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Hanadie Yousef, PhD

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Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Juvena Therapeutics

Dr. Hanadie Yousef is a leading expert on the biology of aging and mechanisms underlying tissue degeneration with over two decades of experience in biomedical research. In 2018, she launched Juvena Therapeutics, a venture-backed biotechnology company mapping the therapeutic potential of secreted proteins and accelerating their translation into engineered biologics that promote tissue repair and restoration of function and health to treat degenerative diseases.

Under Dr. Yousef’s leadership, Juvena has leveraged its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled platform to develop a proprietary, pro-regenerative protein library that enabled the discovery and development of a growing pipeline of biologics for myopathy and metabolic diseases. The company’s lead asset, JUV-161, promotes muscle regeneration and metabolism. It is in IND-enabling studies for the treatment of orphan disease Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 and is expected to enter the clinic in 2024. In addition, Juvena is progressing multiple preclinical programs across metabolic and fibrotic disease areas, including a novel preclinical obesity asset, JUV-112, that uniquely enhances lipid metabolism to induce weight loss through a non appetite-suppressing mechanism.

Dr. Yousef’s high-impact published research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation, SPARK, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and led to multiple issued and pending patents. She has received multiple awards and recognition for her entrepreneurship and innovation, including FierceBiotech’s “Fiercest Women in Life Sciences,” Business Insider’s “30 Leaders Under 40 Changing Healthcare in 2023,” Endpoints’ “The 20(+2) under 40,” and Pharmaceutical Executive’s“Emerging Pharma Leader”in 2023, San Francisco Business Times’ 2024 Women Who Lead in Life Sciences , and the 2022 Biocom Catalyst award. She is also a regularly invited speaker at industry and innovation events.

Dr. Yousef earned her B.S., summa cum laude from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD from UC Berkeley as an NSF graduate research fellow then completed a 5-year postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford School of Medicine as an NIH fellow and SPARK scholar.

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Bernard (Barney) D. King, MD, MBA, RAC (US, EU)

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Dr. King is President of Macnas Consulting International, Inc. Macnas specializes in strategic product development planning and execution for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies and in due diligence consulting for venture capital, investment, and pharmaceutical firms.

Dr. King has more than 25 years’ experience managing business and development operations in the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology and CRO (Contract Research Organization) industries. In particular, he has directed, or been directly involved in, development programs for more than 100 pharmaceutical, medical device and biologics products. The products have addressed clinical targets in a broad range of therapeutic areas and the development programs have included more than 250 separate clinical trials in multiple countries.

Dr. King graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame, majoring in English and Preprofessional Studies, and received his MD from the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He is board certified in Cardiology and Internal Medicine. He received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. King’s book on development entitled, Get It Right The First Time! Pharmaceutical Product Development: Intelligent Solutions for Challenging Issues was recently published by Macnas Press, San Diego, CA. It is available online at www.macnaspress.com and through Amazon.

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Jeremy O’Connell, PhD

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As Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of Juvena Therapeutics, Dr. O’Connell oversees research strategy, pre-clinical science and manufacturing, and intellectual property efforts. Dr. O’Connell’s expertise in proteomics and systems biology was accrued during a PhD from UT Austin, a postdoc at Harvard, and his time in industry.

Prior to Juvena Therapeutics, in his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical school in the lab of Steven Gygi, he leveraged large proteomics datasets to build machine learning classifiers to improve protein-protein interaction predictions within the ubiquitin system.

He has spearheaded research projects in multiple tier-one research institutions, including Harvard and Stanford, employing a combination of mass spectrometry, high throughput imaging, and computational approaches. His work has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed publications, approved and pending patents, millions in award grant funding as the primary PI, fellowships, and awards.

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Fengling Liu, PhD

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Dr. Fengling Liu brings over 10 years of industry experience developing multiple biologics. Since 2010 she served as the Protein Biochemistry lead or group lead of Protein Science in multiple biotechs in the bay area including Medimmune (AstraZeneca), Relypsa, Atreca and Arcus Biosciences.

