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Dr Ron Jortner

CEO, Masthead Biosciences; Trustee, CRDN

Ron Jortner Masthead Bioscien

‘Patient Group and Industry Partnering’

Bio: Ron is Founder and CEO of Masthead Biosciences, evaluating treatments and healthcare technology. He also serves as trustee of the Cambridge Rare Disease Network, and heads CRDN’s Companies Forum. Ron works closely with rare disease stakeholders, including patient groups, industry leaders, clinicians, and scientists. His experience also includes neuroscience, machine learning, medical devices, and diagnostics. Previously, he held research positions at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology, the Max Planck Society, and other elite scientific institutions worldwide. Ron completed his Ph.D. in computational neuroscience at Caltech and the Hebrew University. He enjoys rock climbing, martial arts, music, and improvisation theater.

Find out more about Masthead Biosciences by visiting their website.

Q: This will be CRDN’s 5th summit. What is the most impactful and promising change you’ve seen happen in rare disease progress in the last 5 years?

The HERCULES project pioneered the way all rare disease stakeholders should collaborate to streamline development and market access.

Q: How has your work impacted rare disease progress over the last 5 years?

I’ve been involved in a large number of projects facilitating clinical development and characterization of patient needs. I’m also a trustee of CRDN and have contributed my time, expertise, and network, to move forward Companies Forum and other charity activities.  

Q: What next? What do you want to see happen or change in the next 5 years that will have the most impact on diagnostics, care or treatment for those affected by rare conditions?

I would like to see automation and machine learning get integrated into the routine diagnostics in the primary care setting, a process that is only very slowly being adopted. I would like to see genetic screening become more common and offered as a choice – a process that has met significant resistance. I would also like to see gene therapy become more and more commonplace and accessible – which I think is happening anyways. Finally, I would like to see the continuation of patient empowerment trend and the rise in importance of patient groups go on.