Ryo Kubota

Dr. Ryo Kubota is the Founder, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
of Acucela Inc. He is a world-renowned ophthalmologist, having performed over
1,000 eye surgeries, including surgeries on Japanese government officials and
other high-profile individuals. With the goal of having a global impact on
treating devastating eye diseases, Dr. Kubota focused his career on doing
extensive ocular research at Keio University, the oldest and one of the most
prestigious private universities in Japan, and in so doing, discovered the
glaucoma gene, myocilin. This discovery earned Dr. Kubota the Suda Award for his
contribution to the field of neurodegenerative retinal disease. Dr. Kubota’s
work in the field of retinal neurodegeneration has been cited more than 500
times and has opened the door to other discoveries. As a leader in
neurodegenerative disease research, he continued doing ocular research at the
University of Washington (UW). His findings, which were then licensed from UW,
comprise the core technology that Acucela is based on. Dr. Kubota received his
MD and PhD from the esteemed Keio University in Japan, and then spent five years
practicing general ophthalmology at Keio Hospital. Following that, Dr. Kubota
spent three years doing a retinal fellowship at Toranomon Hospital and returned
back to Keio Hospital for two years prior to becoming an assistant professor at
UW. He then founded Acucela based on the technologies that were licensed from
UW. Dr. Kubota is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Japanese
Ophthalmological Society and the Japan Glaucoma Association, and serves on the
Foresight Group of the Department of Pharmacology at Case Western Reserve
University and on the Board of the Japan-America Society. Dr. Kubota was raised
in Japan but had extended exposure to the United States due to a three-year
stint in New York, given his father’s profession as a port captain. Helping
patients by performing ocular surgeries and treatments for their retinal
diseases was fulfilling for Dr. Kubota, but he is driven to have an impact on a
global scale where he hopes to help millions of people by developing novel and
safe therapies for patients with multiple blinding eye diseases.

Related Interviews:

Dr. Ryo Kubota - Acucela Inc.
March 17, 2009