Dr. Bhisitkul is a Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and retinal specialist at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology. In his 20 years of experience as a retinal surgeon and clinical scientist, Dr. Bhisitkul has been an investigator in 15 randomized clinical trials of novel therapies for retinal diseases, including anti-VEGF therapies for DME, and served as Clinical Trial Director for the SEVEN-UP Study, the first longitudinal trial to determine long-term vision outcomes for macular degeneration patients undergoing multi-year anti-VEGF therapy. His laboratory research focuses on basic mechanisms of retinal diseases in animal models and cell culture, as well as new technologies for retinal surgery and treatments. Dr. Bhisitkul has served as a consultant and clinical advisor for numerous pharmaceutical companies including those with market-leading products for macular edema. Dr. Bhisitkul has served as Associate Editor and Web Editor of the British Journal of Ophthalmology and is an ad hoc reviewer for several journals including Ophthalmology, American Journal of Ophthalmology and IOVS.He earned his M.D. from Stanford University and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University. and completed his residency and fellowship training at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Nguyen is a Professor of Ophthalmology at the Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine. He is known for his innovative work in early proof-of-concept, first-in-human clinical trials to evaluate potential pharmacotherapeutic agents for retinal vascular and uveitic diseases. Dr. Nguyen serves as principal investigator on multiple clinical trials sponsored by the National Eye Institute and other organizations for macular edema (from diabetes and uveitis), neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and ocular inflammatory and uveitic diseases. He and his team were among the first clinician-scientists in the world to evaluate aflibercept for neovascular AMD and ranibizumab for DME. The initial results of these studies served as the foundation for subsequent trials leading to the approval of EYLEA and Lucentis by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory authorities. Dr. Nguyen has published over 300 peer reviewed articles and is on the Editorial Board of several journals, including the Journal of Ophthalmic Infection and Inflammation and Ophthalmic Surgery, Laser, and Imaging Retina.

Dr. Olefsky is Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and the Associate Dean of Scientific Affairs for the UCSD School of Medicine.  He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. One of his seminal contributions to the field of Medicine has been the identification of the role of insulin resistance as a primary cause of Type II (non-insulin dependent, adult-onset) diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and other human diseases. His work has also helped develop insulin-sensitizing drugs that are now standard therapies for Type II diabetes. More recently, his lab has developed studies establishing the role of macrophage-mediated tissue inflammation as a key cause of obesity-related insulin resistance. He has conducted numerous studies to help define the basic genetic and cellular mechanisms underlying decreased insulin action in human pathophysiologic states.

Adrian Vella, MD

SAB Member

Dr. Vella is a Professor of Medicine in the Endocrinology Division at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He is a leading expert in hypoglycemic disorders and was involved as an investigator in the early clinical trials of RZ358. Dr. Vella has published over 160 peer-reviewed articles related to endocrinology, metabolic disorders, and diabetes and currently serves as a member of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Postdoctoral Programs Committee at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He was a Mayo Foundation Scholar and Visiting Research Fellow in the Diabetes & Inflammation Laboratory at the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research in Cambridge, UK. Dr. Vella completed his Endocrinology fellowship at the Clinician-Investigator Training Program at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education and his Internal Medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. He received his M.D. from the University of Malta.