Avellino is a global leader in gene therapy and molecular diagnostics. Our vast team of medical and business experts work together to develop innovative genetic tests for corneal diseases and more.
Gene is the current President and the founder and visionary behind the Avellino Labs network of companies. A serial entrepreneur, he started Avellino Labs in 2008 in South Korea and brings more than 20 years of experience leading pharmaceutical, healthcare, and genetic diagnostics teams. In 2013, Gene relocated to Silicon Valley to support Avellino Labs’ transition to a U.S.-based global company. Gene is also the lead inventor and author of most of the patents in Avellino’s IP portfolio.
Tom is the current Chief Strategy Officer and Corporate Secretary. Tom was Avellino Labs’ outside legal counsel from the incorporation of Avellino Labs USA office in 2011. He later became a consultant to the Board of Directors in 2015, then became a member of the Board of Directors of Avellino Labs in 2016, ultimately becoming the Chief Strategy Officer & Corporate Secretary in 2018. Tom brings his extensive legal and business experience in transactions involving venture capital financings, initial public offerings of securities, mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation law, and other strategic business transactions. Tom is one of the two founding partners of Kastner | Kim LLP. Prior to the formation of Kastner | Kim LLP, Tom was also an attorney with Fenwick & West LLP in Silicon Valley.
Tara joined Avellino Labs in 2016 and is concurrently Director of the Biomedical Research Institute at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. She is a Harvard graduate with a wealth of experience working in universities and laboratories across UK, Europe, and the U.S. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed international research articles, numerous book chapters, and two books. The focus of Tara’s research is the optimization of gene silencing and gene editing to target the causative mutation in a personalized medicine approach to the treatment or prevention of corneal dystrophy. Her awarded degrees include BSc (First Class Hons), Ph.D, NTF, FHEA, FFFLM (Hon), FRSA, FRSB, FRSM.
Scott joined Avellino Labs in 2012 and as the first U.S. employee established our laboratory and business operations in Menlo Park, California. He brings 30 years of experience in the bio-science industry as an entrepreneur and founder of two businesses, supporting many early stage ventures and managing successful teams at three Fortune 500 companies. Scott drives the company’s global technology and operating strategy from our headquarters in Silicon Valley.
Connie brings to Avellino expertise as an accomplished scientist and leader in GLP/CLIA/GMP/CAP/JC regulatory requirements and TS/GS level CLS. This includes strong skills in achieving CLIA lab accreditation, managing budgets, customer services, R&D, software development, and marketing. Connie played a key role at starting and CLIA certification of the Avellino Labs USA lab (2012-2014). She returns to Avellino Labs after one year with Alameda Health System as Laboratory Administrative Director. Previous employment included CardioDx, Kaiser Permanente, and Berkeley HeartLab.
Eric joins Avellino Labs from Alcon, bringing 20 years of product development and commercialization experience in the ophthalmic surgical industry. Eric started his career in patient care and moved into industry in 1999 with Summit Technology, one of the first excimer laser manufacturers. He continued to develop and take commercial leadership positions within Summit, BD Ophthalmic Systems, and then Alcon. He has focused on introducing new and advanced technologies most of his career in global, regional and country level roles while based in the Americas, Asia/Japan, and most recently, the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region.
Stanley Chang has developed and operated numerous business organizations located in multiple countries. Prior to joining Avellino, he was the founding attorney of Perspectives Law Group, Corp. He practiced law in numerous areas including corporate matters, intellectual property, and business transactions for start-ups through Fortune 100 companies. Stanley practiced in various technology areas including semiconductors, hardware, software, systems, machine learning/artificial intelligence, and complex algorithms. Prior to practicing law, Stanley had a career progressing from engineer to Senior Director with Western Digital Corporation, Quantum Corporation, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Agilent Technologies. Stanley received his Bachelor of Science from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Master of Science from University of Southern California (USC), and Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University School of law.
John brings over twelve years of HR, employment, and labor law experience to Avellino. John’s roles at Avellino includes the development of HR/business policies and processes, training, people/workforce development, business strategies, workforce plans, talent acquisition, and programs that align with the organization’s overall strategic growth. Prior to joining Avellino, John was a shareholder at the world’s largest labor & employment law firm, Littler Mendelson, where Avellino was his client. John received his JD from the University of San Francisco, BA in Economics and Spanish from Davidson College, and is SHRM-SCP certified.
