Our Patient Founder
Richard is a rare disease patient suffering from Bietti’s Crystalline Dystrophy (BCD), a late onset retinal degenerative disease. BCD affects Richard and his sister as patients and consequently the entire family’s quality of life. Seeing no one was developing a treatment for BCD, Richard decided to put the matter into his own hands. In the process of going blind, Richard and his family founded Reflection Biotechnologies (ReflectionBio®) to initiate and drive BCD treatment R&D as a patient. ReflectionBio® created and applies the BY PATIENTS, FOR PATIENTS ™ approach for patients to combine efforts and to proactively drive scientific and medical research and development to help ourselves and others. As a patient-turned researcher and in collaboration with our research partners, Richard has been driving BCD gene therapy R&D and made progress in the process of going blind.
Richard is a member of the “Orphan Drug Development Guidebook” Task Force of the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC). He has served as an ad hoc reviewer for Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases.
Richard brought to ReflectionBio® more than 15 years of experience in law and finance, and basic training in science. Prior to founding ReflectionBio®, Richard was an Managing Director in healthcare investment banking at a global investment bank. Richard started his career as an attorney in New York.
Richard holds a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from The University of Michigan Law School and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Peking University.
1. Yang, R.R. A patient advocating for transparent science in rare disease research. Orphanet J Rare Dis 18, 14 (2023).
2. Hanany M, Yang RR, Lam CM, Beryozkin A, Sundaresan Y, Sharon D. An in-depth single-gene worldwide carrier frequency and genetic prevalence analysis of CYP4V2 as the cause of Bietti crystalline dystrophy. Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2023;12(2):27,