Jan Geissler

Patient Advocate and Social Entrepreneur

Jan Geissler

Jan Geissler

Jan Geissler is founder and managing director of Patvocates, a think tank, consultancy and social enterprise on patient advocacy, health policy and patient engagement in medical research. From 2012-2017, he has been working for the European Patients’ Forum as the Director of the ‘European Patients Academy (EUPATI), a project funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). EUPATI has developed educational material and training courses to educate patient and patient advocates about medicines development processes. In the one of Europe’s largest “Big Data” projects, the IMI-funded EU project HARMONY, he is co-leading the work package on stakeholder input from patient organisations, HTA bodies, regulators and other stakeholders.

Jan studied at the University of Regensburg (Germany) and Aston University (Birmingham, UK), graduating with a university diploma in business. Jan then worked for the media company Bertelsmann, Germany. Emerging from his work in Bertelsmann’s Think Tank “mediaTechnologies”, he co-founded Bertelsmann’s in-house startup BeMobile, heading product management, business development and marketing. In 2003, he joined Vodafone Group R&D where he headed business modelling teams in Germany and The Netherlands, defining the business models of cutting-edge projects connecting media and technology. He was leading multinational and multicultural innovation projects in Europe and Asia.

In 2008, he decided to leave Vodafone and focused his professional life on patient advocacy. The reason why Jan started to engage in cancer advocacy already in 2001 was that Jan received his diagnosis of a rare cancer, Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) at the age of 28 years. He joined a phase I/II clinical trial and started to translate and publish medical publications into German lay language. In 2002, he founded the online patient community Leukämie-Online/LeukaNET, which is one of the most frequented online communities for leukemia patients in the German speaking Internet today. In 2007, Jan co-founded the CML Advocates Network. It today connects 122 leukaemia patient groups in 92 countries on all continents. In 2003, he co-founded the European Cancer Patient Coalition (European umbrella association connecting more than 400 cancer patient groups) and became its first full time director 2008-2010. In 2016, he co-founded the Acute Leukemia Advocates Network (ALAN)  and the Workgroup of European Cancer patient Advocacy Networks (WECAN).

Today, he is a patients’ representative in various steering committees and advisory boards, acting e.g. as chair of the ISPOR Patient Roundtable Europe, as member of the ECCO Patient Advisory Committee, the Editorial Boards of the Journal of European CME, the Journal of Cancer Policy and the Journal of Research Involvement and Engagement, the Institutional Review Board of EORTC, the scientific advisory board of the International CML Foundation, the strategy group of the the German National Decade Against Cancer, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Berlin Institute of Health and the board of Patient Focused Medicines Development (PFMD).  He also acts as an independent expert for the EU Commission, e.g. in the Horizon Europe Cancer Mission Assembly and in Horizon 2020 review panels. He is also member of the Ethics Committee of the Bavarian Chamber of Physicians. In 2016, he was awarded with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his work as a patient advocate.

Publications and Interviews

Webstreams of Public Presentations

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