Ryo Kubota is chairman, president and CEO of Seattle-based Acucela. He is an ophthalmologist by training who has performed more than 1,000 eye surgeries. Before founding Acucela in 2002, Dr. Kubota spent his early career performing ocular research at Keio University, where he earned his M.D. and Ph.D. In the course of his work there, he discovered the glaucoma gene, myocilin, a discovery that earned him the Suda Award for his contribution to the field of neurodegenerative retinal disease. Dr. Kubota continued his research at the University of Washington and later licensed his findings from the university as the core technology on which he founded Acucela to develop novel and safe therapies for patients with blinding eye diseases. 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. He serves on the Foresight Group of the Department of Pharmacology at Case Western Reserve University and on the board of the Japan-America Society.