Victor M. Elner, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-Founder, Chief Medical Officer, Interim-CEO
Dr. Elner is responsible for all clinical and medical aspects of technology development, including development of the industrial and academic collaborative relationships, design of research clinical trials, and collection/analysis of all data, including that of collaborators at other academic institutions.
Dr. Elner is currently the Ravitz Foundation Professor of Ophthalmology & Sciences and Professor of Pathology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Elner's main research interest has consisted of identifying mechanisms underlying age-related macular degeneration (AMD). He has identified cell surface receptors, pathways, and inflammatory mediators which he has now shown to lead to death of retinal cells that are the main targets of disease. The pathways leading to programmed cell death in key diseases affecting the retina is termed apoptosis. Apoptosis, first described in the 1990's is now accepted as the key process that leads to retinal tissue loss in diabetes, AMD, and glaucoma, the three leading causes of irreversible blindness in the United States. All apoptosis is preceded by mitochondrial instability that results in metabolic stress due to insufficient energy production, a state that our technology detects.
Kurt Riegger, B.S.
President, Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Riegger is responsible for the business strategy, business planning, fundraising and early key management hires to launch and grow the business. In concert with the founders, Mr. Riegger will be responsible for the finance plan, raising capial, negotiating licenses and strategic partner agreements.
Mr. Riegger , as a venture investor and CEO/COO, has experience developing business strategy and successfully operating early stage IT, bioinformatics and medical device companies. Mr. Riegger has 4 years of experience as a venture partner with North Coast Technology investors, a $100M fund in Ann Arbor, and prior to that as the COO of a two time Inc 500 company, Intelliseek, which was sold to AC NIelsen. Mr. Riegger has launched, funded, and advised 26 companies in the past 6 years including 4 medical device startups.
Collin A. Rich, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Rich is responsible for all technical R&D efforts, including maturation of the current retinal metabolic imaging platform as well as development of a next-generation instrument. In collaboration with regulatory and quality personnel, Dr. Rich will also play a key role in preparing designs for regulatory approval and eventual manufacture. Dr. Rich’s past successes include launching and managing R&D efforts at four different medical device start-ups over the past 15 years, including as co-founder of Accuri Cytometers, which was ultimately sold to Becton Dickinson. His formal training as an Electrical Engineer is augmented by familiarity with a wide variety of optical, mechanical, and other technologies, as well as practical experience managing the fast-paced activity of an aggressive, innovative R&D team. He is co-inventor on over 38 U.S. and international patents.
Erich Heise, B.S.
Director of Business Development
Prior to OcuSciences, Erich was the first employee and Business Development Associate at the Cleveland Clinic spinoff company, OptoQuest. He is a Master of Science candidate at Case Western Reserve University, with a focus in Entrepreneurial Biotechnology. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience with Distinction from the University of Michigan. He is also the founder of the biotechnology-focused marketing and website design startup, doublehelix design.
While at Michigan, he participated in basic science research to further explore the role of alpha-crystallins in the context of diabetic retinopathy at University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. His research has been published in Journal of Ocular Biology, Diseases, and Informatics, and PLOS ONE.
Anthony Leithauser, B.S.
Anthony graduated in 2010 from the University of Michigan with a degree in biomedical engineering and has been the lead software engineer at OcuSciences since 2011.
Matthew G. Field, M.S.
Mr. Field is responsible for scientific research, assisting in instrument and software development, creating and maintaining a marketing website, and helping to support all aspects of business development and operations.
Mr. Field has experience in scientific research and helped conduct the initial studies using retinal metabolic analysis technology. He also has significant experience in computer programming, consulting, and fundraising.