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Jonathan Thon, Ph.D., is a biotechnology entrepreneur and groundbreaking research scientist with a track record of success founding and leading cell and gene therapy companies from startup through preclinical development.

Dr. Thon is an inspirational executive who creates a positive, collaborative culture in his labs and workplaces.

He has significant experience raising venture capital; recruiting talent at the leadership, board and operational levels; and translating scientific advances into discovery, preclinical and clinical stage programs.

He is a recognized leader in the science of megakaryocytes, platelet formation, hematology, hematopoietic stem cells, and cellular signaling. Dr. Thon is a widely published researcher with numerous peer-reviewed articles and granted patents – and a sought-after speaker for keynote addresses, presentations, panels, and media appearances.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Published Patents

Key Accomplishments

  • Founded and lead two cell therapy companies from ideation through several rounds of successful venture financing.
  • Raised more than $65M in non-dilutive financing from government organizations including the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
  • Proven expertise in transforming basic research into focused discovery and preclinical programs.
  • Prepared pre-IND materials to FDA, establishing clinical pathway for novel treatment modality.
  • Proved that human platelets could be manufactured from human iPSC lines, created scalable commercial manufacturing process and demonstrated commercial feasibility.
  • Winner of numerous academic awards for scientific achievement and business competitions for entrepreneurial skill.
  • Proven leader with strong value set: scholarly excellence, disruptive innovation, hands-on engineering/hacking/building, partnership and collaboration, open communication, respect for employees and their career development.

Education

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Hematology
Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Joseph E. Italiano, Ph.D., faculty advisor, (2008-2013)

Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of British Columbia, Vancouver (2008)

Hors. B.Sc., Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (2004)

Professional Experience

STRM.BIO, Boston, MA • 2019-present
Founder, Chief Executive Officer 

  • Founded and led breakthrough startup and first company to manufacture extracellular vesicles to deliver gene therapies in vivo.
  • Recruited executive team, board of directors, and scientific advisory board.
  • Raised significant venture financing and non-dilutive grants to build preclinical development program.
  • Established and grew broad, blocking IP portfolio

Platelet BioGenesis, Cambridge, MA • 2014-2020
Founder, Chief Executive Officer (until Jul. 2019), Chief Scientific Officer (until Jun. 2020)

  • Co-founded and led breakthrough startup that is the only company in the world to manufacture functional human platelets with wide application as a substitute for donated platelets and a new therapeutic modality to treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
  • Recruited executive team, board of directors, and scientific advisory board.
  • Raised more than $100M in two rounds of venture financing and non-dilutive grants to bring company to clinical trials.
  • Grew company from startup to 40+ employees
  • Established and grew broad, blocking IP portfolio

Faculty Appointments

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA • 2013-2018

Lecturer
August 2017 – July 2019

Assistant Professor in Hematology
May 2015 – July 2017

Instructor in Hematology
October 2013 – May 2015

Selected Awards

2019 Nature Biotechnology’s Academic Spinouts of 2019
Research Distinction
Nature Biotechnology
2017 Startup of the Year
Business Competition
Venture Capital Investment Competition, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2017 Biotech Startup Competition
Business Competition
Biopharm America™ 2017 startup winner
2016 BioSciKin Competition for Life Sciences Start-Ups
Business Competition
BioSciKin, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
2016 Amgen Golden Ticket
Business Competition
Amgen
2015 Arch Award for Outstanding Contributions to Society
Graduate Distinction
McMaster University
2015 Chair’s Research Award
Academic Distinction
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
2015 Top 100 Stories of 2014 (#26)
Academic Distinction
Discover Magazine
2014 Selection
Business Accelerator
MassCONNECT
2014 Finalist
Business Competition
MassChallenge
2014 Deans' Health & Life Sciences Challenge Finalist
Business Competition
Harvard University (Innovation Lab)
2011 Honorary Medal of Graduation
Academic Distinction
Kitasato University
2009 Young Investigator Research Award
Research Distinction
The International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis