We Are Passionate About Mapping Secreted Proteins to Unmet Medical Needs


We are a team of scientists, drug developers, and engineers that are passionate about developing new biologics to rejuvenate lives by unraveling the human secretome. The Juvena team combines expertise in computational drug discovery, chronic aging-related disease biology, proteomics, data science and machine learning, pharmacology, protein engineering, and drug development. We are on a mission to unravel the human secretome to improve human health.

Interested in learning about opportunities to join our cause and team? Join Our Team.

Meet our Team


Hanadie Yousef, PhD

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
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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 to develop biologics that prevent, reverse and cure chronic and age-related diseases. The company has secured about $60M to date and developed a proprietary pro-regenerative protein library supported by a computationally driven drug discovery and development platform that enables them to characterize human stem cell-secreted proteins for therapeutic potential. Their artificial intelligence-enhanced platform leverages multiple data modalities and technologies, including quantitative proteomics, multi-omics, high-content imaging and machine learning. Juvena’s scaling platform has enabled the identification, extensive preclinical validation, and lead optimization of three novel drug candidates, including a lead recombinant fusion protein headed towards an investigational new drug and anticipated to enter the clinic in 2024 for Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1, as well as multiple discovery candidates with in vivo efficacy across several chronic, age-related and rare metabolic and muscle degenerative disease areas.

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 been named to various shortlists for her entrepreneurship and innovation, including the Biocom Catalyst award in 2022, Emerging Pharma Leader by Pharmaceutical Executive, Business Insider 30 under 40 in Healthcare, and Endpoints 20 under 40 lists in 2023. She 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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Jeremy O’Connell, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder
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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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Neil Berkley, MS, MBA

Chief Corporate Development Officer
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Neil Berkley brings over 20 years of experience in corporate development, business development, and strategic planning from large pharma, midsize biotech/pharma and small biotech companies. He has completed a wide variety of transactions including in- and out-licensing transactions, M&A transactions, co-development/co-investment/co-commercialization transactions, research collaborations, financing transactions, device and supply agreements, etc.   Neil has built and lead multiple business development, corporate development and alliance management teams.

Prior to joining Juvena, Neil was Chief Business Officer at AbCellera, a public biotech company focused on discovering novel antibody therapeutics. Previous to AbCellera, Neil was Vice President, Head of Business Development at Halozyme Therapeutics, a public biotechnology company focused on enabling platforms for the pharmaceutical industry. Neil has also held various business development and corporate development roles at Axerovision, COI (Avalon Incubator), Acadia, and GSK. Earlier in his career, Neil was Head of Business development at Cadence Pharmaceuticals, where he helped sell the company for $1.3B in cash. Neil also co-founded and helped build two San Diego-based biotechnology companies, Mpex Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Aptalis) and Vaxiion (a clinical stage bladder cancer company). 

Neil holds a BS in molecular biology from the UC San Diego, as well as a Master of Science in cellular and molecular biology and an MBA from San Diego State University.

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Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi, PhD

Vice President of Preclinical and Nonclinical Development
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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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Fengling Liu, PhD

Director of Protein Science
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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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Thach Mai, PhD

Director of Discovery & Platform
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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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Priya Handa, PhD

Director of Translational Biology
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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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Dr. Vengadeshprabhu Karuppa gounder, PhD, joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Scientist II working on preclinical in vivo disease modeling and drug discovery. Dr. Karuppa gounder brings over 10 years of pharmacology & drug development experience in academic research. Dr. Karuppa gounder has strong background in pharmacology, immunology and molecular biology. He has several years of experience developing preclinical animal models in areas of diabetes, NASH, cardiomyopathy, autoimmune diseases, aging, osteoarthritis, IBD, renal and inflammatory diseases.

Dr. Karuppa gounder completed his Undergraduate and Master’s work on Pharmaceutical Sciences at the TamilNadu DR. MGR Medical University, Chennai, India and did his Ph.D. studies at Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences, Japan, where he studied the role of HMGB1 and GPCR role in diabetes and autoimmune disease models. Then he joined as a postdoctoral researcher at Penn State College of Medicine, PA. During his fellowship, Dr. Karuppa gounder established new methods to study the role of GPCR signaling in synovitis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis in mouse models and treatment options.

Dr. Karuppa gounder achieved the first author in leading scientific journals, Science Translational Medicine, & Aging Research Reviews and co-author of several research and review articles, and bagged several awards and grants.

 

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Ritwik Datta joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Scientist on the Pharmacology team. Ritwik is a physiologist with over ten years of experience. His expertise lies in comprehending the molecular basis of cardiometabolic diseases. Ritwik’s approach to investigating complex biological questions involves utilizing both mouse models and cell-based methods to develop innovative therapies for cardiometabolic and pulmonary diseases.

Ritwik received his Ph.D. from the University of Calcutta under the guidance of Sagartirtha Sarkar, Ph.D. Ritwik focused on studying how two major cell types in the heart – cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts – communicated with each other through secreted molecules and how these signaling pathways impacted cardiac fibrosis.

Ritwik completed his extensive postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the lab of Kamran Atabai, MD. Ritwik’s research identified a novel integrin-mediated feedback loop of insulin receptor signaling that regulates skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, laying the foundation for integrin-based therapy to lower daily insulin needs in diabetic patients. In his recent work, Ritwik investigated integrins’ role in regulating dietary fat metabolism in the intestine, providing insights into how intestinal lipid droplet homeostasis affects whole-body lipid metabolism and cardiovascular health.

Throughout his career, Ritwik has garnered recognition and support from prestigious organizations, including postdoctoral fellowships from the Larry L Hillblom Foundation, enabling him to pursue his research endeavors. Ritwik has 6, 1st author publications including in PNAS and Cell reports, and he is a co-author of 10 publications in leading scientific journals.

Besides his passion for science, Ritwik is a travel and photography enthusiast.

 

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Jyoti Ahlawat, PHD

Associate Scientist
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Dr. Ahlawat joined Juvena Therapeutics as an Associate Scientist: Drug Discovery. She holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IITR), and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She is a recipient of Academic and Research Excellence award from the College of Science (UTEP). Her dissertation research involved developing materials and testing them in-vitro to develop therapeutics against the gravest of human diseases such as Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Dr. Ahlawat has published more than 18 articles and book chapters in international, peer-reviewed, reputed journals. She is a recipient of the title “Rising Star in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology” at the 10th IEE International Conference on nanomaterials and applications (IEEE-NAP 2020). She has won Best presentation awards at the Equniox (2022), 26th Annual BioEnvironmental Polymer Society (BEPS-2019), Graduate Expo (2018), and 8th International conference on smart materials, structure, and systems (ISSS-2017). In addition, she has won various travel awards (2018-2020), four research awards (2019-2021), and graduate scholarships (2019-2020). She is an Editorial board member of the Journal Future Trends in Nanotechnology and is serving as a Guest Editor for Science Progress (SAGE Journal).

She has served as Vice president of Graduate Student Assembly (2018), and as President of BioChem graduate student chapter (2021). She recently received honorarium from Society for Science for serving as a Science Talent Search Evaluator in 2021. She received Certificate of Appreciation from the Graduate School for her contribution to Undergraduate Learning in 2021. She has served as science judge for the Sun Country Science & Engineering fair (2021), Regeneron International Science & Engineering fair (2021) and at 2nd annual El Paso STEM expo competition (2019). She worked as an intern for eight months with a medical device company where she participated and led international projects which included renewal and registration of ophthalmic lenses in Mexico, Creating Instructions for Use (IFUs) and technical files, and Translation of IFUs into European languages.

Dr. Ahlawat serves as a peer-reviewer for journals such as Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, Nanotechnology for Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Journal for Drug Delivery, and technology, and Phytotherapy. She delivered four invited scientific talks at International Conferences in 2021-2022.