Her protein science-focused research spanned target identification/confirmation, lead optimization, protein purification and engineering to support vaccine development, small molecule and antibody drug discovery in infectious disease and Immuno-Oncology. She was trained in Biochemistry and Structure Biology during her PhD at Georgia State University. She studied the molecular basis of HIV protease drug resistance through enzyme kinetics and X-ray crystal structures.  She solved over a dozen super high resolution crystal structures of HIV/drug complexes and discovered a novel drug resistance mechanism.

During her postdoc in the lab of Professor Ted Jardetzky in the Structural Biology Department at Stanford Medical School, Dr. Liu studied human viral glycoprotein interactions to discover viral entry inhibitors.

Besides her passion for science and technology, Fengling also enjoys gardening and hiking with family and friends.

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Steven James, MS

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Steven James has over 35 years of biopharmaceutical experience and has been involved in building and leading numerous successful companies and the discovery and development of important approved drug products. Mr. James was most recently president, Chief Executive Officer and director of Pionyr Immunotherapeutics until it was acquired by Ikena Oncology. Previously, he was president, Chief Executive Officer and director of Labrys Biologics until it was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Labrys, Mr. James was president, Chief Executive Officer and director of KAI Pharmaceuticals which was acquired by Amgen. He has held leadership positions at Exelixis, Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, and began his career at Eli Lilly. He holds a Masters in Management from the Kellogg School of Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Brown University. Mr. James is currently a director of Allakos Inc. Ventus Therapeutics and Lyterian Therapeutics. He was formerly the chairman of Antiva Biosciences, and a director of Ocera Inc. (acquired by Mallinkrodt) and Cascadian Therapeutics (acquired by Seattle Genetics).

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Priya Handa, PhD

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Priya Handa, PhD has over 20 years of experience in basic, preclinical and translational research spanning multiple disease areas including metabolic, hepatic, renal and ocular, among others. Prior to joining Juvena Therapeutics, Priya was a Principal Scientist and a team leader at Surrozen focused on tissue regeneration using their antibody platform in diseases with an unmet need. There, she championed several early stage discovery programs and was a key contributor to the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) program which is currently in Phase I clinical trials.
Prior to joining Surrozen, Priya made seminal observations on the pathological underpinnings of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis( NASH) in the Swedish Organ Care Research Program and Benaroya Research Institute at Seattle working closely with world-renowned physician-scientist, Dr. Kris Kowdley. She published her pivotal findings in leading journals such as Hepatology, and presented over 30 posters and gave 7 podium talks in prestigious conferences such as American Association in the Studies on Liver Diseases (AASLD) and Digestive Diseases Week (DDW) among others, on her key work on liver diseases including Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and Primary Biliary Sclerosis. Prior to that, at the University of Washington’s Diabetes Institute, Priya uncovered a central role for vascular nitric oxide signaling in regulating adipose tissue inflammation and metabolic dysfunction and highlighted an essential role for ApoA1 in regulating inflammation.
She completed her Ph.D in the Indian Institute of Science delineating various DNA repair pathways, and received the best thesis award for her dissertation. She did her postdoctoral work at the University of Washington in Seattle on DNA repair and genomic instability. Priya has authored 38 publications including book chapters and reviews, and has presented her findings in numerous international meetings and is a co-inventor of a patent.

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Thach Mai, PhD

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Dr. Thach Mai joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Stem Cell Biologist and Bioinformatician to lead the validation and discovery of the key rejuvenating protein factors in Juvena Therapeutics’ complex embryonic secretome cocktail and develop and improve Juvena’s HTS platform for protein therapeutic discovery.

Dr. Mai is a trained stem cell biologist and immunologist with a focus on the mechanisms of muscle degeneration and aging. Dr. Mai received his PhD in Molecular Biology and Immunology from UC Irvine and a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. During his fellowship, Dr. Mai used bioinformatics to accurately quantify high-throughput genomics data from multi-nucleated cells (heterokaryons) consisting of human and mouse gene transcripts to discover a novel transcription factor that drives the reprogramming of fibroblasts to pluripotency. Self-taught in ML with a strong passion for rapid biological discovery, he has generated deep learning models that identify muscle-specific aging genotypes as well as a machine learning classifier for the myogenic differentiation state of a single cell with a heterogeneous population.

