Iridex Announces the Unexpected Passing of George Marcellino, Vice President of Marketing and Clinical Affairs

It is with a heavy heart that Iridex announces that our beloved vice president of clinical affairs and marketing, George Marcellino, passed away unexpectedly on February 10, 2021.

George Marcellino, PhD became Iridex’s Vice President in 2017 after serving on its Board of Directors for three years. Prior to joining Iridex, George co-founded OptiMedica Corporation. There he led the development of PASCAL (pattern scanning laser photocoagulation) for the treatment of retinal disease and also the development of the CATALYS femtosecond laser cataract system subsequently acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2013. He then held the position of senior vice president of clinical affairs and general manager for Kedalion Therapeutics, a start-up dedicated to the development of semi-automated topical ocular drug delivery as an alternative to standard eye drop delivery. Prior to co-founding OptiMedica, George held several senior management positions at the Medical Group of Coherent, Inc. where he served as director of the global sales and marketing organizations reporting to the division head and led the clinical applications research and market development efforts. George is widely known in the medical community, having more than 35 years of experience in the medical device industry including high technology devices for sensory and motor impaired persons (Telesensory Systems), critical care monitoring utilizing reflection spectrophotometry imbedded within a pulmonary artery catheter (Oximetrix), KTP laser surgical applications including the development of laser cholecystectomy (Laserscope), and ophthalmic, surgical and dermatologic laser applications (Coherent).

Helped to establish many innovative products
In the field of ophthalmology, he helped establish many innovative products, including the Novus 2000 Photocoagulator, the Laser Indirect Ophthalmoscope System, the Selecta™ Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty system for Primary Open Angle Glaucoma, the OPAL™ Photoactivator (Photodynamic Therapy) for age-related macular degeneration, Selective Retinal Therapy for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, the CATALYS™ femtosecond laser for cataract surgery, and Iridex’s revised MicroPulse P3 Delivery Device for the treatment of glaucoma.

Co-authored multiple patents and peer-reviewed studies
George co-authored 31 peer-reviewed articles in ophthalmic journals, two textbook chapters, and was co-inventor on nine patents. He received his BA, MS, and PhD (Sensory Physiology and Psychophysics) degrees, from the City University of New York.

Memorial services
The Marcellino family invites you to an online celebration of the life and work of George Marcellino taking place on Sunday, March 28, 2021, from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Pacific Time. To participate, use Zoom Meeting ID 878 8473 2811 and passcode 647578 or click on the button below.

Donations may be made in George’s memory to Glaucoma Research Foundation at

Access Zoom Meeting   Make a Memorial Gift

“I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have worked with George on our mutual scientific interests. I came to know a person who was passionate and curious about science, gentle and generous, a leader, and a mentor. Thank you George for this journey, and for our always enjoyable conversations that I will remember dearly.”

Prof. Tomas M. Grippo, MD

“George was a passionate innovator with boundless enthusiasm. He inspired generations of physician-scientists with his vision to create novel ways to improve patient care. A true gentleman and a patient listener, he never would reject an idea without learning from it. His dreams and his work will live on in my day-to-day practice, and in my patients’ lives.”

Syril Dorairaj, MD

“George has been friend collaborator and mentor for over two decades. Most recently we worked on the MP3 revised probe where he made the probe the way it was meant to be. His warmth compassion expertise and brilliance were deeply appreciated in our work together. We had many talks on so many other ideas to pursue together. His legacy will carry on in our work. Thankyou for everything George it was to humanity’s benefit that you contributed.”

Paul Chew, MD

“George was open minded, very kind, and helpful to others and was-always scientifically inquisitive. As a friend he was full of energy and enthusiasm. He was loved by both his co-workers and clients because he was eager to help solve problems. We miss him.”

Mandi D. Conway, MD and Gholam A. Peyman, MD

“I had only gotten acquainted with George 5 years ago and was immediately impressed with his genuine caring attitude. In addition to his vast knowledge base of the medical laser field, he was quite the renaissance man. He shared with me a passion for research in retinal laser applications and that I will miss immensly. But what I will miss the most is his tremendously approachable personality and the genuine interactions we had. May he rest in peace. My deepest condolences go to his family and to the Iridex community.”

Sam E. Mansour MSc, MD, FRCS(C), FACS

“It is unique to meet someone who is truly passionate about what he or she does. George was one of those people. I feel lucky that I got a chance to work with you, George. You (and your signature bowtie) will be truly missed.”

Sandra Fernando Sieminski, MD

“I had the privilege to know George since I was a med student. His boundless energy was inspiring and infectious. He will be missed. I miss him so much already. It was devastating to learn that he left us suddenly. I am grateful to have had the time with him at various meetings and when we met at IRIDEX headquarters.”