Benedetto brings to Avellino Labs 20 years of experience in sales and marketing management with extensive knowledge of the ophthalmology industry globally. Benedetto leverages his experience and network managing a family-owned ophthalmology business in Europe to connect Avellino Labs with key doctors and distribution partners in more than 50 countries.
Professor John Marshall is the Frost Professor of Ophthalmology and Chairman of the Academic Department of Ophthalmology, at St Thomas’ Hospital, and was formerly Sembal Professor of Experimental Ophthalmology at the Institute of Ophthalmology from 1982-1991. His research over the past forty years has ranged over a number of ocular problems but has concentrated on the inter-relationships between light and ageing, the mechanisms underlying age-related, diabetic, and inherited retinal disease, and the development of lasers for use in ophthalmic diagnosis and surgery. This work has resulted in almost four hundred research papers and numerous book chapters and books. It produced and patented the revolutionary Excimer laser for the correction of refractive disorders with in excess of 17 million procedures now having been undertaken worldwide. It also created the world’s first Diode laser for treating eye problems of diabetes, glaucoma and ageing. He is editor and co-editor of numerous international journals. He has been awarded the Nettleship Medal of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, the Mackenzie Medal, the Raynor Medal, the Ridley Medal, the Ashton Medal, the Ida Mann Medal and the Lord Crook Gold Medal of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, the Doyne Medal of the Oxford Congress, the Barraquer Medal of the International Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the Kelman Innovator Award of the American Society for Refractive and Cataract Surgery, and the Lim Medal of the Singapore National Eye Centre. He has been visiting professor at numerous universities on every continent. He has held posts chairing the medical advisory boards of many international companies and was a director of Diomed for some years, this being the leading supplier of diode laser systems for surgery.
Dr. Sang Yup Lee is Distinguished Professor at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He is currently the Dean of KAIST Institutes, Director of BioProcess Engineering Research Center, and Director of Bioinformatics Research Center. He served as a Founding Dean of College of Life Science and Bioengineering. Dr. Lee is a pioneer of systems metabolic engineering, one of the Top 10 Emerging Techonologies by World Economic Forum 2016, developing microbial bioprocesses to produce the world’s first engineered plastic raw materials and gasoline as well as artificial spider silk stronger than steel. He also developed DeepDDI, the AI deep learning framework that accurately predicts drug-drug and drug-food interactions, and the virtual cell model to accurately predict cancer cell metabolism and enable precision medicine treatment. He has published more than 580 journal papers, 82 books/book chapters, and more than 630 patents, many of which licensed. He received numerous awards, including the National Order of Merit, National Science Medal, and he is the first Asian scientist to receive James Bailey Award and Marvin Johnson Award. He is editor-in-chief of Biotechnology Journal (Wiley) and Metabolic Engineering (Elsevier), and an editor and editorial board member of 30 international journals. He is a member of the Global Future Council on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum, and he served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology of Korea, Government Performance Evaluation Committee. His research areas are metabolic engineering, systems biology, synthetic biology, systems medicine, industrial biotechnology, and nanobiotechnology.
With over 38 years of experience building and advancing world-class ophthalmic organizations, Mazzo joins the Avellino Labs Board of Directors as one of the industry’s best-known and most respected leaders. Mazzo is currently the Global President of Ophthalmic Devices at Carl Zeiss Meditec. He also serves on the ASCRS Governing Board, the AAO Foundation Advisory Board, and is an Executive Committee Member of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA). Throughout his career, Mazzo has held various executive and board leadership roles at ophthalmic organizations, including Allergan, Advanced Medical Optics, Abbott, AcuFocus, Neurotech, and AdvaMed.
Dr. Terry Kim, Professor of Ophthalmology at Duke University Eye Center, received his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and completed his residency and chief residency in ophthalmology at Emory Eye Center. He continued with his fellowship training in Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Surgery at Wills Eye Hospital. He was then recruited to Duke University Eye Center, where he serves as principal and co-investigator on a number of clinical trials and research grants from the National Institutes of Health and other industry sponsors. Dr. Kim was formerly the Director of the Residency Program and Ophthalmology Fellowship Programs and currently serves as Chief of the Cornea and External Disease Division and Director of the Refractive Surgery Service. Dr. Kim’s clinical and surgical expertise has resulted in continual annual listings by Best Doctors in America, Best Doctors in North Carolina, and America’s Top Ophthalmologists since 2003 as well as featured stories on the Discovery Channel and The Wall Street Journal. He has also been voted by his peers as one of 300 Premier Surgeons in Ocular Surgery News. His academic accomplishments include over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles, textbook chapters, and scientific abstracts. He is also editor and author of 4 well-respected textbooks on corneal diseases and cataract surgery.
