About Us

We are Excitant!

Excitant Therapeutics is a small biopharmaceutical start-up based in Oklahoma City, OK. We are focused on developing novel therapeutic agents for ophthalmic diseases, especially those with dysfunctional microvasculature basis such as Diabetic Retinopathy, Diabetic Macular Edema, and Age-related Macular Degeneration. With our world-class scientific expertise in this field, we strive to translate our science to enhance current standard of care for many ophthalmic diseases. Our Science, Your Vision!

Younghwa "Henry" Shin, Ph.D.
Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Shin received his Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center under Dr. Jian-Xing Ma, a renowned researcher in visual science and diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Shin has been deeply involved in ophthalmic research throughout his career, with a special interest in molecular mechanism of retinal degeneration and human blindness. Dr. Shin has extensive experience with development, application and optimization of molecular tools and animal models for investigating ocular diseases. 
Adam Duerfeldt, Ph.D.
Co-founder & Faculty Collaborator
Dr. Duerfeldt obtained his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Kansas. After completing an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute, he began his independent research career at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Duerfeldt’s expertise lies in structure-guided lead optimization and his research interests include 1) the development of chemical tools that can be utilized to enhance our understanding of disease mechanisms and 2) the development of new therapeutic leads for the treatment of cancers, bacterial infections, and ocular diseases.
Jian-Xing Ma, M.D./Ph.D.
Co-founder & Scientific Consultant
Dr. Ma is a leading expert in the field of Diabetic Retinopathy research who has identified and investigated various pathogenic mechanisms underlying diabetes complications. Dr. Ma has established many diabetic animal models, transgenic and knock-out mice as well as the assays and techniques for diabetic retinopathy studies in his laboratory. His research endeavor in investigating diabetic retinopathy has been culminated in more than 200 peer-reviewed papers, continous NIH funding since 1998, and a COBRE to mentor diabetes research in Oklahoma.