Shan Lin, MD

“I will be grateful forever for the opportunity to have been able to work with George on the design of the revised MP3 probe and MP-TLT. George was not only a kind, very friendly, and helpful personality – simply a great Mensch. In addition, he was truly passionate about his work, a great listener, a sharp mind, and critical thinker. He had an astonishingly broad knowledge of lasers. Thus, it always was a pleasure to discuss further developments of laser systems with him. My thoughts are with his family and the IRIDEX team. George, you will be truly missed!”

Marc Toeteberg-Harms, MD

“George was not only a visionary but a true gentleman. He always listened intently, provided great insights and maintained a modest professionalism. We will all miss him.”

Jason Bacharach, MD

“I’m deeply saddened by the sad news of the passing of our dear George. All my thoughts and prayers go to the iridex family. May the love of family and friends comfort you during those difficult times. George was a such great gentleman! I used to look forward seeing him on meetings and conferences. He always gave me great advice and mentoring. I always used to go to him after my talks to get his priceless feedback. I never missed an opportunity to grab coffee with him whenever we had the chance to meet. We enjoyed talking about lasers, watches, cars, travels and life. I’ll always remember him not only as a laser expert but also as a genuine loving gentleman. My deepest condolences to you and his family. George will be missed.”

Ziad Khoueir, MD

“I would like to express my deepest sympathy on the passing of your vice president Mr. George R. Marcellino. He was a truly great scientist and made a huge contribution to the success of our researches on mechanism for action of MicroPulse laser. Please convey my sincerest condolences to his family and all at Iridex Corporation.”

Kishiko Ohkoshi, MD, PhD

“George had an amazing life and contribution to humanity in science, in business and in just being an all around nice guy who listened and offered sage advice. I will miss him terribly as I know his family and Iridex will. RIP George.”

Ahad Mahootchi, MD

“I am deeply sorry to hear about the passing of your vice president Mr. George R. Marcellino. We have launched a research on MicroPulse laser with his support, and he was very encouraging. I was looking forward to seeing him in person soon. I will always remember his support and kindness. May his soul rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family and all at Iridex Corporation.”

Megumi Honjo, MD, PhD

“George provided a great deal of support and advice regarding our research on MicroPulse CPC. From the time I first met him, he listened enthusiastically to my opinions and gave me a great deal of valuable advice. He was a great scientist, and I am grateful to have met such a wonderful person. I would like to express my deepest condolences to his family and to everyone at Iridex.”

Satoru Tsuda, MD, PhD and Taiki Kokubun, MD, PhD

“It is very difficult to accept that Dr. George Marcellino will not visit us in Kobe, Japan. We hope that someday we get a chance to tell him how grateful we are able to continue our dream of making new therapies. He is a legend and we will try our best to uphold his legacy and cerebrate his life. Rest in peace.”

Masayo Takahashi, MD, PhD, Michiko Mandai, MD, PhD and Akiko Maeda, MD, PhD

“It was always very inspiring to talk with George about research works. I wish I could be able to discuss with him again. I would like to thank him for his tremendous contributions to the field of ophthalmology and may he rest in peace. Herewith I would like to express my deepest condolences to his family and Iridex Corporation.”

Yoko Miura, MD, PhD

“George was a natural mentor and teacher. His depth of knowledge was surpassed only by his willingness to share that knowledge to the benefit of his colleagues and those for whom his career was dedicated to serve. He was a scientist and a true gentleman, and he will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege to know him.”

Scott Shuda

“George was a tremendous mentor, mind, colleague, friend and most importantly human being. He brought a great passion that beamed with life to everything he did, and showed many of us the way to a deeper understanding of not only technology that helped change medicine, but how to treat each other with dignity and grace. While the time I knew George was a short 4 years, his impact and teachings will always remain. Rest In Peace, and thank you for being a bright part of all of our lives. God Bless.”

Patrick Breen

“George was a great colleague, friend, mentor, and above all, a great human being. I enjoyed working with him and learning from him. We will miss him dearly. Thank you for everything, George.”

Rigo Magana

“George was a legend and icon in the medical laser industry. You will not be forgotten. RIP.”

David Graham

“Con George se nos fue el hombre bueno, el caballero amable, el científico visionario, el amigo, el coach de la palabra perfecta a la hora precisa y de la eterna sonrisa. Lo vamos a extrañar muchísimo y vamos a aprender de sus logros y de su ejemplo”

Guillermo Molina

“Being new to Iridex, I did not know George that well, but during the interview process and all my training I quickly found what a nice, caring and brilliant man he is and was!”

Brian Chugg

“George was my manager and mentor at Iridex. In the years, we worked together, I was deeply touched by George’s humanity, high moral and ethical standards, and business acumen. We enjoyed long and engaging discussions about ophthalmology; and from time to time we indulged our insatiable curiosity about a wide variety of scientific, psychological, and philosophical topics. We also shared a really good sense of humor. I will always remember how much delight George took in seeing me grow under his supervision. I will miss you George.”