Dr. Anthony J. Aldave holds the Walton Li Chair in Cornea and Uveitis and is Chief of the Cornea and Uveitis Division and Director of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Fellowship Program at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, The University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Aldave has received numerous honors during his career, including the Alpha Omega Alpha Scholarship Award for graduating first in his medical school class, the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship, the American Ophthalmological Society-Knapp Testimonial Fund Fellowship, the first Claes Dohlman Society Award, and the Achievement, Secretariat and Senior Achievement Awards from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In addition to his busy clinical practice, Dr. Aldave directs the Corneal Genetics Laboratory at the Jules Stein Eye Institute. Dr. Aldave’s NIH-funded laboratory research focuses on the molecular genetics of the corneal dystrophies, a group of inherited disorders that affect corneal clarity and constitute one of the primary indications for corneal transplantation. Recognized as a leader in his chosen field of scientific investigation, Dr. Aldave has authored over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, has been invited to give more than 250 scientific presentations at local, national, and international meetings and serves as a scientific reviewer for 14 ophthalmology and genetics journals.
Professor H. Burkhard Dick is an international leading Ophthalmologic Surgeon hailing from Germany and specializing in ophthalmic viscosurgical devices. Throughout his career, he has covered the full spectrum of ophthalmologic surgeries, and regularly performs cataract surgeries, LASIK procedures, phakic IOL implantations, glaucoma operations, corneal transplants, and pars plana vitrectomies. He performs 2,500 anterior segments annually, as well as several hundred vitreoretinal surgeries. After graduating in 1983, Professor Dick spent his subsequent two years as Medical Officer in the German Army. He received his Doctorship in 1991, which was followed by a two-year residency at the University Eye Hospital in Giessen. His surgical career began with his fellowship at Justus-Liebig-University Giessen Eye Hospital. Professor Dick is a member of Optical Express International Medical Advisory Board (IMAB), as well as Professor of Ophthalmology, Chairman, and Head of the University Eye Clinic Bochum. He teaches, instructs, and educates young ophthalmic surgeons in cataract and refractive procedures as well as in glaucoma and retinal surgeries. The University Eye Clinic serves as a reference centre for Micro Incision Cataract Surgery (MICS) and phakic Intraoculaer Lenses. The author of several books and more than 300 articles in such journals as Ophthalmology, American Journal of Ophthalmology, Journal of Glaucoma, Retina, Journal of Refractive Surgery, Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, and the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Professor Dick has also presented at numerous international conferences.
Shigeru Kinoshita, MD, PhD, graduated from Osaka University Medical School in 1974 and has served as the Professor and Chairman of Ophthalmology at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine since 1992. In the early 1980s he collaborated with Doctor Richard A. Toft at The Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston and completed a cornea fellowship at Harvard Medical School. He is known in the global ophthalmic community for his groundbreaking and innovative research concerning to the Cornea. Professor Kinoshita will help guide the company’s research efforts to developed genetics based personalized medicine solutions to diagnose and treat corneal dystrophies, a leading cause of visual impairment that effects more than 900 million people in the developed world and accounts for roughly half of the keratoplasty, or corneal transplant, surgeries performed today.
David G. Hwang, MD, FACS is Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and holds the Pearl T. and Samuel J. Kimura Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology. After graduating first in his medical school class at UCSF at age 20, he underwent residency training in internal medicine and ophthalmology at UCSF. He undertook fellowships in cornea, refractive surgery, and uveitis at the Doheny Eye Institute as a Heed Fellow, and he was later named one of three national recipients of the Heed-Knapp Fellowship. Dr. Hwang joined the UCSF medical school faculty and is currently Professor and Vice Chair, Director of the Cornea Service, and Director of the Refractive Surgery Service. At UCSF he has served as Medical Director of Ophthalmology, Director of the UCSF Eye Bank, and Vice Chair of Surgical Services. He has been elected President of the Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group and Executive Director of the Max Fine Cornea Society. He has won the Hogan Award, the Asbury Award, the UCSF Teaching Award in Ophthalmology, the AAO Honor Award, and the AAO Senior Honor Award. He has taught over 75 clinical and postdoctoral fellows, including current professors of ophthalmology, divisional chiefs, and chairs of ophthalmology departments worldwide. He has delivered 13 named lectures and keynote addresses, published over 100 articles and scientific abstracts, and co-authored two texts in cornea and refractive surgery. Named one of the “Best Doctors in America” for more than 20 consecutive years, Dr. Hwang research interests include ophthalmic antimicrobial therapy and drug resistance, corneal endothelial cell transplantation and gene transfer, and clinical development of new techniques and instrumentation in corneal, cataract, and refractive surgery.
