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Team & trustees

Our team

Jo Balfour MD, CRDN


Managing Director

 Jo is a founding member of CRDN and Managing Director of the charity. She is the creative director and master of perfect delivery behind CRDN’s innovative, patient-centric events programme: RAREfest; RAREsummit; networking and educational events. Jo is the founder of the CRDN Unique Feet activity and community support group for families affected by rare conditions.

Cambridge Rare Disease Network - CRDN | Team 1


Event Consultant

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!

Cambridge Rare Disease Network - CRDN | Team 2


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


Community Comms

Celia is a proud parent of 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


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


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


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


Trustee and biotech CEO

Ron  is a scientist and entrepreneur.  He is a founding member and the programme lead and industry contact  for  CRDN’s Companies Forum. Ron is founder and managing director of Masthead Biosciences, providing the biomedical and life-sciences communities with professional assessment and research on new treatments, medical technologies, and diagnostics.

Cambridge Rare Disease Network - CRDN | Team 8


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.