Sandra A. Prietz, Ph.D.

“George was a great colleague and influencer. It’s been my pleasure working with him during the past 3 years. I used to gain new insights and knowledge every time I listen to him. May god bless his soul.”

Fadi Salahat

“From our first hello at the AAO, I knew George was an amazing person! I feel privileged to have worked for him, and with him, over these past few years. He was a mentor, a friend, and a father figure. I will deeply miss him. Thanks George, for your leadership, trust, and inspiration. It’s been a wonderful journey!””

Joan Stauffer

“”Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains” – Khalil Gibran. You will always be living among us as your legacy will last for long. Rest In Peace my friend… we will always miss your dedication, knowledge, positivity, care, and wisdom. Goodbye George!”

Bassem Bou Habib

“I had met George before, but I got to know him closely when he joined IRIDEX. He was a mentor with high morals and very ethical. He was passionate, always jovial and able all a great human being. You will be missed George. RIP.”

Naina Lalka

“I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to meet George. I really enjoyed our pleasant conversations and his sense of humor. He was such a professional, very kind and considerate, and extremely passionate about his work. I remember telling him that he shared my father’s name, so he must be a wonderful person. He laughed so hard. I could tell he loved his family deeply, as he beamed with pride whenever he spoke about them. The world is truly a better place because of him. Rest in Love George, you will be missed.”

Juliet Wint

“I have not come across a gentler, kinder and big hearted person like George. He will truly be missed by everyone….earth has lost a soul but heaven has gained an angel”

Douglas Cheah

“I am so sorry to learn of George’s passing. I worked with him at Coherent and I remember many good times, including the road trip he and I made in Italy from Rome to Punta Ala for an Ophthalmic event. He was a very bright man who always seemed to have a smile and a good sens of humour.”

John Lenihan

“I only know George as MY best friend for 30 plus years. George gave me opportunity and courage to succeed in Ophthalmology, as a clinician, a woman scientist and a professional colleague. How great is that!! What a genuine and amazing human being!! YAY GEORGE. I pray for peace to his family.”

Theresa Kramer

“I’m glad I got the chance to know and work with George. He had a genuine presence I truly admired.”

Todd Philabaun

“George and I were friends at Calvary Episcopal Church and spent many happy breakfasts at Zachary’s discussing fluid dynamics applications to ophthalmology and topics of the day. He was outstanding at applying science to healing eyes. His innovative talents will be missed along with his humor and joyful personality.”

John Vesecky

“A legend in retina. A passionate man of endless contemplation, with a thirst for clinical advancement. George was a good person above all that he did in his professional life… I will miss our talks.”

Lon Dowell

“What an architect with stature and brilliant abilities, not only in his field, but in which the way he lived. He will be greatly missed, while in this maudlin state, I will always remember how George made me feel like a great father to son relationship.”

Marcus Robinson

“I am completely heartbroken by the news of George’s passing. He was kind, passionate and a true leader in the field of Glaucoma. We worked together at both iridex and Coherent. I am grateful for the time we had working together. You will be truly missed.”

Stacie Rodgers

“I am heartbroken that George has passed away. I will miss him very much. He helped me with laser research in Japan, and we will continue our research in his honor.”

Michiaki Okamoto

“I had the pleasure of working with George at Optimedica. He was a true gentlemen and a pioneer for his contributions to the ophthalmic industry. Always smiling, always engaging and energetic, George had touched the lives of many co-workers and Doctors. I will miss seeing him at the different industry shows, for no one could do justice to a bow tie like George…. My thoughts are with his family and the IRIDEX team that also lost a valuable friend and contributor.”

Greg Fava

“Although I had not seen George in many years, I have fond memories of him from Coherent days. He was always kind, jovial, never too busy to answer a question, and a pleasure to be around. I’m glad to have crossed paths with him.”

Barbara Cromarty

“We mourn the passing of George Marcellino. George was an intelligent and innovative scientist, very humble and a great listener. A real gentleman. George will be deeply missed.”

Noemi Lois

“I was deeply shocked and saddened by the news of my friend George’s passing. I met him over 30 years ago, when he was working at Coherent Medical, and I was completing my PhD work, on a project that was set up as a collaboration with Coherent Medical, through the direct supervision of George. For 30 years, I kept in touch with him, and often visited with him during ophthalmology conferences. George had an amazing breadth of expertise across multiple disciplines, and yet he was always curious and interested in learning more. He was incredibly kind and gracious, and our community will miss him greatly. Let’s celebrate George’s amazing journey and incredible life! Rest in peace, my friend!”

Babak Nemati

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