Dr. Kompella joined Juvena Therapeutics in July 2022 to support the validation and lead optimization of protein-based therapies in vivo and new mouse model development.
As a trained pharmacologist, Dr. Kompella has extensive experience in contributing to early-stage drug discovery. She has designed and managed several hypothesis-driven mechanistic studies and established preclinical mouse models for lead optimization and toxicological risk assessment of potential small molecule drugs across several therapeutic areas.
After receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biotechnology from India, she worked for 8 years at various drug discovery organizations in India and the U.S. Dr. Kompella received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) where she investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms of how diet-induced obesity influences DNA damage and repair and contributes to cancer development. Dr. Kompella has been awarded multiple graduate fellowships from UT Austin and the American College of Toxicology. She is also the recipient of an American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) pre-doctoral research fellowship.
Before joining Juvena Therapeutics, Dr. Kompella was a Fulbright U.S. Postdoctoral Scholar at the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga (IBIMA) in Malaga Spain. At IBIMA, she studied the role of obesity-mediated epigenetic modification of DNA damage repair protein OGG1 in visceral adipose tissue from patients with obesity.
Besides research, she loves doing science outreach and going on hikes with friends and family.
Ashil joined Juvena Therapeutics in January 2022 as a Research Associate to contribute to pre-clinical in-vivo research, including the functional and behavioral validation of lead protein therapeutics developed by the in-vitro team.
Ashil obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Riverside. Working in the Nabity Lab, he focused on genetics with the aim to parse out an endosymbiont genome from that of its host, the woolly apple aphid, to elucidate the mechanisms the endosymbiont utilized to fortify the amino-acid poor diet of the aphid.
Realizing his aptitude for dissection and surgery, he began a two-year stint at the Oka Lab at Caltech post-graduating. After beginning by managing and genotyping mouse colonies of up to 55 lines and 400+ animals for the lab, he moved towards behavioral testing and survival intracranial surgery. He worked as a co-author on a project to create an opiate-biosensor, validating in-vitro and ex-vivo results in-vivo by both optimizing and executing intracranial viral injections, and optic fiber implantation in the VTA in the brain. This in conjunction with post-op fiber photometry and DeepLabCut analysis allowed visualization of how the brain processes mu opiates such as fentanyl.
In Ashil’s free time, he is a basketball fanatic, both in playing pickup and following the pros!
Hee Ju joined Juvena Therapeutics in August 2019 as a Research Associate to work on the validation of our pipeline of pro-regenerative lead protein therapeutic candidates in in vivo preclinical models of aging and degenerative diseases caused by aging.
She is originally from Korea and she received her master’s degree in biochemistry from Korea University. Her master’s degree was supported by Brain Korea 21 (BK21). During her masters, she was trained in basic molecular techniques and in vitro experiments. Her master’s thesis was about double stranded DNA repair in yeast ribosomal protein S3.
Before joining Juvena Therapeutics, Hee Ju was trained as a research volunteer in the Peter W. Laird lab, Norris Cancer Center at the University of Southern California (USC). She was involved in the epigenomic projects and she designed the reaction oligo for Mouse MetyLight and some of the primers, which she designed, were published in the paper, Urology.
Hee Ju started improving her in vivo skills in the David J. Anderson’s lab as a research assistant for 5 years at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). She was involved in the projects of anxiety and aggression. After she moved to Austin, she worked with Michael R. Drew as a research associate for 4 years at the Center for Learning and Memory, UT Austin. Then she worked at the KPC lab in Korea for 2 years in preclinical models of neurodegeneration, in particular Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
In Hee Ju’s free time, she enjoys traveling with family, playing golf, and spending time with her lovely dog Kelly.