John Berdahl, MD – Founder, CEO, Board Member
Dr. John Berdahl specializes in advanced cataract surgery, corneal surgery, and glaucoma surgery at Vance Thompson Vision. Dr. Berdahl is a recognized world leader for the advancement of glaucoma treatment. He’s been recognized by the American Medical Association as the Top Young Physician in South Dakota and was awarded the national Claes Dohlman Award by Harvard for being the most outstanding cornea fellow in 2008 and identified as one of the top 40 under 40 ophthalmologists worldwide.
Andy Corley – Board Chairman
As a former President of Bausch & Lomb Surgical, Andy Corley has extensive experience working with medical device companies in the ophthalmic space. Corley is the founder of Eyeonics and Chiron Ophthalmics and was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year in Orange County, CA.
Richard Lindstrom, MD
Dr. Richard L. Lindstrom, founder and attending surgeon of Minnesota Eye Consultants and Adjunct Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Department of Ophthalmology, is a board-certified ophthalmologist and internationally recognized leader in corneal, cataract, refractive and laser surgery. He has been at the forefront of ophthalmology’s evolutionary changes throughout his career, as a recognized researcher, teacher, inventor, writer, lecturer and highly acclaimed physician and surgeon.
Tyler J. Stowater is Partner and Vice President of Bluestem. He graduated from South Dakota State University with a BS Degree in Agriculture Economics (1984) and a MS Degree in Economics (1986). Tyler spent eleven years with the State of South Dakota’s Bureau of Finance and Management. During his tenure, Tyler held the position of budget analyst, state economist and deputy commissioner. 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. Tyler is married to Joni (Klosterman) and they have two children, McKenzie (Otterberg) and McCord.
George Tsai – VP of R&D and Operations
George Tsai has more than 26 years of success in managing, designing and developing products; 21 years in 7 early phase medical companies. Of the 7 companies, Visiogen was a $400MM acquisition by Abbott; Percusurge was a $215MM acquisition by Medtronics; and Menlo Care was a $26MM acquisition by Johnson and Johnson. His specialty is injection molded medical devices. He also has experience that range from catheter based devices to electro-mechanical systems. He has experience in cardiology, ophthalmology, embolic protection, arthroscopic surgery, protective cooling, AAA stents and drug delivery. He has a successful record leading full programs encompassing multiple projects from conception to development to manufacturing, product transfer, and commercialization.
Vanessa Tasso – VP of Clinical and Regulatory
Vanessa Tasso has more than 25 years of success in developing clinical and regulatory strategies for small- to medium-sized ophthalmic medication device/drug companies. She has extensive experience in managing and conducting early stage clinical trials, pivotal clinical trials, and post-market clinical trials. Recently, she was a member of the executive management team at Presbia and part of the team that took the company public in 2015 as part of a $42M deal. Her specialty is ophthalmic medical devices with experience at companies such as AMO, B&L, Glaukos, and Presbia. She also has experience in ophthalmic drug delivery systems as part of the clinical team at SurModics. She has experience in MIGS device design and development, and bioerodable, biodegradable, and biodurable ophthalmic devices. She has a successful record leading clinical and regulatory programs from early conception stages to the end result, commercialized product.
Medical Advisory Board
The members of the Equinox Medical Advisory Board are all internationally respected ophthalmologists who have expertise in glaucoma and refractive changes of the eye.
Ike Ahmed, MD
Ike K. Ahmed, MD is a fellowship-trained glaucoma, cataract, and anterior segment surgeon with a practice focus on the surgical management of glaucoma, complex cataract and intraocular lens complications. He is board certified in ophthalmology in Canada and the USA, and is an active member of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS), American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), Association for Vision and Research in Ophthalmology (ARVO), International Society of Glaucoma Surgery (ISGS), Canadian Glaucoma Society (CGS), and the American Glaucoma Society (AGS).
Malik Kahook, MD
Malik Y. Kahook, MD is Professor of Ophthalmology and the Slater Family Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He is Director of Clinical and Translational Research and serves as chief of the glaucoma service and director of the glaucoma fellowship at the University of Colorado Eye Center. He specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma and cataracts.
Richard Lewis, MD
Richard A. Lewis, MD is the former director of glaucoma at the University of California, Davis. In addition to his busy clinical practice located in Sacramento, California, Dr. Lewis is actively involved in clinical research in national and international trials for glaucoma therapy. Dr. Lewis is the medical editor emeritus of Glaucoma Today and on the editorial board of the Journal of Glaucoma, Video Journal of Ophthalmology, and Ocular Surgery News.
Richard Lindstrom, MD
Dr Richard L Lindstrom, founder and attending surgeon of Minnesota Eye Consultants and Adjunct Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Department of Ophthalmology, is a board-certified ophthalmologist and internationally recognized leader in corneal, cataract, refractive and laser surgery. He has been at the forefront of ophthalmology’s evolutionary changes throughout his career, as a recognized researcher, teacher, inventor, writer, lecturer and highly acclaimed physician and surgeon.
Tom Samuelson, MD
Thomas W. Samuelson, MD, a founding partner and attending surgeon of Minnesota Eye Consultants, is a board-certified ophthalmologist who specializes in the treatment of glaucoma, cataract, and refractive surgery. Dr. Samuelson’s research interests include surgical procedures involving Schlemm’s Canal as well as the management of coincident cataract and glaucoma. He has also performed research on the safety of LASIK in patients with other ocular disorders, especially glaucoma. Dr. Samuelson is the current Treasurer for the American Glaucoma Society and serves on its Executive Committee. He also oversees the glaucoma skills transfer courses for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
Vance Thompson, MD, FACS
Vance Thompson, MD is an internationally recognized specialist in Laser Vision Correction and Advanced Cataract Surgery. He is the Director of Refractive Surgery for Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls, SD and serves as a Professor of Ophthalmology at the Sanford USD School of Medicine. As a leading international researcher he has played a key role in the development of the most advanced technologies and techniques for both laser and implant vision correction. He has served as the medical monitor lead or principal investigator in over 55 FDA monitored clinical trials studying laser and implant surgery. In addition, Dr. Thompson has published numerous papers and book chapters and is co-author of the textbook Refractive Surgery. He has lectured and taught advanced laser and implant surgery to thousands of surgeons all around the world.