 

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Annie Yang, MS

Research Associate II
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Annie joined Juvena Therapeutics as a research associate II working on preclinical in vivo and in vitro disease modeling and drug discovery.

She received her master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Southern California. During her time as a graduate student, Annie participated as a research volunteer in an immunology group. Her project focused on investigating the influence of the coronavirus envelope protein on CD1d expression. This experience provided her with valuable training in fundamental molecular techniques, such as genotyping, flow cytometry, western blotting, and conducting in vivo experiments.

Before joining Juvena, Annie worked as a Research Associate in the field of toxicology at Sorrento Therapeutics for one year. In this position, she played a crucial role in supporting the toxicity team, particularly in the tissue cross-reactivity assay. Her responsibilities included performing histological procedures such as embedding and sectioning both paraffin and frozen tissues, conducting H&E staining, IHC, IF, and acquiring images.

During her free time, Annie finds joy in activities such as jogging, hiking, and gaming with her friends.

 

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Bek Madjidov

Head of Finance and Operations
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Bek Madjidov is the Head of Finance and Operations at Juvena Therapeutics, responsible for administrative and operational functions (finance, human resources, information technology, and facilities).

Bek is a transformational leader who brings strong business acumen and over 15 years of finance and operations experience in the biotech and high-tech industries. His areas of expertise are strategic planning, business analysis, management reporting, process improvement, and organizational transformation. 

Bek previously served as Finance Director at Genentech (Roche), supporting Product Development and Manufacturing Operations organizations. He provided finance leadership to global product and functional teams and led transformational efforts in business and finance organizations. Prior to Genentech, Bek held a variety of finance and leadership roles at Autodesk and Bio-Rad Laboratories by successfully building and leading teams that built strong, cross-functional business partnerships in complex, matrix organizations. 

Bek holds a Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) in Business Administration from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York (SUNY). Bek is pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Natalie Ploof

Lab Manager
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Natalie joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Lab Manager to support, implement and optimize laboratory operations to meet the needs of the growing R&D team.

Before joining Juvena, Natalie worked as a Senior Research Associate at GOOD Meat, where she supported cell line development efforts to identify lead cell lines for their cultivated meat projects. Throughout her tenure at GOOD Meat, Natalie focused her efforts on cell bank management, overseeing all operations related to Master and Master Working Cell Banks. This involved creation of large-scale banks, conducting release and stability testing, managing vial inventories, and overseeing transfers to manufacturing partners. In addition to cell bank management, Natalie managed her department’s controlled document system, working to build-out and standardize relevant quality documents. Through her work, Natalie played a key role in the company’s preparation for the recent FDA/USDA clearances for their cultivated chicken product.

Natalie obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Bioengineering from Santa Clara University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, amateur baking, playing board games with friends, and exploring new neighborhoods in the Bay Area.

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Dan Furlong, DHA, PMP, MBA

Head of Preclinical Program Management
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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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Tejaswini Ganapathi

Principal Machine Learning Engineer
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Since joining Juvena Therapeutics, Tejaswini Ganapathi has worked on the development of AI models that power Juvena’s protein discovery for targeted in vitro screening, and will be exploring the application of AI to other aspects of the company’s drug pipeline as well. 

Tejaswini has extensive experience in machine learning algorithm development both in research and production and towards building end to end ML systems. Her industry experience spans various domains such as healthcare, medical imaging, finance and wireless networks. She has been an early employee at 2 startups with successful exits and holds ~10 patents. She pursued her graduate studies at University of Toronto and University of Texas at Austin, both specializing in machine learning. 

Outside of AI and work, Tejaswini is a RYT200 Yoga instructor, is trained in Indian Classical music and tries to contribute her time to animal rescues.

 

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Wei (Vivian) Guo

Senior Scientist

Wei (Vivian) Guo brings over 20 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience focused on protein chemistry and therapeutic antibody development to her role as Senior Scientist of Protein Science at Juvena Therapeutics. 

She has broad and deep experience in protein and antibody expression, purification, and analytical characterization. She is also an expert in antibody generation including antigen design, protein conjugation, bispecific antibody generation and drug conjugation. She has extensive cross functional experience in molecular biology, cell culture and assay development, as well as deep trouble-shoot skills.

She received her medical college degree from Hunan Medical University in China.

Vivian loves nature, like walking, hiking, traveling and ping-pong.

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Mohammad Hassanipour

Scientist, In vitro Human Disease Modeling
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  • 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

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Rohit Jadhav, PHD

Computational Biologist
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Dr. Rohit Jadhav brings more than 12 years of cross disciplinary experience encompassing the fields of oncology, immune aging and auto-immune diseases. He has extensive experience in algorithm development for diagnostic and prognostic  biomarker discovery dealing with diverse datasets investigating the Transcriptome, Epigenome and DNA mutations in clinical cohorts.

Dr. Jadhav earned his B.Tech. in Bioinformatics from India, a M.S. in Bioinformatics from Indiana  University, Indianapolis, a PhD in Molecular Medicine from UT Health, San Antonio as a CPRIT  pre-doctoral fellow, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology at Stanford School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic.

Masters & PhD (2009-2016) 

Dr. Jadhav worked on identifying epigenetic biomarkers investigating alterations in DNA methylation across different cancer types including breast, ovarian, endometrial, oral and  prostate. He was awarded a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Predoctoral Fellowship, which enabled him to be involved in collaborative projects focusing on non-invasive approaches for biomarker discovery. One such project involved use of single-cell RNA sequencing to study circulating tumor cells and another involved studying DNA methylation  in cell free DNA, both from peripheral blood. As a lead bioinformatician for these studies, he implemented classification-based prediction methods to enable identification of a panel of  biomarkers to be used in determining treatment approaches for prostate cancer patients belonging to different subtypes. These studies have led to 3 approved patents from his mentor Dr. Tim Huang. During this time, Dr. Jadhav was also a lead author on the study that identified  DNA methylation biomarkers capable of identifying predisposition to breast cancer after prenatal  exposure to the compound bisphenol A and preventive effects of genistein. 

Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017-2022) 

Dr. Jadhav’s work at Stanford University and Mayo Clinic with Dr. Jorg Goronzy who is a leading expert in immune aging and auto-immunity, focused on epigenetics in the context of chromatin accessibility and specifically alterations in the immune cell types like CD4 and CD8 T cells during aging and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. He was also a lead author studying epigenetic alterations in exhausted T-cells post checkpoint blockade therapies in collaboration with Dr. Rafi Ahmed from Emory University. During this time Dr. Jadhav built pipelines deployed in on-prem clusters and in the cloud for analyzing and visualizing data from RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, TCR-seq, single cell multiome (RNA+ATAC), single cell Cite-seq (RNA+Protein) among others.

Dr. Jadhav has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers with over a thousand citations. 

 

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Trang Vuong

Scientist I
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Trang joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Scientist to contribute to Dr. Li’s research on developing various assays for advancing Juvena Therapeutics’ pipeline library of rejuvenating proteins for therapeutic purposes. 

Trang obtained her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UC Davis and continued to study for her Master in Immunology at UC Davis. Before joining Juvena, she worked at Teva Pharmaceuticals and worked extensively in their antibody screening. She managed an early antibody discovery project and had experiences in running various animal models for lead efficacy testing. She has extensive experience in flow cytometry, assay development and project leadership.

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Sharon Louie, PhD

Senior Scientist
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Sharon joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Senior Scientist working on preclinical in vivo disease modeling and drug discovery. She received her B.S. in Molecular Toxicology and Ph.D in Metabolic Biology from UC Berkeley where she used chemoproteomic and metabolomic technologies to uncover metabolic drivers of triple-negative breast cancers. Sharon completed her post-doctoral training at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School where she developed a transplantation assay for lung stem cell-derived organoids to mouse models with lung disorders to assess the potential for future cell therapies. She then spent a few years in the biotech industry leading studies to support preclinical drug development.

Sharon has been awarded multiple fellowships during her time in academia, including the NSF graduate fellowship and the Hope Funds for Cancer fellowship. She is a co-author on 22 publications.

 

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Ashil Koranne

Senior Research Associate
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Ashil joined Juvena Therapeutics 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!

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Jamie Grayson

Senior Director of Project Management
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Jamie Grayson serves as Senior Director of Program Management at Juvena Therapeutics where she supports Discovery and Platform Development project teams. Jamie started her career as a research assistant. She moved from the bench to project management early in her career and has now gained 19 years of experience in cross-functional project management in biopharma.

She has project management experience at all sizes of companies including small start ups, mid-size biopharmas, and large pharmaceutical companies including Abgenix, AstraZeneca, MedImmune, Takeda, and Apexigen. She has extensive experience in biologics across a variety of indications including oncology, immuno-oncology, immunology, neurology, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases. Her project management experience spans all phases from early discovery to BLA.

In addition to her project management experience, Jamie has extensive alliance management experience working on large pharma collaborations, co-development programs, academic collaborations, and on joint project teams with external vendors.

Jamie earned a Bachelors of Science degree from Santa Clara University and a Certificate in Project Management for Biopharmaceuticals from UC Berkeley Extension.

 

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Hee Ju Kim, MS

Associate Scientist
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Hee Ju joined Juvena Therapeutics 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.

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Zhihua Li, PhD

Principal Protein Engineer

Dr. Li is a biologist with a multidisciplinary background in Biochemistry, Immunology, Cell and Molecular Biology, with 7 years of research experience in academia and 4 years in industry. He joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Protein Engineering Scientist to build protein expression and purification pipelines and to improve Juvena Therapeutics’ pipeline library of rejuvenating proteins for therapeutic purposes.

Following a BS in Biochemistry and Master’s Degree (MS) in genetics from scientific and technical universities in China, and a second MS in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Southern California all during which he conducted research, Dr. Li completed his PhD (2007) and postdoctoral training (2014) in Cell and Molecular Biology from UT Austin, where he studied protein-protein interactions in different ways: first by combining computational predictions with experimental validations to discover 15 new protein factors functioning in the biogenesis of ribosomes; then by combining powerful mass spectrometry with protein fractionation techniques to create protein complex maps for both yeast and human cells. Continuing his exploration of novel protein interactions in his postdoctoral research, Dr. Li elucidated the self-cleavage mechanism of a novel membrane-bound transcription factor that drives oligodendrocyte differentiation. He’s published multiple co-authorships and first authorship studies along the way. 

Before joining Juvena, Dr. Li worked in industry and biotech startups as Lead Scientist, Life Science Consultant, Scientific Advisor and R&D director. As Lead Scientist at BMLogic, Dr. Li developed and optimized the protein secretory production system in Pichia, leading to improved protein secretion efficiency and greatly reduced protein degradation.

Besides his passion for science, he enjoys spending time with his kid and exploring nature.

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Jamie Romero

Biotech Operations Manager
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Jamie Romero has over 14 years of biotech industry experience, starting as a Research Associate and growing into a Biotech Operations Manager. She brings to Juvena years of experience within the biotech industry, from her earlier days of working at the bench to managing biotech operations in scaling companies. Jamie has significant experience across facilities operations, office management, HR, accounting, and more. Jamie Romero’s career has fed her need to learn through the field of biomedical research while experiencing the excitement of the biotech start-up world. Jamie earned her Bachelors of Science  in molecular biology and minor in Chemistry from SJSU. 

Jamie is detail oriented, an effective multi-tasker and used to fast-paced, changing and uncertain environments. Having the ability to prioritize in deadline driven environments, Jamie excels when challenged, wearing multiple hats. She learned by dedicating 12 years to Omniox, Inc., where she was the first employee and grew with the company, taking on multiple diverse tasks to support their growth and needs, followed by Catalyst Biosciences. Many exciting opportunities opened up for her as she had the great opportunity to grow and learn in many different roles, being the “go-to” person; point-of-contact for, if, and, when anything came up through most if not all departments of the company – from lab to office, from finance to HR, from coordinating team-building and company events to providing EA support for the CEO and Executive team.  

So, when Jamie came across the opportunity to join Juvena, an early, scaling biopharma start-up tackling some of the greatest unmet needs of our time through an exciting biologics discovery and development platform, a mission Jamie whole-heartedly believes in, she excitedly jumped to the challenge and can’t wait to see what the future with the company entails.

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Han Song

Senior Research Associate
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Han joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Research Associate to contribute to Dr. Li’s research on protein expression, purification pipelines, and to improve Juvena Therapeutics’ pipeline library of rejuvenating proteins for therapeutic purposes. 

Han obtained his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of San Diego, with research areas focusing on exploring the enzymatic interactions of malate dehydrogenases and the utilization of defect-formations in the synthesis of metal-organic frameworks. 

Before joining Juvena, Han worked as a Scientist III at the startup NovoNutrients for 4 years. He was heavily involved with the upstream and downstream process of gas fermentation using proprietary bioreactors and consortias. In addition to the fermentation work, he developed a novel synthetic biology platform to express high-value biomolecules ranging from enzymes, pharmaceuticals, to carotenoids in various consortia species. Later on, he took on the role of a strain engineer to develop a quick and reliable method to generate genomically-integrated strains of bacteria for industrial processes. 

In Han’s free time, he enjoys playing the piano, hiking, and cycling around the Bay Area. 

Learn more about Han

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Munir Yousef, MS

Bioinformatics Analyst
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Munir Yousef joined Juvena Therapeutics 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.

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Sarah Tang

Senior Research Associate
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Sarah joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Senior Research Associate to contribute to Dr. Fengling Liu’s research on protein expression and purification. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Before joining Juvena Therapeutics, Sarah worked as a Research Associate in the antibody discovery field, where she attained hybridoma sequences, antibody transient expression, and hit identification. Prior to transitioning to research, Sarah worked in the clinical diagnostics field as a Lab Administrative Manager. She managed lab operations while staying active on the bench.

In Sarah’s free time, she enjoys creating content for her cat’s social media, gaming with friends, and attending ballet performances.

 

Learn more about Sarah

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Hanadie Yousef, PhD

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
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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 to develop biologics that prevent, reverse and cure chronic and age-related diseases. The company has secured about $60M to date and developed a proprietary pro-regenerative protein library supported by a computationally driven drug discovery and development platform that enables them to characterize human stem cell-secreted proteins for therapeutic potential. Their artificial intelligence-enhanced platform leverages multiple data modalities and technologies, including quantitative proteomics, multi-omics, high-content imaging and machine learning. Juvena’s scaling platform has enabled the identification, extensive preclinical validation, and lead optimization of three novel drug candidates, including a lead recombinant fusion protein headed towards an investigational new drug and anticipated to enter the clinic in 2024 for Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1, as well as multiple discovery candidates with in vivo efficacy across several chronic, age-related and rare metabolic and muscle degenerative disease areas.

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 been named to various shortlists for her entrepreneurship and innovation, including the Biocom Catalyst award in 2022, Emerging Pharma Leader by Pharmaceutical Executive, Business Insider 30 under 40 in Healthcare, and Endpoints 20 under 40 lists in 2023. She 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.

Learn more about Hanadie

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PostDoc Research
Graduate Research
Undergraduate Research and Achievements
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Jeremy O’Connell, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder
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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.

