Senior Management

  • Riad Sherif, MDChief Executive Officer
    Dr. Riad Sherif has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Sherif joined Oculis from Novartis where he served as Entrepreneur in Residence at Novartis Venture Fund during 2017. Prior to this, Dr. Sherif held senior positions in global business development both at Alcon, where he was Region President of Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Novartis Pharmaceuticals, where he served as President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Canada.
    Dr. Sherif joined Novartis in 2002 and has also held senior operational and management roles as Head of Transplant and Infectious Disease for Latin America, and Head of the Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Division for Latin America. Prior to Novartis, Dr. Sherif worked for several pharmaceutical companies, holding positions of increasing seniority, mainly in marketing and general management with international scope. Dr. Sherif is a medical doctor by training. He also has an MBA and a Specialized Master’s degree in Medical Management.
  • Páll Ragnar Jóhannesson, M.Phil.Chief Financial Officer
    Prior to joining Oculis in 2015, Mr. Johannesson served as Managing Director of Straumur Investment Bank Corporate Finance. Mr. Johannesson worked for Islandsbanki, and its predecessor Glitnir Bank, in Corporate Finance and Business Development before joining Straumur Investment Bank in early 2012.

    Mr. Johannesson has a broad sector experience, having managed and advised on transactions within multiple industries. This includes pharmaceuticals, venture capital, energy, financials, and various manufacturing industries. Mr. Johannesson’s transaction type experience includes among other IPOs, private placements, M&A and restructurings.

    Mr. Johannesson has a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iceland, M.Phil in Management Science from the University of Cambridge
    and is a certified securities broker in Iceland.
  • Thorsteinn Loftsson, Ph.D.Chief Research and Technology Officer, co-founder
    Thorsteinn Loftsson co-founded Oculis in 2003 and has since then been on the Company’s Board of Directors.

    Dr. Loftsson is a leading scientist in the field of cyclodextrin based drug delivery. He has served as an advisor to many of the global pharmaceutical companies on drug formulations and IP rights. He co-founded and served as CEO of the biotechnology company Cyclops ehf. from 1994 until it was acquired by DeCode Genetics in 2000. At that time, Dr. Loftsson took on the role of a scientific advisor at Decode Genetics (until 2004).

    Dr. Loftsson received an MS degree in Pharmacy from the University of Copenhagen, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a MS and Ph.D. degrees in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Kansas, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. He has served as Assistant, Associated and full Professor on the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Iceland for the past 36 years. In 1980 to 1996, he served as an Adjunct Associate Professor and later Adjunct Professor at the College of Pharmacy, University of Florida.

    Dr. Loftsson has authored and co-authored over 220 peer-reviewed papers in addition to couple of books and number of book chapters. He is a fellow of the AAPS and is on the editorial boards of Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, International Journal of Pharmaceuticals, Journal of drug Delivery Science and Technology, Die Pharmazie and Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. In 2014, he was recognised as one of the World's Most Influential Scientific Minds by Thomson Reuters.
  • Sabri Markabi, MDChief Scientific Officer
    Previously global Head of R&D and CMO of Alcon, Dr. Sabri Markabi has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years in global drug development leadership positions. In particular, he headed the clinical Neuroscience department then the Global Ophthalmics Development group at Novartis Pharma before joining Alcon, the pharmaceutical and medical device ophthalmology leader, between 2008 and 2015. Since 2016, he has advised health care organizations on topics including investment and R&D strategy and a member of the BoD of MedinCell, Inc.
  • Einar Stefánsson, MD, Ph.D Chief Innovation Officer, co-founder
    Dr. Einar Stefansson co-founded Oculis in 2003 and has since then been on the Company’s Board of Directors, thereof as chairman since 2015.

    Dr. Stefansson is a leading physician in the field of diabetic eye disease
    and diabetic eye screening. He has served on advisory boards for some of the leading global pharmaceutical companies.

    Dr. Stefansson received a degree in medicine from University of Iceland Medical School and a Ph.D. degree from Duke University followed by residency and faculty position at Duke. He has served as Vice Dean and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Iceland and served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the National University Hospital Iceland for the past 25 years. He has co-founded four biotechnology firms in addition to Oculis, including Cyclops which was acquired by DeCode Genetics in 2000.

    Dr. Stefansson is chief editor of Acta Ophthalmologica since 2005, on the editorial board of Progress in Retinal and Eye research, the European Journal of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmologica, board member of EVER and former board member of EURETINA and Club Jules Gonin. He is former fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and fellow of ARVO, EVER, Michaelson Club and the Icelandic Ophthalmological Society. He has published more than 200 peer reviewed international publications, more than 300 abstracts, numerous book chapters and patents.

    Dr. Stefansson was knighted by the President of Iceland in 2007, received Iceland’s highest award in science in 2008, gave the Jules Gonin lecture in 2008, received the Synsfonden award in Denmark in 2006 and was elected to the European Academy of Ophthalmology (with gold medal) in 2009. He has received the Mooney Medal of the Irish College of Ophthalmology (2012) and Bjerrum medal of the Danish Ophthalmological Society (2014) among other honours.