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.
William J. Link, Ph.D.
Dr. Link specializes early-stage investing in medical devices. He is a founder and Principal of Flying L Partners and he is a founder and Managing Director of Versant Ventures. Prior to co-founding Versant Ventures, Dr. Link was a general partner at Brentwood Venture Capital, and has over two decades of operations experience in the healthcare industry. Dr. Link was previously founder, chairman, and CEO of Chiron Vision, which was sold to Bausch and Lomb in 1997. Prior to Chiron Vision, Dr. Link founded and served as President of American Medical Optics (AMO), a division of American Hospital Supply Corporation, which was sold to Allergan in 1986. Later, he served on the Board of AMO’s successor company, Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) which was acquired by Abbott in 2009. AMO was acquired by Johnson and Johnson in 2016. Before entering the healthcare industry, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Link currently serves on the board of several private companies and three public companies, Edwards Lifesciences, Glaukos, and Second Sight Medical Products. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from Purdue University.
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.
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 employs a unique approach to venture investing by partnering with over 40 Key Opinion Leader Ophthalmologists, as well as other sophisticated investors and industry professionals. In Visionary’s eight portfolio companies, the combination of KOL insights and professional investment approach reduces risk and enhances predictable returns. Visionary works closely with senior eye care professionals in the fast-growing 40 Billion ophthalmology industry located in Orange County, CA, the global headquarters of the industry.
Mr. Weinhuff has been active in the private equity realm for over 30 years. At Jefferies & Co., the premier mid-market investment bank, he founded the Investment Banking and Capital Markets groups, served as Head of Investment Banking, was a Member of the Board of Directors and Head of the Commitment Committee. Prior to Jefferies, he was a senior partner at Drexel Burnham Lambert, where he founded and co-headed the BuyerAdvisory Group and served on the underwriting committee.
Matthew Larson – President & COO
Matt Larson has over a decade of experience in the ophthalmic sector. With roles on the clinical research side as well as several positions with a commercial focus, Matt has been involved in multiple aspects of medical device companies. He was responsible for launching the KAMRA corneal inlay in Asia Pacific, and while living in Tokyo, Japan he brought this innovative device for the treatment of presbyopia to over a dozen countries in the Asia Pacific region. He led the development and launch of the IC-8 intraocular lens in Europe and Asian Pacific. Matt also played an executive role in getting US approval for the KAMRA corneal inlay—the first corneal inlay for presbyopia approved in the US. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Paul Yoo, OD – VP Clinical and Regulatory
As Vice President of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, Paul Yoo, OD oversees and manages clinical and regulatory strategy and execution through the different phases of product development and launch. Paul completed his undergraduate education in molecular and cellular biology from the University of California, Berkeley, then went on to obtain his Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern California College of Optometry (now Marshall B. Ketchum University). He has a proven track record of successful clinical and regulatory leadership, as demonstrated by several landmark approvals at both AcuFocus and Zeiss. His particular interest in novel ophthalmic devices and a strong desire to impact the field of glaucoma has brought him to Equinox Ophthalmic.
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.
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.
Nathan Radcliffe, MD
Dr. Radcliffe is a glaucoma and cataract surgeon who specializes in the fields of corneal biomechanics, micro incisional glaucoma surgery, and glaucoma pharmacotherapy. He is the Chief Editor of the publication Glaucoma Physician and the Glaucoma Section Editor of Eyeworld Magazine and is on the ASCRS glaucoma program committee. Dr. Radcliffe is passionate about peer to peer education and innovation and blends academic science to elevate private practice clinical medicine.