Dr. Eung Kweon (EK) Kim is distinguished professor and Department Chairman in Ophthalmology at Yonsei University College of Medicine and Ophthalmologist at Severance Hospital in Yonsei University Health System, Seoul, Korea. Dr. Kim is recognized globally for his expertise in granular corneal dystrophy, with over 140 authored peer-reviewed manuscripts on his research. He was the first to report Avellino Corneal Dystrophy (GCD2) as a contraindication to LASIK and subsequently that LASEK and PRK are also contraindicated. Dr. Kim performed molecular cell biology experiments about GCD2 and reported that the fibroblast from the cornea with GCD2 is suffering from oxidative stress. He continuously doing the research about the pathophysiology of GCD2.
Eric is a past president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and national medical director for TLC Laser Eye Centers. A clinical professor of ophthalmology at New York University Medical Center and chief medical editor of EyeWorld, Dr. Donnenfeld is a well-respected researcher and innovator in ophthalmology with a specific focus in refractive surgery with an extensive body of published work. Dr. Donnenfeld is a Fellow of the America Academy of Ophthalmology and practices at Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island.
Edward is the director of cornea services at Cincinnati Eye Institute and professor of ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati. He is a past president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the Cornea Society and the Eye Bank Association of America. Dr. Holland is a recipient of the prestigious Binkhorst Medal (2008) and served on the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Richard is founder of Minnesota Eye Consultants, is an internationally recognized leader in corneal, cataract and refractive surgery and sought-after keynote and guest lecturer before professional societies around the world. Known as a pioneer on the forefront of innovation in ophthalmology, Dr. Lindstrom holds more than 40 patents for pharmaceuticals and medical devices that are used in clinical practices globally and has made significant contributions to the science of ophthalmology through his published clinical research.
Elizabeth is an assistant professor at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. She is editor-in-chief of U.S. Ophthalmic Review and is the medical editor for Millennial Eye. Dr. Yeu is a respected expert in refractive cataract surgery, anterior segment reconstruction and ocular surface disease and serves on several national medical boards and committees.
Sandy Climan is the President of Entertainment Media Ventures, which he founded in 1999. He previously served as part of the senior management at Creative Artists Agency for 12 years, and he was the founder of CAA’s corporate practice. He has held senior executive roles across the entertainment industry, including Corporate Executive Vice President and President of Worldwide Business Development for Universal Studios, executive positions in production and distribution for MGM, and the first CEO of 3D filmmaking pioneer 3ality Digital. His productions include “U2 3D,” the first digital live-action 3D film, and “The Aviator,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese, for which he was awarded a Golden Globe and a British Academy Award. Sandy is also actively engaged in creating ventures in the areas of health and wellness. He launched sleep data company SleepScore Labs in 2016, has served on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the CDC and serves on the board of the UCLA Longevity Center.
