Patrick Johnson has been Chief Business Officer at Sydenxis since 2017. Prior to this role, Patrick was the Vice President of Corporate and Business Development at Allergan, a publicly-traded, large-cap pharmaceutical company. At Allergan, Patrick was responsible for corporate partnerships and mergers and acquisitions in ophthalmology, Allergan’s largest therapeutic area, and also drug delivery. Prior to Allergan, Patrick was a co-founder of Chimeros, a biotechnology start-up company founded in Santa Barbara in 2005 where he was Vice President of Business Development in addition to leading scientific teams as Director of Biology. Before co-founding Chimeros, Patrick was an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he was simultaneously conducting research in the Center for the Study of Macular Degeneration while teaching classes in Neurobiology, Developmental Biology, Introductory Biology, and Biotechnology and Society. Patrick holds a B.S. in Biopsychology and a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, both from USCB. His doctoral research focused on the development of visual pathways in mammals and his post-doctoral research focussed on diseases of the eye, spanning both acute injury (retinal detachment) and chronic disease (age-related macular degeneration).
Ken Widder has been Chief Executive Officer at Sydnexis since 2017. Ken is an M.D. with over 30 years of experience working with biomedical companies. He has founded seven companies and was Chairman/CEO of six of these. He was a General Partner at LVP Life Science Ventures (formerly Latterell Venture Partners) for over a decade, and previously was a General Partner at Windamere Venture Partners.
He formerly was CEO and Chairman of Sytera Inc. which merged with Sirion Therapeutics, an ophthalmology specialty pharmaceutical company. Prior to Sytera, Ken was a co-founder and CEO of NovaCardia, a company acquired by Merck after positive phase 2 data. Prior to NovaCardia, Ken was a founder, Chairman, and CEO of Santarus (NASDAQ:SNTS), which was acquired by Salix Pharmaceuticals. Additionally he was Chairman and CEO of Converge Medical, a medical device company developing a sutureless anastamosis system for vein grafts in coronary artery by-pass surgery.
Ken started his career as a founder, Chairman and CEO of Molecular Biosystems, where he was responsible for the development and approval of AlbunexTM and OptisonTM, the first two ultrasound contrast agents to be approved in the U.S. He currently sits on the boards of Evoke Pharma, OrphoMed, and Quidel, Inc.
Ken holds an M.D. from Northwestern University and trained in pathology at Duke University. He is an inventor on over 30 patents and patent applications and has authored or co-authored over 30 publications.
Jacqueline Johnson, Ph.D. is co-founder and has been Chief Operating Officer of Sydnexis since 2017. Her role includes but is not limited to the management of finance, manufacturing, preclinical toxicology studies, analytical chemistry, and quality programs for the Company.
Prior to Sydnexis, Dr. Johnson was President of Development and Strategic Consulting LLC for 10 years (2004-2014). This firm offered management expertise to biotechnology clients in the areas of regulatory and clinical affairs. In addition, Dr. Johnson held interim management roles in biotech start-ups as acting CEO of Trinity Pharmaceutical and acting COO of Revision Therapeutics.
Dr. Johnson served as President and CEO of Ferx Inc. from 1996-2004. Ferx was a biotechnology company focused on the development of their proprietary product Magnetic Targeted Carriers which were used to deliver potent chemotherapy compounds to specific tumor sites in the body. Ferx performed clinical trials worldwide including Europe and was the first company to do trials with an unmarketed product in China starting in 1998.
Dr. Johnson was Vice President of Operations at Signal Pharmaceuticals from 1992-1995. Signal was eventually purchased by Celgene. Before that she was Director of Product Development at Amylin Pharmaceuticals (1989-1992) and she started her career as Sr. Scientist of Molecular BIolkogy at Hybritech Inc. in 1986.
Dr. Johnson received both a Bachelor and a Master degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a Ph.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine (Genetics) and as a Damon Runyon Fellow did her Post-doctoral work at The Salk Institute.
Zach Scheiner is a Principal on the Investment Team at RA Capital Management. Zach works on both public and private investments and serves as a Board Director for Adagio Medical, Exo Imaging, LENZ Therapeutics, and Nkarta Therapeutics. Zach holds a BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, and a PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior from the University of Washington. Zach previously worked as a Science Officer at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Dr. Grunberg is a Managing Director at Longitude Capital. Prior to joining Longitude Capital in 2012, Dr. Grunberg was a Principal at Rho Ventures and an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company. Dr. Grunberg is a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine and completed his residency at Cornell’s New York Presbyterian Hospital. He has maintained a limited clinical practice in Internal Medicine and affiliations with UCSF and Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Grunberg currently serves on the boards of 89bio (ETNB), Kala Pharmaceuticals (KALA), Somatus, and WelbeHealth. He is also a board observer at Cohere Health, Cortica, and Sydnexis. He previously served on the board of California Cryobank (acquired by GI Partners) and led Longitude’s investment in Practice Fusion (acquired by Allscripts). While at Rho Ventures he served on the board of AqueSys (acquired by Allergan) and was a board observer at both SARCode Bioscience (acquired by Shire) and PHT (acquired by ERT). Dr. Grunberg holds an M.D. and an M.B.A from Duke University where he was a Fuqua Scholar and an A.B. in Economics and English from Amherst College.