Learn more about Jeremy

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Neil Berkley, MS, MBA

Chief Corporate Development Officer
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Neil Berkley brings over 20 years of experience in corporate development, business development, and strategic planning from large pharma, midsize biotech/pharma and small biotech companies. He has completed a wide variety of transactions including in- and out-licensing transactions, M&A transactions, co-development/co-investment/co-commercialization transactions, research collaborations, financing transactions, device and supply agreements, etc.   Neil has built and lead multiple business development, corporate development and alliance management teams.

Prior to joining Juvena, Neil was Chief Business Officer at AbCellera, a public biotech company focused on discovering novel antibody therapeutics. Previous to AbCellera, Neil was Vice President, Head of Business Development at Halozyme Therapeutics, a public biotechnology company focused on enabling platforms for the pharmaceutical industry. Neil has also held various business development and corporate development roles at Axerovision, COI (Avalon Incubator), Acadia, and GSK. Earlier in his career, Neil was Head of Business development at Cadence Pharmaceuticals, where he helped sell the company for $1.3B in cash. Neil also co-founded and helped build two San Diego-based biotechnology companies, Mpex Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Aptalis) and Vaxiion (a clinical stage bladder cancer company). 

Neil holds a BS in molecular biology from the UC San Diego, as well as a Master of Science in cellular and molecular biology and an MBA from San Diego State University.

Learn more about Neil
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Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi, PhD

Vice President of Preclinical and Nonclinical Development
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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.

 

Learn more about Mohammad

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Hanadie Yousef, PhD

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
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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 to develop biologics that prevent, reverse and cure chronic and age-related diseases. The company has secured about $60M to date and developed a proprietary pro-regenerative protein library supported by a computationally driven drug discovery and development platform that enables them to characterize human stem cell-secreted proteins for therapeutic potential. Their artificial intelligence-enhanced platform leverages multiple data modalities and technologies, including quantitative proteomics, multi-omics, high-content imaging and machine learning. Juvena’s scaling platform has enabled the identification, extensive preclinical validation, and lead optimization of three novel drug candidates, including a lead recombinant fusion protein headed towards an investigational new drug and anticipated to enter the clinic in 2024 for Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1, as well as multiple discovery candidates with in vivo efficacy across several chronic, age-related and rare metabolic and muscle degenerative disease areas.

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 been named to various shortlists for her entrepreneurship and innovation, including the Biocom Catalyst award in 2022, Emerging Pharma Leader by Pharmaceutical Executive, Business Insider 30 under 40 in Healthcare, and Endpoints 20 under 40 lists in 2023. She 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.

Learn more about Hanadie

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PubMed Library
PostDoc Research
Graduate Research
Undergraduate Research and Achievements
ResearchGate

Jeremy O’Connell, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder
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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.

Learn more about Jeremy

PubMed Library
LinkedIn

Neil Berkley, MS, MBA

Chief Corporate Development Officer
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Neil Berkley brings over 20 years of experience in corporate development, business development, and strategic planning from large pharma, midsize biotech/pharma and small biotech companies. He has completed a wide variety of transactions including in- and out-licensing transactions, M&A transactions, co-development/co-investment/co-commercialization transactions, research collaborations, financing transactions, device and supply agreements, etc.   Neil has built and lead multiple business development, corporate development and alliance management teams.

Prior to joining Juvena, Neil was Chief Business Officer at AbCellera, a public biotech company focused on discovering novel antibody therapeutics. Previous to AbCellera, Neil was Vice President, Head of Business Development at Halozyme Therapeutics, a public biotechnology company focused on enabling platforms for the pharmaceutical industry. Neil has also held various business development and corporate development roles at Axerovision, COI (Avalon Incubator), Acadia, and GSK. Earlier in his career, Neil was Head of Business development at Cadence Pharmaceuticals, where he helped sell the company for $1.3B in cash. Neil also co-founded and helped build two San Diego-based biotechnology companies, Mpex Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Aptalis) and Vaxiion (a clinical stage bladder cancer company). 

Neil holds a BS in molecular biology from the UC San Diego, as well as a Master of Science in cellular and molecular biology and an MBA from San Diego State University.

Learn more about Neil
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Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi, PhD

Vice President of Preclinical and Nonclinical Development
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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.

 

Learn more about Mohammad

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Directors

Hanadie Yousef, PhD

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
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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 to develop biologics that prevent, reverse and cure chronic and age-related diseases. The company has secured about $60M to date and developed a proprietary pro-regenerative protein library supported by a computationally driven drug discovery and development platform that enables them to characterize human stem cell-secreted proteins for therapeutic potential. Their artificial intelligence-enhanced platform leverages multiple data modalities and technologies, including quantitative proteomics, multi-omics, high-content imaging and machine learning. Juvena’s scaling platform has enabled the identification, extensive preclinical validation, and lead optimization of three novel drug candidates, including a lead recombinant fusion protein headed towards an investigational new drug and anticipated to enter the clinic in 2024 for Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1, as well as multiple discovery candidates with in vivo efficacy across several chronic, age-related and rare metabolic and muscle degenerative disease areas.

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 been named to various shortlists for her entrepreneurship and innovation, including the Biocom Catalyst award in 2022, Emerging Pharma Leader by Pharmaceutical Executive, Business Insider 30 under 40 in Healthcare, and Endpoints 20 under 40 lists in 2023. She 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.

Learn more about Hanadie

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PubMed Library
PostDoc Research
Graduate Research
Undergraduate Research and Achievements
ResearchGate

Jeremy O’Connell, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder
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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.

Learn more about Jeremy

PubMed Library
LinkedIn

Stephen-Juelsgaard

Stephen Juelsgaard, DVM, JD

Former EVP Genentech
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Stephen Juelsgaard is the former executive vice president, secretary and chief compliance officer of Genentech, Inc. His career at Genentech spanned 24 years. In that role, Dr. Juelsgaard reported to Genentech’s CEO, Art Levinson, and was responsible for Genentech’s Corporate Law, Intellectual Property, Government Affairs (Federal and State), Human Resources, and Healthcare Compliance groups, as well as the Business Services group, which included Strategic Facilities Planning, Corporate Security, Business Continuity, and Environment, Health & Safety. He also chaired Genentech’s Capital Governance Committee, which oversaw major capital expenditures at the company, and was a member of Genentech’s executive committee, the most senior management committee at the company. He had oversight responsibility for more than 600 employees and an annual budget of approximately $250 million.

Juelsgaard joined Genentech in 1985 as corporate counsel and became senior corporate counsel in 1989. In 1992 he became vice president, Corporate Law and in 1994 was named general counsel, a role he served in through 2007. Juelsgaard was named secretary to the Board of Directors in 1997 and a senior vice president in 1998. In 2002, he was appointed executive vice president, in 2005 was named chief compliance officer, and in 2007 he became responsible for oversight of the Government Affairs group. Juelsgaard was the company’s representative on the board of directors of the California Healthcare Institute from 2005 until 2009.

Prior to joining Genentech, Juelsgaard was an associate for three years with the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, California. Prior to attending law school, Juelsgaard was engaged for three years in a private veterinary medical practice.

Juelsgaard currently teaches at the Stanford Law School. He currently serves on the board of directors of Altrubio, an antibody-drug conjugate company targeting a variety of autoimmune and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. He is a past member of the board of directors of Ivivi Health Sciences LLC, a private medical device company, and of Rio Grande Neurosciences, Inc., a private company engaged in the development of pulsed electromagnetic field technology as well as transcranial electrical stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation technologies.

Juelsgaard received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Iowa State University in 1972 and a Masters Degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences in 1975 from Iowa State University, and in 1982 he received a law degree from Stanford Law School.

