Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Sherif joined Oculis as Chief Executive Officer in 2017 from Novartis where he served as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Novartis Venture Fund. Since his arrival, the company raised over $100M USD, two successful Phase 2b trials were completed with OCS-01, a positive end-of-phase 2 meeting was conducted with the FDA propelling OCS-01 into Phase 3 for two distinct indications, the OPTIREACH® formulation technology was validated for both: the back- and the front-of-the-eye, and OCS-02, an antibody fragment anti-TNF alpha, was in-licensed from Novartis.


Prior to this, he held senior global positions in both Alcon, where he was President of Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Novartis, where he served as President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Canada. Dr. Sherif joined Novartis Pharmaceuticals in 2002 and has also held roles as Head of Transplant and Infectious Disease for Latin America, and President of the Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Division for Latin America. During his tenure in Canada and in Europe, he held several Chairman and Co-chair positions such as Vice Chairman for the Innovative Medicine Canada Association in Ottawa, Chairman of In-Vivo Montreal and Chairman of the Board Ophthalmic Surgery and Vision Care at Eucomed, Brussels.


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, and also has an MBA from IMD and a Specialized Master’s Degree in Medical Management.

MD, Ph.D.
Chief Medical Officer and Head of Portfolio Management

Dr. Chang brings to Oculis more than 20 years of global experience in medical and regulatory affairs, clinical development, health economics and market access. She joins Oculis from Novartis where she spent the last 13 years in various senior leadership roles in both the US and China. At Novartis, Dr. Chang led the Global Medical Affairs team where she provided strategic oversight for the ophthalmology portfolio, including retinal, Gene Therapy and ocular surface disease.
Before this Dr. Chang served as Head of Clinical Development & Medical Regulatory Affairs in North America at Alcon where she oversaw all strategic, medical, and scientific aspects of clinical development. She was also Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs in Greater China at Novartis where she established medical organization and provided strategic insights regarding medical, clinical and industry trends and growth opportunities in China.
Prior to Novartis, Dr. Chang held various senior roles in health economics, strategic marketing and clinical development at key global pharmaceutical companies including Bayer, Aventis, Johnson & Johnson and Abbott Laboratories.
Dr. Chang gained her Doctor of Medicine from Wuhan University and has further completed the post-doctoral fellowship in Johns Hopkins and a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland Baltimore.

Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Cheung has 20 years of financial and general management experience at emerging growth life science companies. She joins Oculis from the NASDAQ-listed company Anika Therapeutics, Inc. where she was CFO from 2013 to 2020. During her tenure, she played a vital role in redefining and executing the company’s mission, vision and long-range financial-operational targets; supported and enabled U.S. launches of key therapeutics products; and executed on three strategic acquisitions. Prior to Anika, Ms. Cheung held a series of financial management positions of increasing responsibility at Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc., which was acquired by Shire Pharmaceuticals in 2005. Ms. Cheung began her career in the technology audit practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, an MBA from Boston University, and was certified as CPA in Massachusetts.

Chief Development Officer

Dr. Dehmel brings to Oculis close to 20 years of global experience in early and late-phase drug development, clinical operations, biostatistics, regulatory and medical affairs across multiple therapeutic areas. He joins Oculis from OxThera where he was Chief Medical Officer since 2017 and where he was responsible for drug development, clinical program and medical affairs while supporting early development and research collaborations.

Prior to OxThera, he held roles of increasing responsibilities mainly at Amgen where he spent more than 10 years of his career but also with companies such as Novo Nordisk and GSK. His last role at Amgen saw him as Executive Medical Director, Global Development Leader Calcimimetic franchise. In this role, he was responsible for the global clinical development for the first-in-class calcimimetic Sensipar®/Mimpara® and the approval of Parsabiv®.

Dr. Dehmel gained his Doctor of Medicine degree from Free University Berlin – Medical School and his clinical training in Internal Medicine at Charité University in Berlin, Germany.

Chief Operating Officer and GM China

Mr. Ding has more than 25 years of experience in general management, successful go-to-market strategies, business development and licensing, and operational excellence across multiple healthcare segments. He joins Oculis from Fresenius-Kabi, where he served as Country President for China, building market leadership and a strong competitive portfolio. Prior to Fresenius-Kabi, Mr. Ding spent more than 10 years with Novartis in China in leadership roles of increasing responsibility. Mr. Ding was also a member of the Global Executive Committee of Novartis Vaccines. Prior to Novartis, Mr. Ding held various senior commercial roles at major pharmaceutical companies in China including Bristol Myers Squibb and Xi’an Janssen (a Johnson & Johnson company). Mr. Ding gained his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from Wuhan University and completed an EMBA at the China Europe International Business School.

Chief Strategy Officer

Mr. Jóhannesson joined Oculis in 2015 from Straumur Investment Bank where he served as Managing Director Corporate Finance. Prior to joining Straumur in 2015, he worked for Islandsbanki, and its predecessor Glitnir Bank, in Corporate Finance and Business Development. He has broad sector experience, having managed and advised on transactions within multiple industries, including pharmaceuticals, venture capital, energy, financials, and various manufacturing industries. Mr. Jóhannesson’s transaction experience includes, IPOs, private placements, M&A and restructurings. Mr. Jóhannesson has a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iceland, an M.Phil in Management Science from the University of Cambridge and is a certified securities broker in Iceland.

MSc. MPharm, Ph.D.
Chief Research and Technology Officer,

Dr. Loftsson is a leading scientist in the field of nanoparticle drug delivery, in particular cyclodextrin-based formulations. He has served as an advisor to many of the global pharmaceutical companies on drug formulations and IP rights. Dr. Loftsson 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, he also took on the role of 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 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 over 35 years. Dr. Loftsson has authored and co-authored more than 220 peer-reviewed papers in addition to a couple of books and a number of book chapters. He is a fellow of the AAPS and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, International Journal of Pharmaceuticals, Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, Die Pharmazie, and the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. In 2014, Dr. Loftsson was recognized as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds by Thomson Reuters.