNova Ltd Carissa Fonseca, PhD


  • Vance Thompson, MD

  • John Berdahl, MD 


  • Adrienne L. Graves, PhD, Former Board Chair, Iveric Bio 

  • Richard L. Lindstrom, MD, Founder, Minnesota Eye Associates

  • Jim Mazzo, Executive Chairman, Neurotech Pharmaceuticals

  • Juliet Bakker, Managing Partner & Founder, Longitude Capital

  • Robert Warner, MBA

Honorable Mention:

  • FELIQS – Kenichiro Kuninobu, PhD

  • Eyedetec Medical Inc – Barry Linder, MD

  • OcuSim – Afsun Sahin, MD, PhD

Networking Lunch

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Enjoy a bite to eat with your colleagues.

Presenting Company Showcases

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. 

These breakouts showcase presenting companies to a targeted ophthalmic audience to help accelerate innovation and growth. Each company will do a six-minute presentation followed by two minutes for questions. The audience will vote for the People's Choice Awards.

Breakout 1



  • Cathleen McCabe, MD

  • Jim Mazzo (Neurotech)

Presenting Companies:

  • Ace Vision Group – Alex Lopez, Chief Commercial Officer

  • Aurion Biotech – Greg Kunst, CEO

  • Brightstar Therapeutics – Rajan Shukla, CEO

  • CorNeat Vision – Almog Aley-Raz, Co-Founder, CEO, VP of Research and Development

  • Emmecell – Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, PhD, Co-Founder, Director, Board of Managers

  • Epion Therapeutics – Michael W. Belin, MD, Chief Medical Officer

  • EyeYon – Nahum Ferera, CEO & Founder

  • NeuroTrigger – Nikolai Kunicher, PhD, MBA, CEO

  • OKYO Pharma Ltd – Gary Jacob, PhD, CEO/Director

  • Centricity Vision Inc – Leonard Borrmann, PharmD, CEO

Breakout 2


  • Sam Garg, MD

  • Beth Marsh (Apellis)

Presenting Companies:

  • Avisi Technologies – Ehsan Sadri, MD, Board Member

  • Glaukos Corporation – Tomas Navratil, PhD, Chief Development Officer

  • Ocular Therapeutix – Pravin U. Dugel, MD, Executive Chairman

  • Sanoculis – Nir Israeli, CEO

  • Skye Bioscience Inc. – Chris Twitty, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

  • ViaLase, Inc – Pete England, Vice President of Global Marketing

  • Sydnexis Inc. – Nick Ruth, Chief Commercial Officer

  • Oculis – Riad Sherif, MD, CEO

  • Ripple Therapeutics Ltd. – Tom Reeves, President & CEO

  • Osheru – Patricia Buehler, MD, MPH, CEO and Founder

Network with Presenting Companies

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. 

Meet representatives from presenting companies.

S6: DED or Dead?

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. 

Join us to determine if the dry-eye landscape is indeed drying out or a fertile opportunity for investors.


  • Robert Dempsey, CEO and President, AsclepiX Therapeutics, Inc.

  • Preeya Gupta, MD, Triangle Eye Consultants



  • Edward Holland, MD, Director of Cornea Services at Cincinnati Eye Institute, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati
  • Marc Gleeson, CEO, Azura Ophthalmics
  • Marjan Farid, MD, UCI Gavin Herbert Eye Institute
  • Todd Brady, MD, PhD, CEO, President & Director, Aldeyra

S7: The Exit Interview: Wiley Chambers, MD

3:30 – 3:45 p.m.

Hear from Dr. Chambers himself in his first interview since his departure from the FDA, and where he thinks the agency is headed under new leadership.

Moderator: John Berdahl, MD, Program Co-Chair

The Exit Interview: Wiley Chambers, MD

S8: The Binary Event - How to Earn FDA Approval Efficiently and Avoid Rejection

3:45 - 4:15 p.m.

Industry experts discuss the ins and outs of navigating the regulatory landscape.


  • John Berdahl, MD, Program Co-Chair


  • Wiley Chambers, MD

  • Kuldev Singh, MD, MPH, Stanford Medicine

  • Malvina Eydelman, MD, FDA

  • Phil Desjardins, Arnold & Porter

  • Keeley Puls-Boever, True North

  • Raj Rajpal, Johnson & Johnson

Closing Bell and People's Choice Awards

4:15 – 4:30 p.m. 

The program committee wraps the day with insights and People's Choice recognition.


  • Gil Kliman, MD, Program Director

  • John Berdahl, MD, Program Co-Chair

  • Julie Schallhorn, MD, MS, Program Co-Chair


4:30 – 5:30 p.m. 

Enjoy refreshments and connect!

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