Dr. Mai has been awarded multiple fellowships including from the National Institute of Health (F32), has three, 1st author publications including in Nature Journals, and is co-author of thirteen publications with one in review.

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Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi, PhD

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Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi, PhD brings over 25 years of experience in basic research, integrative pharmacology, translational sciences, and development of biologics. Prior to Joining  Juvena Therapeutics, Dr. Tabrizi served in positions with increasing responsibilities at large companies such as Merck Research Laboratories, Medimmune (acquired by AstraZeneca), Abgenix (acquired by Amgen), and biotech companies such as Soteria Biotherapeutics and Acendis pharma. His product development experience spans many therapeutic areas including oncology, immune-oncology, and inflammatory diseases.

He has been an author or co-inventor on more than 50 original papers, reviews articles, published books and patents. Dr. Tabrizi has been an invited speaker to numerous national and international conferences. Dr. Tabrizi received his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from University of Houston (Summa Cum Laude) and his PhD from University at Buffalo, State University of New York (SUNY) in Pharmaceutical Sciences. He completed a postdoctoral training in Pharmacology at University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY) with a focus on therapeutics.

 

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Meredith Brown-Tuttle, RAC, FRAPS

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Meredith Brown-Tuttle has written and coordinated numerous drug and biologic submissions to US and international regulatory agencies, developed global regulatory strategies, and conducted worldwide regulatory intelligence.

Meredith Brown-Tuttle, RAC, FRAPS, has 31 years of industry experience from bench to clinic to approval of both drugs and devices. Meredith has written and coordinated numerous drug and biologic submissions to US and international regulatory agencies, developed global regulatory strategies and conducted worldwide regulatory intelligence. She is currently both Vice President of Regulatory & Quality at Lyric Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and a strategy/intelligence consultant at Regulatorium. Meredith has written, managed and led over 30 successful domestic and international IND and NDA submissions. She is a founding instructor at UC Santa Cruz Regulatory Certificate Program and author of two books: “IND Submissions: A Primer” and “Regulatory Intelligence 101.” Meredith graduated with a BA in biological psychology (neuroscience) from San Jose State University.

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Dan Furlong, DHA, PMP, MBA

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Dr. Dan Furlong serves as the project manager for the CIRM-funded TRAN-12890 project at Juvena Therapeutics. He has over 35 years of project management and leadership experience, serving in the healthcare industry for the past 24 years. In healthcare he and his teams were responsible for projects that included up to 300 staff and were valued at over $80M USD. Beyond project management, Dr. Furlong also brings leadership, business, and strategic planning skills to the team.

Dr. Furlong has served regularly as the Project Management Institute (PMI) subject matter expert for healthcare at the annual PMI Global Congress and has consulted, lectured, and trained thousands of people for dozens of international organizations both at home and abroad. He was a speaker at the HIMSS Annual Conference ten times, including leading several all-day seminars for them. He was awarded the HIMSS Fellow designation for his service to HIMSS and the healthcare community. He was awarded a full scholarship for the 2022 CHIME CIO Bootcamp and was one of 50 people accepted into the 2008 PMI Leadership Institute Masters Class, a full scholarship leadership program.

Dr. Furlong co-authored the textbook Healthcare Project Management along with Dr. Kathy Schwalbe (1st & 2nd editions) as well as the PMP Last Chance Review. Dr. Furlong is a faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina where he has been teaching in their MHA and MSHI programs since 2009. He currently teaches Healthcare Project Management, Systems Analysis & Design, and Database Concepts courses there, but also holds faculty appointments with the College of Charleston and Walden University.

Dr. Furlong earned his BS in Computer Science from the College of Charleston, his MBA from The Citadel, and his DHA from the Medical University of South Carolina.

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