“Of all the senses, sight must be the most delightful.” - Helen Keller
In the realm of ophthalmic science, we have witnessed remarkable progress and achieved treatments for ailments that once plagued the vision of countless individuals. However, despite these advances, there are regions across the world where people still face the prospect of blindness, deprived of access to critical retinal care.
In these underserved areas, conditions like diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinopathy of prematurity, uveitis-related retinal afflictions, and more are on the rise. This increase may be attributed to improved awareness and some limited diagnostic capabilities, but it also mirrors the global surge in these disorders. It's within this crucial context that RETINA GLOBAL takes its stand.
RETINA GLOBAL is dedicated to conducting outreach programs in these identified regions, rallying the support of volunteer retina specialists from around the globe who generously offer their time and expertise to make a profound difference.
Get to Know Us
Retina Global was founded by Dr. Agrawal in 2012. Having been to multiple countries in different continents to work and to volunteer, he realized the lack of a retina-focused organization that could exclusively focus on retina related ailments, and provide not just care to the patients in underserved areas, but also focus on educating the local ophthalmologists as well as training someone to become a retina specialist.
It took a couple of years to get the paperwork approved and to get funding for the first mission to Burundi in Africa in 2015. Since that time, volunteer retina specialists from many countries have traveling on Retina Global missions in Central and South America and in Africa.
Board of Directors
The Retina Global Board of Directors features some of the world's foremost retina specialists alongside globally renowned leaders from various industries. This diverse and accomplished group provides invaluable guidance and expertise as we continue our mission to combat global blindness.
Pravin Dugel, MD
Retina Specialist and Industry Leader
Pravin U. Dugel, MD, is a distinguished and accomplished medical professional who has achieved remarkable milestones throughout his career. Dr. Dugel's educational journey began with Summa Cum Laude graduation from Columbia University in the City of New York, followed by attendance at UCLA School of Medicine. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the USC Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine, and further honed his expertise with medical retina and surgical retina fellowships at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and the USC Eye Institute, respectively. Dr. Dugel was the Managing Partner at Retinal Consultants of Arizona and a busy retina clinician until 2020. He moved to industry, joining Iveric Bio as Executive Vice President, Chief Business Officer and Chief Strategy Officer in April 2020 and later taking over the role of the President in May 2021. Iveric Bio was sold to Astellas and Dr. Dugel left the company in October 2023. Dr. Dugel's dedication to the field of ophthalmology is evident through his prolific research and scholarly work, comprising numerous published papers and book chapters. He is a sought-after speaker, having been invited to lecture at prestigious meetings, serve as a Visiting Professor, and engage with universities worldwide. His influence also extends to the editorial boards of several major medical journals. Internationally recognized as a leading clinical researcher, Dr. Dugel has played a pivotal role as a primary investigator in over 100 multicenter clinical trials. His expertise has earned him positions of distinction, including Subspecialty Day Board Chairman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and membership on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Retina Specialists and EuRetina, Europe's largest retina society. Dr. Dugel has contributed as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for numerous prominent companies, including Aerpio, Alcon, Digisight, Genentech, Novartis, Ophthotech, Opthea, Roche, and TrueVision. Within Arizona, Dr. Dugel has served as President of the Phoenix Ophthalmology Society and is an active member of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Ophthalmology Society. Since 1994, he has been a dedicated member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency, offering eye care services to Native Americans. Furthermore, Dr. Dugel, along with his daughters, co-founded Project SENA, a scholarship and mentorship program that fosters educational opportunities for Native American youth and adults. In the realm of philanthropy, Dr. Dugel served as the Chairman of the ORBIS International Medical Advisory Board and the Medical Strategic Committee. Through his involvement with ORBIS, he has shared his expertise by traveling to developing countries, where he educates local ophthalmologists on surgical techniques and provides free surgery to individuals suffering from preventable blindness. In recognition of his lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the field of retina, Dr. Dugel was honored with induction into the "Retina Hall of Fame" in 2017, an accolade that celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of ophthalmologists in the field of retina.
Ram Palanki, PharmD
Executive Vice President, Commercial Strategy & Operations, REGENXBIO Inc.