Learn more about Stephen

CIRM
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Christopher Kirk, PhD

Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Kezar Life Sciences
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Christopher Kirk, PhD is an independent director, scientific and strategic advisor to Juvena Therapeutics. He is the  co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Kezar Life Sciences, a publicly traded company developing first-in-class, small molecule therapies designed to inhibit multiple disease-driving cellular pathways by targeting key intracellular proteins. Dr. Kirk is an immunologist and tumor biologist by training. Prior to founding Kezar, he was the Vice President of Research at Onyx Pharmaceuticals where he played a key leadership role in the discovery and development of 2 proteasome inhibitors, including carfilzomib (KYPROLIS™), currently approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Dr. Kirk has authored multiple publications in several select journals including Cell, Nature Medicine, and Nature Reviews and is listed as an inventor on over 40 patents. He sits on the scientific advisory board at C4 Therapeutics, Avidity Biosciences, Rain Therapeutics, the Institute of Applied Clinical Science at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as well as the leadership council of the Life Sciences Institute of the University of Michigan.

Dr. Kirk received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis, and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan.

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Christopher Kirk, PhD

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Learn more about Ayman and Mubadala Capital

Observers

JOSEPH MILETICH, MD, PHD

Former SVP, Research Sciences, at Merck
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Joseph Miletich, MD, PhD, is a former SVP, Research Sciences, at Merck. He has more than 20 years of combined experience at Merck and Amgen leading programs through Discovery Research, Preclinical Development and Translational Medicine/Early Development. At both companies, Dr. Miletich focused on building teams and investing in technologies, partnerships and acquisitions to enable capitalizing on new insights into biology regardless of therapeutic area or modality. Dr. Miletech currently serves as advisor and board director to several companies and firms. Most recently, Dr. Miletich was Merck Research Laboratories’ senior vice president of research sciences and is currently senior scientific advisor to Merck’s CEO, an advisor to Recursion, and a director to Flame Biosciences, among other roles. . Prior to his last 8+  years at Merck Research Laboratories, Dr. Miletich served as senior vice president of research and development at Amgen. 

Dr. Miletich received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and pursued clinical training in internal medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. Subsequently he joined the faculty at Washington University, pursued subspecialty training in clinical hematology and in laboratory medicine, and developed a leading research effort in hemostasis and thrombosis. Over a 17 year career, he rose through the ranks to become Professor of Medicine and Pathology and Head of the Division of Laboratory Medicine at Washington University, in which capacity he was responsible for the combined laboratories of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital system, one of the nation’s largest clinical laboratories.

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Learn more about Patrick and Horizons Ventures

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Clinical and Nonclinical

Bernard (Barney) D. King, MD

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.

Learn more about Bernard

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Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi, PhD

Vice President of Preclinical and Nonclinical Development
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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.

 

Learn more about Mohammad

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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.

Learn more about Meredith

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Tina Duong PT, PHD

Senior Research Scientist, Director Clinical Outcomes Research and Development (CORD) Stanford University, Neuromuscular Division
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Tina Duong is the Director of clinical outcomes research and development at Stanford University Neuromuscular division. Clinically, she is a physical therapist with 20 years of clinical experience in evaluating, treating and validating clinical outcomes for patients with neuromuscular disease. 

Her clinical and research interests are in developing, refining and understanding impacts of muscle imbalances and pathology on function and performance. Her work has contributed to improved understanding and characterization of disease phenotypes impacting clinical trial design and care management.

Currently, her research focuses on the effect of exercise and physical activity on human movement and disease physiology. She hopes to integrate technology and digital biomarkers as a complementary tool to performance based measures used in trials, in the clinic and remotely. She enjoys working on collaborative diverse inter-disciplinary teams, mentorship and creating patient focused solutions to improve the quality of life for individuals with neuromuscular disease.

Learn more about Tina

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John W. Day, MD, PhD

MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics Director, Division of Neuromuscular Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
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Since 2011 John has been Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics (Genetics) and Pathology at Stanford University, where he is Director of the Division of Neuromuscular Medicine. He received his MD from the University of Minnesota, and PhD in Neuroscience from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he studied neuronal electrophysiology, synaptic physiology and plasticity.  After completing neurology and neuromuscular training at UCSF, he was Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics and Genetics at the University of Minnesota, where he founded and directed the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center. 

John has investigated the genetic causes and multisystemic effects of neuromuscular disorders and has more than 35 years of experience designing and directing clinical trials of novel therapeutics.  He spearheaded clinical research on spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) at Stanford, which resulted in the approval of antisense and AAV-gene replacement treatments, and led to nationwide newborn screening for SMA and institution of neonatal genetic treatment.

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Shari Burgess brings over 25 years of clinical experience to the life science and healthcare industry working in a variety of indications such as but not limited to oncology, neuromuscular disorders, rare disease, regenerative medicine, burn and wound care and orthopedics. She is the Chief Clinical Operations Lead in her clinical consulting company, Clinsytes Inc., a  niche clinical consulting company that provides global  clinical operation insights and solutions for small to midsize life science companies for the improvement of clinical operational performance and delivery of measurables in drug/device development, trial management and business development strategies. Previous to Clinsytes, Shari held senior management roles at CROs and medical/biotech companies.

Learn more about Shari-Anne

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Mayowa is the founder of Clinical Scientist Group LLC (CSG), a clinical science consulting and recruiting firm providing regulatory writing services to Juvena Therapeutics. With more than 15 years experience in clinical development, her experience is wide-ranging and includes roles as a study coordinator and clinical research associate. From there she held roles in clinical trial management, and clinical science and medical writing consulting. She is a PGY-1 residency trained pharmacist.

Her therapeutic area experience includes but is not limited to: oncology (solid tumor), transplantation/immunology, cardiovascular, rare disease, ophthalmology, gastrointestinal, and hepatology.

Mayowa received her BSc in Biochemistry from Beloit College in Wisconsin, Masters of Public Health (Concentration in Epidemiology & Biostatistics) and Doctor of Pharmacy Degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Jeff Welch

CMC consultant
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Jeff Welch has over 30 years of CMC experience in the process development, GMP manufacturing and facilities, and regulatory documentation.

In Jeff’s most recent role as a consultant he has had responsibility for authoring and reviewing regulatory filing sections related to process development and product characterization.

Over the past decade Jeff has focused on his role as a senior director for drug substance (DS) process development and director over process engineering and operations for a specialty pharmaceutical company working in biologics and vaccines and as a CDMO organization.

Jeff has also served as a project manager for large scale manufacturing and technology transfer projects and filled the DS team leader role. After a lead role in engineering and construction, he served as a senior manager over the start up effort for a stainless steel cell culture facility (1600 L scale), where he hired and managed personnel and led a 7-day-a-week cGMP manufacturing operation for the upstream portion.

In his early career he participated in design of a multi-product manufacturing facility and after start-up performed process fit and technology transfer activities for several microbial, yeast and cell culture products.

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Preclinical

Priya Handa, PhD

Director of Translational Biology
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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.

Learn more about Priya

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Zhihua Li, PhD

Principal Protein Engineer

Dr. Li is a biologist with a multidisciplinary background in Biochemistry, Immunology, Cell and Molecular Biology, with 7 years of research experience in academia and 4 years in industry. He joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Protein Engineering Scientist to build protein expression and purification pipelines and to improve Juvena Therapeutics’ pipeline library of rejuvenating proteins for therapeutic purposes.

Following a BS in Biochemistry and Master’s Degree (MS) in genetics from scientific and technical universities in China, and a second MS in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Southern California all during which he conducted research, Dr. Li completed his PhD (2007) and postdoctoral training (2014) in Cell and Molecular Biology from UT Austin, where he studied protein-protein interactions in different ways: first by combining computational predictions with experimental validations to discover 15 new protein factors functioning in the biogenesis of ribosomes; then by combining powerful mass spectrometry with protein fractionation techniques to create protein complex maps for both yeast and human cells. Continuing his exploration of novel protein interactions in his postdoctoral research, Dr. Li elucidated the self-cleavage mechanism of a novel membrane-bound transcription factor that drives oligodendrocyte differentiation. He’s published multiple co-authorships and first authorship studies along the way. 