Dr. Robert Sikorski is an independent drug developer focusing on advancing next generation therapeutics through his company Woodside Way Ventures. Previously, as the Chief Medical Officer of FivePrime Therapeutics, he built a development organization, led clinical programs that advanced oncology drugs, and led the steering committee that managed a $350 MM partnership agreement with BMS. As a Senior Director of Global Oncology Research and Development at Medimmune, he managed a clinical portfolio of six protein-based therapeutics in phase one and two clinical trials. They developed the initial PDL1 x CTLA4 combination regimen that advanced to a Phase III in lung cancer. As a Director of Global Oncology Research and Development at Amgen, he was instrumental in advancing a successful pivotal Phase III trial for Vectibix that gained European Marketing Authorization based on the first gene mutation companion diagnostic in colorectal cancer. Bob was also a medical affairs advisor to Genzyme and a CTO at Mednav, Inc. He is board-certified in both oncology and internal medicine. He has served as an editor for Science magazine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Jonathan Lord currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Dexcom, as a Director at Stericycle, and serves on advisory boards for Serco PLC (UK), Anthelio Health, and Third Rock Ventures. He has earned certificates in Governance and Audit from the Harvard Business School. A nationally recognized leader in innovations in healthcare, Dr. Lord became the University of Miami’s Chief Innovation Officer when he returned to his alma mater after three decades in healthcare leadership roles, in September 2011. In March 2012, he was named Chief Operating Officer of the Miller School of Medicine and UHealth-University of Miami Health System. He completed a financial turnaround of the Miller School and continues to serve today as a Professor of Pathology. A board-certified forensic pathologist who began his medical career in the U.S. Navy and later served as Chief Operating Officer of the American Hospital Association and several biotech companies, Dr. Lord served as the CEO for Navigenics, Inc. following his tenure as the former Chief Innovation Officer and senior vice president of Humana. During his time at Humana, he created Humana’s Innovation Center, which combines research, technology, and consumer experience to promote health and well-being.
Dr. Jeffrey Finer brings 30 years of research and clinical experience including 18 years of experience leading drug discovery programs, technology development initiatives, preclinical development, and translational medicine. Prior to joining Third Rock, Jeff spent many years in R&D leadership positions at several biotechnology companies. From 2007 to 2011, Jeff was Vice President, Discovery at Five Prime Therapeutics, and he served as Director, Drug Discovery Technologies at Cytokinetics after helping launch the company in 1998. Jeff has focused his career on breakthrough innovations which have included moving several first-in-class drugs into the clinic and developing novel technology platforms which integrate science, instruments, and informatics. He holds several patents and he has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. Jeff obtained his MD and PhD in Biochemistry from Stanford University School of Medicine, and he holds BS degrees in Chemistry and Biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Professor Andrea Cusumano is Research Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy). As a researcher of the Alexander von-Humboldt Foundation he directed the Alfred Krupp Electron Microscopy Lab of the Eye Clinic at the Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn. As a surgeon and medical scientist expert in ultrastructural analysis of the eye, he is actively contributing to the development of groundbreaking diagnostic techniques as well as to the introduction of new surgical and laser procedures for the treatment of hereditary eye diseases. Professor Cusumano is Founder and President of the Macula & Genoma Foundation Onlus, a non-profit organization worldwide supporting Translational Medicine in the field of Ophthalmology.
Dennis joins Avellino Labs from Samsung Securities, where as Senior Director of Investment Banking he was responsible for client coverage across many international business sectors. He has over 16 years of experience in investment banking across several M&A and capital markets transactions. Prior to Samsung Securities, Dennis oversaw Investment banking divisions for Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Citi. His leadership expertise includes strategic planning, business development and investor relations. Dennis received his degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Sangki brings to Avellino the combination of over fifteen years professional experiences as medical doctor, radiation oncologist, and venture capitalist, in pharmaceutical law enforcement, Investigational New Drug Applications, clinical trials, leading regulatory affairs and research on clinical trials. His employment included Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (KFDA) as Deputy Officer, National HRD Institute, Halla Medical Center as Chief of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Jeju National University Medical Center, Ulleung Medical Center, and Kyunghee University Medical Center. Sangki received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Medicine, Master of Science in radiation oncology, and Ph.D. in Radiation Oncology from Kyunghee University.
Jason joined Avellino Labs in 2017 bringing strong finance and business operations expertise providing oversight of the company’s global group finance and accounting services. His education includes MBA at UCLA Anderson School of Management, Los Angeles, and BBA at Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. Prior professional employment includes Oracle and PwC, and management roles with various Silicon Valley-based business enterprises.
Bill brings years of technical experience at some of Silicon Valley’s most recognizable technology companies; most recently as vice president of Siri, a virtual personal assistant application offered by Apple Inc. Previously, he worked as the president at A9, director of search and navigation at Amazon, director of advanced development at AltaVista, VP of engineering at AlterEgo Networks, director of development at Post Communications. His background includes research positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory while earning his undergrad and doctorate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. Bill will cultivate Avellino’s genetic data management infrastructure to support the company’s growth and expanded applications of its technologies in health and precision medicine. This in turn will drive industry and life-changing findings through the analysis of genetic data via artificial intelligence engines and applications.