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Team & trustees

Our team

Jo Balfour MD, CRDN

JO BALFOUR

Managing Director

Jo is a founding member and Managing Director of CamRARE. She is the creative director and master of perfect delivery behind CRDN’s innovative, patient-centric events programme: RAREfest; RAREsummit; networking forums and educational events. Jo is the founder of CRDN’s Unique Feet, a regional community support group for families affected by rare conditions. She gives strategic guidance and direction to the board and oversees the charity’s operations.
Lesley Booth CRDN Deputy Director

LESLEY BOOTH PhD MBE

Deputy Director

Lesley supports Jo in the day-to-day management of CRDN. A social scientist researcher, she has twenty years experience of working with hard-to-reach groups, and is passionate about education and providing opportunities to educate those who feel excluded, or, exclude themselves from the very systems that should support them. She has an unrivalled understanding of patient and public involvement and engagement processes and growing partnerships with clinicians, researchers and
patients.

Cambridge Rare Disease Network - CRDN | Team 1

LINDSEY BROWN

Events & Projects Officer

Lindsey is a Virtual Assistant with an events and marketing background. She has been involved with CRDN since 2017 and supports Jo with the logistics and promotion of the CRDN events programme. When she’s not helping CRDN, Lindsey enjoys walking, spending time at her allotment or eating cake with friends!

Vaila Morrison headshot

Vaila Morrison

Social Media Manager

Vaila is a proud parent advocate for rare disease and undiagnosed conditions. Her daughter spent the first 6 years of her life undiagnosed, until her ultra rare genetic condition, KAT6A Syndrome, was discovered via the DDD Study based here in Cambs. Vaila is an architect and designer with a passion for inclusive and accessible design of buildings, spaces, products, services and activities!
Cambridge Rare Disease Network - CRDN | Team 2

GEORGE NICOLAOU

Web Developer

George is a Web Developer with a passion for all things Open-Source and loves tinkering with new programming languages. George provides his coding expertise in relation to CRDN’s website as well as suggesting anything and everything that would allow CRDN to reach more people in the Rare Disease community.

Celia Enderle profile pic

CELIA ENDERLE

Community Comms

Celia is a proud parent of a child with a rare disease. She and her family are members of the CRDN’s Unique Feet rare disease community. Always busy in the community, Celia is a teacher, coach and wellbeing specialist. Celia really enjoys celebrating and strengthening the Unique Feet community through producing the newsletter.

Our board of Trustees

Our trustees include some of the UK’s foremost experts in rare diseases and our founding members come from diverse backgrounds in academia, business, healthcare, education and patient support networks.

Cambridge Rare Disease Network - CRDN | Team 3

DR. Gemma Chandratillake

Chair and genomics education lead

Gemma is trained as a molecular geneticist and genetic counsellor.  She has a long-standing interest in rare genetic diseases, having used both fruit flies and worms to model alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency and Niemann-Pick type C disease in the lab.

Cambridge Rare Disease Network - CRDN | Team 4

DR. TIM GUILLIAMS

Founder, trustee and biotech CEO

 Tim is a social entrepreneur passionate about delivering the next generation of therapeutics to rare disease patients in need. He is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Healx, an AI company with a mission to repurpose drugs for rare diseases. He is the Co-Founder and was the first Chair of the Cambridge Rare Disease Network (CRDN).

Cambridge Rare Disease Network - CRDN | Team 5

Dr. JONATHAN MILNER

Trustee and biotech entrepreneur

Jonathan, co-Founder and currently Deputy Chairman of Abcam plc, is an entrepreneur and investor and is passionate about supporting UK life science and high-tech start-ups. He has provided considerable investment and support to over 40 companies and has assisted three technology companies to IPO on the London AIM Stock exchange.

Cambridge Rare Disease Network - CRDN | Team 6

DR. SARAH LEITER

Trustee and medical doctor

Sarah was born and raised in Germany, moving to the UK for education and to  pursue a long-held ambition to study medicine. During her undergraduate training at the University of Cambridge,  she undertook research  and a PhD to further her passion for understanding the basic science underlying medical practice.  Sarah has the rare condition Albinism .

Cambridge Rare Disease Network - CRDN | Team 7

MRS SUE BERRY

Trustee and rare disease parent

Sue is a rare disease parent. Her daughter, Charlotte has Coffin Sirius Syndrome. Sue’s involvement with CRDN began in 2015 when she had a speaking role at our  first RAREsummit.  Charlotte and her family are keen members of CRDN’s  Unique Feet rare disease community group  and support with community fundraising for CRDN. 

Ilan Chaitowitz profile photo

Ilan Chaitowitz

Trustee, treasurer and equity investor

Ilan joined CRDN’s board in 2019 as treasurer and helps oversee finances.

He has been with Nomura Asset Management since 2012 having previously been a Partner at Redburn Partners. Ilan has been an equity investor for over 20 years and has been co-managing the NAM Global High Conviction strategy since early 2014. 

Our volunteers

We are fortunate to have an army of volunteers who regularly help with our events, marketing and other tasks. Some, such as those below, have consistently supported us over a period of time on a range of projects.

CRDN Volunteer Lydia Seed

Lydia Seed

Medical Student, University of Cambridge

Lydia is a medical student at the University of Cambridge. She has been volunteering with CRDN since the start of the pandemic in 2020, where she helped design a Hospital Passport for rare disease patients at a time when families were anxious about hospital visits and teams were redeployed. Lydia has a Masters in Genomic Medicine and recently founded the Cambridge University Genomic Medicine Society. She is also Co-host of the educational podcast Genomics Unravelled.

CRDN Volunteer Heather Turner

Heather Turner

Policy Analyst,  PHG Foundation

Heather is a policy analyst working at the PHG Foundation where she supports a diverse work programme centred around genetics and health. During her Masters studies in Genomic Medicine, she developed a passion for community engagement and awareness of rare disease. She has supported several CRDN events, including RAREfest, RAREsummit and the Rare Disease Theme at the Pint of Science Festival.

CRDN Volunteer Angela Lochmuller

Angela Lochmuller

Medical Student,  King’s College London

Angela is a medical student at King’s College London with a masters in Genomic Medicine from the University of Cambridge. She has been volunteering with CRDN since 2020, and is particularly enthusiastic about raising awareness about rare diseases among medical students and healthcare professionals.  Angela is part of the founding committee of Cambridge University Genomic Medicine Society, and co-hosts their educational podcast Genomics Unravelled with Lydia Seed.

CRDN Team Page Team Member Georgie Windsor

Georgina Windsor

Cambridge University Student

Georgina is a Biological Anthropology student at the University of Cambridge and is a rare disease patient with type 3 Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. She began volunteering with CRDN in 2022. Georgina is interested in bio-cultural approaches to Evolutionary Medicine and Genomics. Georgina volunteers with the Cambridge SU’s Disabled Student’s Campaign and advocates for those with rare diseases through educational content creating and writing.”