Before joining Juvena, Dr. Li worked in industry and biotech startups as Lead Scientist, Life Science Consultant, Scientific Advisor and R&D director. As Lead Scientist at BMLogic, Dr. Li developed and optimized the protein secretory production system in Pichia, leading to improved protein secretion efficiency and greatly reduced protein degradation.

Besides his passion for science, he enjoys spending time with his kid and exploring nature.

Learn more about Zhihua

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Trang Vuong

Scientist I
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Trang joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Scientist to contribute to Dr. Li’s research on developing various assays for advancing Juvena Therapeutics’ pipeline library of rejuvenating proteins for therapeutic purposes. 

Trang obtained her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UC Davis and continued to study for her Master in Immunology at UC Davis. Before joining Juvena, she worked at Teva Pharmaceuticals and worked extensively in their antibody screening. She managed an early antibody discovery project and had experiences in running various animal models for lead efficacy testing. She has extensive experience in flow cytometry, assay development and project leadership.

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Han Song

Senior Research Associate
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Han joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Research Associate to contribute to Dr. Li’s research on protein expression, purification pipelines, and to improve Juvena Therapeutics’ pipeline library of rejuvenating proteins for therapeutic purposes. 

Han obtained his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of San Diego, with research areas focusing on exploring the enzymatic interactions of malate dehydrogenases and the utilization of defect-formations in the synthesis of metal-organic frameworks. 

Before joining Juvena, Han worked as a Scientist III at the startup NovoNutrients for 4 years. He was heavily involved with the upstream and downstream process of gas fermentation using proprietary bioreactors and consortias. In addition to the fermentation work, he developed a novel synthetic biology platform to express high-value biomolecules ranging from enzymes, pharmaceuticals, to carotenoids in various consortia species. Later on, he took on the role of a strain engineer to develop a quick and reliable method to generate genomically-integrated strains of bacteria for industrial processes. 

In Han’s free time, he enjoys playing the piano, hiking, and cycling around the Bay Area. 

Learn more about Han

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Pharmacology

Sharon Louie, PhD

Senior Scientist
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Sharon joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Senior Scientist working on preclinical in vivo disease modeling and drug discovery. She received her B.S. in Molecular Toxicology and Ph.D in Metabolic Biology from UC Berkeley where she used chemoproteomic and metabolomic technologies to uncover metabolic drivers of triple-negative breast cancers. Sharon completed her post-doctoral training at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School where she developed a transplantation assay for lung stem cell-derived organoids to mouse models with lung disorders to assess the potential for future cell therapies. She then spent a few years in the biotech industry leading studies to support preclinical drug development.

Sharon has been awarded multiple fellowships during her time in academia, including the NSF graduate fellowship and the Hope Funds for Cancer fellowship. She is a co-author on 22 publications.

 

Learn more about Sharon
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Dr. Vengadeshprabhu Karuppa gounder, PhD, joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Scientist II working on preclinical in vivo disease modeling and drug discovery. Dr. Karuppa gounder brings over 10 years of pharmacology & drug development experience in academic research. Dr. Karuppa gounder has strong background in pharmacology, immunology and molecular biology. He has several years of experience developing preclinical animal models in areas of diabetes, NASH, cardiomyopathy, autoimmune diseases, aging, osteoarthritis, IBD, renal and inflammatory diseases.

Dr. Karuppa gounder completed his Undergraduate and Master’s work on Pharmaceutical Sciences at the TamilNadu DR. MGR Medical University, Chennai, India and did his Ph.D. studies at Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences, Japan, where he studied the role of HMGB1 and GPCR role in diabetes and autoimmune disease models. Then he joined as a postdoctoral researcher at Penn State College of Medicine, PA. During his fellowship, Dr. Karuppa gounder established new methods to study the role of GPCR signaling in synovitis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis in mouse models and treatment options.

Dr. Karuppa gounder achieved the first author in leading scientific journals, Science Translational Medicine, & Aging Research Reviews and co-author of several research and review articles, and bagged several awards and grants.

 

Learn more about Vengadeshprabhu

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Ritwik Datta joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Scientist on the Pharmacology team. Ritwik is a physiologist with over ten years of experience. His expertise lies in comprehending the molecular basis of cardiometabolic diseases. Ritwik’s approach to investigating complex biological questions involves utilizing both mouse models and cell-based methods to develop innovative therapies for cardiometabolic and pulmonary diseases.

Ritwik received his Ph.D. from the University of Calcutta under the guidance of Sagartirtha Sarkar, Ph.D. Ritwik focused on studying how two major cell types in the heart – cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts – communicated with each other through secreted molecules and how these signaling pathways impacted cardiac fibrosis.

Ritwik completed his extensive postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the lab of Kamran Atabai, MD. Ritwik’s research identified a novel integrin-mediated feedback loop of insulin receptor signaling that regulates skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, laying the foundation for integrin-based therapy to lower daily insulin needs in diabetic patients. In his recent work, Ritwik investigated integrins’ role in regulating dietary fat metabolism in the intestine, providing insights into how intestinal lipid droplet homeostasis affects whole-body lipid metabolism and cardiovascular health.

Throughout his career, Ritwik has garnered recognition and support from prestigious organizations, including postdoctoral fellowships from the Larry L Hillblom Foundation, enabling him to pursue his research endeavors. Ritwik has 6, 1st author publications including in PNAS and Cell reports, and he is a co-author of 10 publications in leading scientific journals.

Besides his passion for science, Ritwik is a travel and photography enthusiast.

 

Learn more about Ritwik

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Hee Ju Kim, MS

Associate Scientist
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Hee Ju joined Juvena Therapeutics 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.

Learn more about Hee Ju

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Ashil Koranne

Senior Research Associate
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Ashil joined Juvena Therapeutics 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!

Learn more about Ashil

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Annie Yang, MS

Research Associate II
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Annie joined Juvena Therapeutics as a research associate II working on preclinical in vivo and in vitro disease modeling and drug discovery.

She received her master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Southern California. During her time as a graduate student, Annie participated as a research volunteer in an immunology group. Her project focused on investigating the influence of the coronavirus envelope protein on CD1d expression. This experience provided her with valuable training in fundamental molecular techniques, such as genotyping, flow cytometry, western blotting, and conducting in vivo experiments.

Before joining Juvena, Annie worked as a Research Associate in the field of toxicology at Sorrento Therapeutics for one year. In this position, she played a crucial role in supporting the toxicity team, particularly in the tissue cross-reactivity assay. Her responsibilities included performing histological procedures such as embedding and sectioning both paraffin and frozen tissues, conducting H&E staining, IHC, IF, and acquiring images.

During her free time, Annie finds joy in activities such as jogging, hiking, and gaming with her friends.

 

Learn more about Annie

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Drug Discovery

Thach Mai, PhD

Director of Discovery & Platform
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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.

Learn more about Thach

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Mohammad Hassanipour

Scientist, In vitro Human Disease Modeling
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  • 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

Learn more about Mohammad

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Jyoti Ahlawat, PHD

Associate Scientist
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Dr. Ahlawat joined Juvena Therapeutics as an Associate Scientist: Drug Discovery. She holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IITR), and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She is a recipient of Academic and Research Excellence award from the College of Science (UTEP). Her dissertation research involved developing materials and testing them in-vitro to develop therapeutics against the gravest of human diseases such as Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Dr. Ahlawat has published more than 18 articles and book chapters in international, peer-reviewed, reputed journals. She is a recipient of the title “Rising Star in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology” at the 10th IEE International Conference on nanomaterials and applications (IEEE-NAP 2020). She has won Best presentation awards at the Equniox (2022), 26th Annual BioEnvironmental Polymer Society (BEPS-2019), Graduate Expo (2018), and 8th International conference on smart materials, structure, and systems (ISSS-2017). In addition, she has won various travel awards (2018-2020), four research awards (2019-2021), and graduate scholarships (2019-2020). She is an Editorial board member of the Journal Future Trends in Nanotechnology and is serving as a Guest Editor for Science Progress (SAGE Journal).

