The Intersection of Science and Personal Healthcare: Jeff Aronin Moving Biotech Forward

Jeff Aronin began his career in the healthcare industry by founding and becoming the CEO of Ovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. He used his past life experiences to develop the strategy that this new company would take to transform the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry. He was successful with his strategy of understanding need, identifying science, and working to get a drug that would fulfill that need to market as efficiently as possible. In 2009, Ovation’s success was noticed by Lundbeck who purchased Ovation and appointed Aronin as president and CEO during the transition. He has also served as the chairman of Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals as well as Harmony Biosciences.

Aronin has spent the past decade as chairman and CEO of Paragon Biosciences. Paragon works to build biotech companies who work to develop life changing medicines for those with diseases with few or no current treatments. He has helped develop Paragon through the recruitment of top leadership, biotech talent, and investors. Paragon has a proven method of creating solutions that they use to come up with treatments. The team first identifies a disease with a need and studies its cause for a possible solution that is untried or may create a better result. They then identify and scientific information out there that could yield results and begin to build a company that is focused on the clinical development of a drug that could take advantage of that particular scientific information. The company also works to get around any legal and regulatory hurdles and develops a commercialization strategy. Paragon also takes their focus on diseases with unmet needs one step further by looking into medicines that other companies have done work on but have decided were not in their best interest pursue. Jeff Aronin’s focus on medicines with the greatest chance to make it to market has made Paragon a company that helps many patients and has continual growth over time.

The Prolific Contribution of Dr. Jorge Moll

Head of the cognitive and behavioral neuroscience unit Dr. Jorge Moll is founder and president-director of D’or Institute of research and education in Rio de Janeiro. He graduated from the medical school of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 1994 and in 1997 completed his medical residency in neurology in the same college.

 

Moll did his Ph. D in experimental Pathophysiology at the University of Sao Paolo with a thesis in moral judgment and sensitivity. With expertise in the prefrontal cortex, morality, and behavioral neuroscience, Dr. Moll is a distinguished member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the society of neuroscience and International Neuroethics society among others. He is a recipient of the visiting scholar award by Stanford neuroscience institute, Stanford University, and Research Fellow NIH awards.

 

About Jorge’s Study

Jorge Moll together with fellow neuroscientist Jordan Grafman in a 2006 study raised some fascinating question on how our sense of morality and altruism is affected by the physiology of the brain. The study was based on scanning the brain of participants as they were presented with cases of either keeping the money to themselves or donating it to charity.

 

Interestingly, the research showed that the portion of the brain associated with responses to sex and food is activated when participants make decisions that benefit others. Moll’s findings besides suggesting that we give because it stimulates our pleasure centers making us feel good it lends credence to generations of philosophers and spiritual leaders who have been advocating that generosity makes us feel more fulfilled.

 

Moll’s work on morality is just, but a growing pool of research that supports the idea that morality is an evolutionary process that has spanned millennia. Scientists feel that being able to identify another the internal state of creatures was an essential leap in evolution with most of the studies pointing to empathy as the foundation of morality. However, there are those who fear the findings raise some troubling questions like, since morality is viewed as a unique trait that separates us from animals making us unique, it will be tarnished when understood that it is an evolutionary product designed to help species survive. Some are worried that it comes to making ethical choices it may reduce our notion of personal responsibility. With so much information uncovered by the likes of Dr. Jorge Moll, our understanding of these topics will surely keep evolving as years progress.