Munir Yousef joined Juvena Therapeutics in July 2022 as a bioinformatics analyst to contribute to Juvena’s growing platform by developing robust data analysis pipelines for their in silico protein drug discovery platform.
After realizing his passion for data-driven discovery of solutions to real world problems, Munir obtained his Masters degree in Applied Data Science from Syracuse University.
Before officially joining the team, Munir worked as a data science consultant and helped develop internal data analysis and visualization tools to support Juvena’s growing R&D platforms.
Dr. Thach Mai joined Juvena Therapeutics in September 2018 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.
Experienced and motivated Scientist with a strong background in stem cell biology, human embryonic stem cell, cell culture, molecular biology, vector construction and analytical techniques, including qPCR, ELISA ,FACS, ICC, and Western blot
25+ years proficiency in human embryonic stem cell culture and directed differentiation
Generating Cardiomyocytes, retinal Hepatocytes and Endothelial Progenitor Cells, from human embryonic stem cells to high purity and success rate.
Developing models of end-stage liver disease and liver cirrhosis in primary human hepatocytes (PHH) and primary rodent hepatocytes, including 2D and 3D spheroids and co-cultures with myofibroblasts, stellate cells and Kupffer cells.
Design and execution of high-throughput in vitro plasmid-based miRNA screening for acquired liver disease targets.
Evaluated the transduction efficiency and long term transgene expression of AAV1 and Adeno virus in endothelial cells
Generation of iPS cells with different methods (e.g. mRNA, lenti virus, sendai virus, siRNA reprogramming)
Identified optimal cell condition for Exosome production, purification and characterization
Developed ELISA assay kit for Exosome quantification
Experience with molecular biology techniques and protein isolation
Excellent technical, organizational, and communication skills
Strong analytical and problem-solving capabilities
Ability to work both independently and in a team environment
Ben graduated from UC Davis with bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. While at UC Davis, he worked in Dr. Keith Baar’s lab, and was part of several research projects relating to skeletal muscle metabolism and the effects of nutrition and aging on skeletal muscle, and became responsible for performing transfections of both primary and immortal cell lines for various projects going on in the lab. Additionally, Ben worked as a biochemistry intern at Marrone Bio Innovations in Davis where he gained experience with performing and developing high throughput assays, as well as both small and large scale purification of native and recombinant proteins from several prokaryotic species.