She has served as Vice president of Graduate Student Assembly (2018), and as President of BioChem graduate student chapter (2021). She recently received honorarium from Society for Science for serving as a Science Talent Search Evaluator in 2021. She received Certificate of Appreciation from the Graduate School for her contribution to Undergraduate Learning in 2021. She has served as science judge for the Sun Country Science & Engineering fair (2021), Regeneron International Science & Engineering fair (2021) and at 2nd annual El Paso STEM expo competition (2019). She worked as an intern for eight months with a medical device company where she participated and led international projects which included renewal and registration of ophthalmic lenses in Mexico, Creating Instructions for Use (IFUs) and technical files, and Translation of IFUs into European languages.

Dr. Ahlawat serves as a peer-reviewer for journals such as Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, Nanotechnology for Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Journal for Drug Delivery, and technology, and Phytotherapy. She delivered four invited scientific talks at International Conferences in 2021-2022.

 

Learn more about Jyoti

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Protein Science

Fengling Liu, PhD

Director of Protein Science
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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.

Learn more about Fengling

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Wei (Vivian) Guo

Senior Scientist

Wei (Vivian) Guo brings over 20 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience focused on protein chemistry and therapeutic antibody development to her role as Senior Scientist of Protein Science at Juvena Therapeutics. 

She has broad and deep experience in protein and antibody expression, purification, and analytical characterization. She is also an expert in antibody generation including antigen design, protein conjugation, bispecific antibody generation and drug conjugation. She has extensive cross functional experience in molecular biology, cell culture and assay development, as well as deep trouble-shoot skills.

She received her medical college degree from Hunan Medical University in China.

Vivian loves nature, like walking, hiking, traveling and ping-pong.

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Sarah Tang

Senior Research Associate
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Sarah joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Senior Research Associate to contribute to Dr. Fengling Liu’s research on protein expression and purification. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Before joining Juvena Therapeutics, Sarah worked as a Research Associate in the antibody discovery field, where she attained hybridoma sequences, antibody transient expression, and hit identification. Prior to transitioning to research, Sarah worked in the clinical diagnostics field as a Lab Administrative Manager. She managed lab operations while staying active on the bench.

In Sarah’s free time, she enjoys creating content for her cat’s social media, gaming with friends, and attending ballet performances.

 

Learn more about Sarah

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Data Science

Tejaswini Ganapathi

Principal Machine Learning Engineer
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Since joining Juvena Therapeutics, Tejaswini Ganapathi has worked on the development of AI models that power Juvena’s protein discovery for targeted in vitro screening, and will be exploring the application of AI to other aspects of the company’s drug pipeline as well. 

Tejaswini has extensive experience in machine learning algorithm development both in research and production and towards building end to end ML systems. Her industry experience spans various domains such as healthcare, medical imaging, finance and wireless networks. She has been an early employee at 2 startups with successful exits and holds ~10 patents. She pursued her graduate studies at University of Toronto and University of Texas at Austin, both specializing in machine learning. 

Outside of AI and work, Tejaswini is a RYT200 Yoga instructor, is trained in Indian Classical music and tries to contribute her time to animal rescues.

 

Learn more about Tejaswini

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Rohit Jadhav, PHD

Computational Biologist
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Dr. Rohit Jadhav brings more than 12 years of cross disciplinary experience encompassing the fields of oncology, immune aging and auto-immune diseases. He has extensive experience in algorithm development for diagnostic and prognostic  biomarker discovery dealing with diverse datasets investigating the Transcriptome, Epigenome and DNA mutations in clinical cohorts.

Dr. Jadhav earned his B.Tech. in Bioinformatics from India, a M.S. in Bioinformatics from Indiana  University, Indianapolis, a PhD in Molecular Medicine from UT Health, San Antonio as a CPRIT  pre-doctoral fellow, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology at Stanford School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic.

Masters & PhD (2009-2016) 

Dr. Jadhav worked on identifying epigenetic biomarkers investigating alterations in DNA methylation across different cancer types including breast, ovarian, endometrial, oral and  prostate. He was awarded a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Predoctoral Fellowship, which enabled him to be involved in collaborative projects focusing on non-invasive approaches for biomarker discovery. One such project involved use of single-cell RNA sequencing to study circulating tumor cells and another involved studying DNA methylation  in cell free DNA, both from peripheral blood. As a lead bioinformatician for these studies, he implemented classification-based prediction methods to enable identification of a panel of  biomarkers to be used in determining treatment approaches for prostate cancer patients belonging to different subtypes. These studies have led to 3 approved patents from his mentor Dr. Tim Huang. During this time, Dr. Jadhav was also a lead author on the study that identified  DNA methylation biomarkers capable of identifying predisposition to breast cancer after prenatal  exposure to the compound bisphenol A and preventive effects of genistein. 

Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017-2022) 

Dr. Jadhav’s work at Stanford University and Mayo Clinic with Dr. Jorg Goronzy who is a leading expert in immune aging and auto-immunity, focused on epigenetics in the context of chromatin accessibility and specifically alterations in the immune cell types like CD4 and CD8 T cells during aging and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. He was also a lead author studying epigenetic alterations in exhausted T-cells post checkpoint blockade therapies in collaboration with Dr. Rafi Ahmed from Emory University. During this time Dr. Jadhav built pipelines deployed in on-prem clusters and in the cloud for analyzing and visualizing data from RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, TCR-seq, single cell multiome (RNA+ATAC), single cell Cite-seq (RNA+Protein) among others.

Dr. Jadhav has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers with over a thousand citations. 

 

Learn more about Rohit

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Munir Yousef, MS

Bioinformatics Analyst
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Munir Yousef joined Juvena Therapeutics 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.

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Operations and Project Management

Jamie Romero

Biotech Operations Manager
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Jamie Romero has over 14 years of biotech industry experience, starting as a Research Associate and growing into a Biotech Operations Manager. She brings to Juvena years of experience within the biotech industry, from her earlier days of working at the bench to managing biotech operations in scaling companies. Jamie has significant experience across facilities operations, office management, HR, accounting, and more. Jamie Romero’s career has fed her need to learn through the field of biomedical research while experiencing the excitement of the biotech start-up world. Jamie earned her Bachelors of Science  in molecular biology and minor in Chemistry from SJSU. 

Jamie is detail oriented, an effective multi-tasker and used to fast-paced, changing and uncertain environments. Having the ability to prioritize in deadline driven environments, Jamie excels when challenged, wearing multiple hats. She learned by dedicating 12 years to Omniox, Inc., where she was the first employee and grew with the company, taking on multiple diverse tasks to support their growth and needs, followed by Catalyst Biosciences. Many exciting opportunities opened up for her as she had the great opportunity to grow and learn in many different roles, being the “go-to” person; point-of-contact for, if, and, when anything came up through most if not all departments of the company – from lab to office, from finance to HR, from coordinating team-building and company events to providing EA support for the CEO and Executive team.  

So, when Jamie came across the opportunity to join Juvena, an early, scaling biopharma start-up tackling some of the greatest unmet needs of our time through an exciting biologics discovery and development platform, a mission Jamie whole-heartedly believes in, she excitedly jumped to the challenge and can’t wait to see what the future with the company entails.