Ram Palanki, Pharm.D., currently holds the position of Executive Vice President of Commercial Strategy and Operations at REGENXBIO, where he contributes his extensive knowledge and experience gained over more than 15 years in the field of ophthalmology. His diverse expertise encompasses pharmaceutical strategy and development, marketing, market access, sales, pricing, reimbursement, supply chain management, distribution, business development, medical affairs, and portfolio planning. Prior to his role at REGENXBIO, Dr. Palanki served as the Senior Vice President of Commercial for all of the Americas at Santen Inc. Before his tenure at Santen, he held the position of Global Head of Marketing and Sales at Thrombogenics, Inc., where he led the commercial launch of Jetrea, an innovative proteolytic enzyme therapy for symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion. Dr. Palanki's career journey also includes a role as Director of Global Marketing and Sales at NeoVista, Inc. and significant contributions to Genentech, where he played a key role in the development and launch of Lucentis. His early career saw him working with Eyetech Pharmaceuticals as part of the team responsible for submitting the New Drug Application for Macugen and at Novartis Pharmaceuticals within the New Product Commercialization group. Dr. Palanki earned his Pharm.D. from the Albany College of Pharmacy in New York and further expanded his knowledge during a postdoctoral fellowship at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Adrienne Graves, P
Chairman of the Board at Iveric Bio
Adrienne L. Graves, Ph.D., is a distinguished visual scientist with a profound impact on the global ophthalmology industry. Having served as the former President and CEO of Santen Inc., she achieved the groundbreaking distinction of becoming the first woman and the first non-Japanese global corporate officer of Santen Ltd during her remarkable 15-year tenure. Dr. Graves also contributed nine years to Alcon, commencing as a Senior Scientist and progressing through various roles, ultimately holding the position of Director of International Ophthalmology. Currently, Dr. Graves serves as an Independent Director on several corporate boards, including Akorn, Inc., TearLab, Nicox, Envisia Therapeutics, Aerpio Therapeutics, and Encore Vision. She further extends her leadership to Foundation Boards, actively contributing to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Foundation, Glaucoma Research Foundation, American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Foundation (Emeritus), Himalayan Cataract Project, and KeepYourSight Foundation. Dr. Graves is also known for her role as the co-founder of Glaucoma 360 and Ophthalmic Women Leaders (OWL). Her academic journey includes an undergraduate degree from Brown University, a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and a postdoctoral fellowship in visual neuroscience at the University of Paris (France).
Rajat N Agrawal, MD, MS
CEO at Retina Global
Dr. Rajat N. Agrawal is a distinguished ophthalmologist and retina specialist, widely recognized for his clinical expertise, extensive research contributions (including co-inventor of ARGUS-II), dedication to teaching, and a profound commitment to social causes. Dr. Agrawal's journey in the field of ophthalmology began with his medical education and residency in Nagpur and Mumbai (formerly Bombay). He subsequently embarked on a retina fellowship at Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai, India, where he later assumed a faculty role, dedicating seven years to the institute. Following this, he received an invitation to Hong Kong, where he played a vital role in teaching, training, and managing complex cases at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and other hospitals in the city. His expertise also extended to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, where he held the unique position of being the sole Retina Specialist in the country and the Caribbean region. Dr. Agrawal served as the Director of the Ophthalmology Program at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau and took on the role of Residency Director for residents from Yale University Department of Ophthalmology. In 2003, Dr. Agrawal became a part of USC/Doheny Eye Institute in Los Angeles, California. Alongside clinical care and teaching, he significantly contributed to the ideation, research, and development of ARGUS-II. His involvement included devising the surgical procedure for the implantation process and overseeing the subsequent clinical trials conducted in six centers in the United States and four in Europe. Notably, ARGUS-II currently stands as the sole approved treatment for advanced retinitis pigmentosa in the United States and Europe. Dr. Agrawal also works with the industry in the field of ophthalmology, helping companies with clinical development and operations, medical affairs, regulatory strategy, marketing and commercial plans, etc. He holds a Masters degree in Regulatory Sciences from USC. Dr. Agrawal's leadership extends to his role as the President and CEO of Retina Global, where he continues to make a profound impact on the field of ophthalmology and the global fight against blindness.