Jeffry Weinhuff is the managing partner of visionary venture fund, a later-stage venture fund focused on investing in drugs and devices for the eye. Visionary is one of the most active investors in the field using a unique approach to venture investing by partnering with over 85 key opinion leader ophthalmologists and optometrists, in visionary’s thirteen portfolio companies, the combination of kol insights and professional investment management reduces risk and enhances predictable returns. Visionary is investing out of its second fund.
Mr. Weinhuff has been active in private equity investing over 35 years and is an active lead investor and board member for visionary’s portfolio companies.
Tyler J. Stowater is a Partner at Bluestem. He graduated from South Dakota State University with a BS Degree in Agriculture Economics (1984) and an MS Degree in Economics (1986). Tyler spent eleven years with the State of South Dakota’s Bureau of Finance and Management. In 1997, Tyler left the State to become an Assistant Vice President at Citibank South Dakota with business analysis responsibilities in the North American Cards Customer Service Unit. Tyler joined Bluestem in 2000 and is currently in charge of portfolio management and holds multiple Board of Director positions. In the spring of 2016, Tyler was given the Distinguished Alumnus award at the 62nd Annual Celebration of Excellence in Economics at South Dakota State University.
Dr. Lindstrom has been awarded 45 patents in ophthalmology and has developed a number of corneal preservation solutions, intraocular lenses, drugs and devices that are used daily in clinical practice globally. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Lindstrom Restoration, Minnesota Eye Consultants, TearLab, Ocular Therapeutix, Harrow Health, Imprimis, Lensar, Surface, Combangio, Kedallion, MD Backline, AcuFocus, Foresight#6, Equinox, Lentechs, Corneagen, Unifye Vision Partners, Theroptix, and Acquea. He is a member of the investment committee at Visionary Ventures Capital and Flying L Venture Partners.
Prior Board service for acquired companies includes Eyeonics, Encore, WaveTec, Iantech, Advanced Vision Science, Midwest Surgical Services, Laserboyz, Citation Ventures, LVCI, TLCVision, Sightpath, Onpoint Medical Diagnostics, Vision 21, Occulogix, and Wavetec. Current not for profit Board service includes The University of Minnesota Foundation, Inner City Tennis, The Holland Foundation, The Minnesota Eye Consultants Foundation, and The ASCRS Foundation.
A frequent lecturer throughout the world on cornea, cataract, glaucoma, laser refractive surgery, innovation and the business of ophthalmology, he has presented over 40 named lectures and keynote speeches before professional societies in the U.S. and abroad, including the Binkhorst, Kelman Innovator and Steinert Lecture at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, The American Academy of Ophthalmology Kelman, Barraquer and Lans Lectures, The Cornea Society Castroviejo Lecture, and received the Glaucoma 360 Accelerator Award. He is a recipient of the Eye Bank Association of America Paton and NACT awards. Select International named lectures include the Blumenthal Memorial Lecture in Jerusalem, Israel, the Benedetto Strampelli Medal Lecture in Rome, Italy, the Bjerrum Medal Lecture in Copenhagen, Denmark, the UKISCRS Choyce Medal Lecture in London England, the Albrecht Von GRAFE-Vorlesung Innovator’s Lecture in Nuremberg, Germany, and The International Intraocular Implant Society Medal Lecture in Paris, France. In 2019 he was the first physician inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame. In 1998, the Eye and Contact Lens Association initiated the Richard L. Lindstrom MD Surgeon Lecture at its annual meeting. In 2021, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery initiated the Richard L. Lindstrom MD Symposium and Lindstrom Medal Lecture at its annual meeting each year on Sunday. The participants in the Minnesota Eye Consultants Corneal Fellowship Program now number over 80 and are named Lindstrom Fellows and meet once every 4 years for an educational retreat.
Dr. Lindstrom serves on several journal editorial boards, including the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the Journal of Refractive Surgery. He is the Honorary Editor-in-Chief of the U.S./Chinese Journal of Ophthalmology. He has co-edited ten books, written many book chapters and published over 400 papers in peer reviewed journals. His professional affiliations are extensive and include the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Refractive Surgery, the Cornea Society, The Eye Bank Association of America, The International Society for Refractive Surgery, The International Intraocular Implant Club, the Eye and Contact Lens Association, and the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology.
He is the recipient of numerous awards for distinguished service by national and international ophthalmology associations, including two Lifetime Achievement Awards from the International Society of Refractive Surgery of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, The Harold S. Diehl and Trustees Society Award from his alma mater The University of Minnesota, and the Appleton Award from the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology. He has been elected to Best Doctors in America several times since its founding. He was named the fourth most influential ophthalmologist in the world in the inaugural “The Ophthalmology” power list in 2015 and has been renominated every year to date.