Learn more about Jamie

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Dan Furlong, DHA, PMP, MBA

Head of Preclinical Program Management
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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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Bek Madjidov

Head of Finance and Operations
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Bek Madjidov is the Head of Finance and Operations at Juvena Therapeutics, responsible for administrative and operational functions (finance, human resources, information technology, and facilities).

Bek is a transformational leader who brings strong business acumen and over 15 years of finance and operations experience in the biotech and high-tech industries. His areas of expertise are strategic planning, business analysis, management reporting, process improvement, and organizational transformation. 

Bek previously served as Finance Director at Genentech (Roche), supporting Product Development and Manufacturing Operations organizations. He provided finance leadership to global product and functional teams and led transformational efforts in business and finance organizations. Prior to Genentech, Bek held a variety of finance and leadership roles at Autodesk and Bio-Rad Laboratories by successfully building and leading teams that built strong, cross-functional business partnerships in complex, matrix organizations. 

Bek holds a Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) in Business Administration from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York (SUNY). Bek is pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Jamie Grayson

Senior Director of Project Management
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Jamie Grayson serves as Senior Director of Program Management at Juvena Therapeutics where she supports Discovery and Platform Development project teams. Jamie started her career as a research assistant. She moved from the bench to project management early in her career and has now gained 19 years of experience in cross-functional project management in biopharma.

She has project management experience at all sizes of companies including small start ups, mid-size biopharmas, and large pharmaceutical companies including Abgenix, AstraZeneca, MedImmune, Takeda, and Apexigen. She has extensive experience in biologics across a variety of indications including oncology, immuno-oncology, immunology, neurology, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases. Her project management experience spans all phases from early discovery to BLA.

In addition to her project management experience, Jamie has extensive alliance management experience working on large pharma collaborations, co-development programs, academic collaborations, and on joint project teams with external vendors.

Jamie earned a Bachelors of Science degree from Santa Clara University and a Certificate in Project Management for Biopharmaceuticals from UC Berkeley Extension.

 

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Natalie Ploof

Lab Manager
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Natalie joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Lab Manager to support, implement and optimize laboratory operations to meet the needs of the growing R&D team.

Before joining Juvena, Natalie worked as a Senior Research Associate at GOOD Meat, where she supported cell line development efforts to identify lead cell lines for their cultivated meat projects. Throughout her tenure at GOOD Meat, Natalie focused her efforts on cell bank management, overseeing all operations related to Master and Master Working Cell Banks. This involved creation of large-scale banks, conducting release and stability testing, managing vial inventories, and overseeing transfers to manufacturing partners. In addition to cell bank management, Natalie managed her department’s controlled document system, working to build-out and standardize relevant quality documents. Through her work, Natalie played a key role in the company’s preparation for the recent FDA/USDA clearances for their cultivated chicken product.

Natalie obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Bioengineering from Santa Clara University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, amateur baking, playing board games with friends, and exploring new neighborhoods in the Bay Area.

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Scientific Advisors

Christopher Kirk, PhD

Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Kezar Life Sciences
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Christopher Kirk, PhD is an independent director, scientific and strategic advisor to Juvena Therapeutics. He is the  co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Kezar Life Sciences, a publicly traded company developing first-in-class, small molecule therapies designed to inhibit multiple disease-driving cellular pathways by targeting key intracellular proteins. Dr. Kirk is an immunologist and tumor biologist by training. Prior to founding Kezar, he was the Vice President of Research at Onyx Pharmaceuticals where he played a key leadership role in the discovery and development of 2 proteasome inhibitors, including carfilzomib (KYPROLIS™), currently approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Dr. Kirk has authored multiple publications in several select journals including Cell, Nature Medicine, and Nature Reviews and is listed as an inventor on over 40 patents. He sits on the scientific advisory board at C4 Therapeutics, Avidity Biosciences, Rain Therapeutics, the Institute of Applied Clinical Science at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as well as the leadership council of the Life Sciences Institute of the University of Michigan.

Dr. Kirk received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis, and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan.

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Christopher Kirk, PhD

JOSEPH MILETICH, MD, PHD

Former SVP, Research Sciences, at Merck
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Joseph Miletich, MD, PhD, is a former SVP, Research Sciences, at Merck. He has more than 20 years of combined experience at Merck and Amgen leading programs through Discovery Research, Preclinical Development and Translational Medicine/Early Development. At both companies, Dr. Miletich focused on building teams and investing in technologies, partnerships and acquisitions to enable capitalizing on new insights into biology regardless of therapeutic area or modality. Dr. Miletech currently serves as advisor and board director to several companies and firms. Most recently, Dr. Miletich was Merck Research Laboratories’ senior vice president of research sciences and is currently senior scientific advisor to Merck’s CEO, an advisor to Recursion, and a director to Flame Biosciences, among other roles. . Prior to his last 8+  years at Merck Research Laboratories, Dr. Miletich served as senior vice president of research and development at Amgen. 

Dr. Miletich received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and pursued clinical training in internal medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. Subsequently he joined the faculty at Washington University, pursued subspecialty training in clinical hematology and in laboratory medicine, and developed a leading research effort in hemostasis and thrombosis. Over a 17 year career, he rose through the ranks to become Professor of Medicine and Pathology and Head of the Division of Laboratory Medicine at Washington University, in which capacity he was responsible for the combined laboratories of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital system, one of the nation’s largest clinical laboratories.

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Nicholas E. Johnson, MD, MSCI, FAAN

Neuromuscular Clinical Advisor; Professor and Vice Chair of Research, Neuromuscular Diseases, VCU
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Nicholas E. Johnson, MD, MSCI, FAAN is an associate professor, division chief of neuromuscular, and vice chair of research in the department of neurology at Virginia Commonwealth University with a focus in inherited neuromuscular disorders. He received his undergraduate degree in molecular and cellular biology and psychology at the University of Arizona. He then obtained his medical degree at the University of Arizona. He completed his neurology residency and combined fellowship in neuromuscular medicine and experimental therapeutics at the University of Rochester. His laboratory is focused on identifying the pathogenesis of myotonic dystrophy, the limb girdle muscular dystrophies, and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and identifying appropriate clinical endpoints for these conditions. Johnson conducts therapeutic trials in many other inherited nerve and muscle disorders.

Research Expertise

Translational laboratory focused on identifying genetic modifiers across muscular dystrophies, and developing clinical endpoints and patient reported outcomes for myotonic dystrophy, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, and the limb girdle muscular dystrophy. The laboratory uses cellular models to identify changes in RNA splicing in myotonic dystrophy.

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VCU

David-Schaffer

David Schaffer, PhD

Professor, UC Berkeley, Director, Berkeley Stem Cell Center, co-founder, 4D Molecular Therapeutics; Director, Bakar BioEnginuity Hub
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David Schaffer is a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Bioengineering, and Neuroscience at UC Berkeley, where he also serves as the Director of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center. In addition, he is Co-Founder, Acting CSO, and Co-Chairman of 4D Molecular Therapeutics.

At UC Berkeley, Dr. Schaffer applies engineering principles to enhance stem cell and gene therapy approaches for neuroregeneration, work that includes novel approaches for molecular engineering and evolution of new viral vectors as well as new technologies to investigate and control stem cell fate decisions.

Professor Schaffer served as Dr. Yousef’s co-thesis advisor (2008-2013).

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UC Berkeley

Irina-Conboy

Irina Conboy, PhD

Professor, Bioengineering, UC Berkeley

Irina Conboy is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Bioengineering. Her discovery of the rejuvenating effects of young blood through parabiosis in a seminal paper published in Nature in 2005 paved the way for a thriving field of rejuvenation biology. The Conboy lab currently focuses on broad rejuvenation of tissue maintenance and repair, stem cell niche engineering, elucidating the mechanisms underlying muscle stem cell aging, directed organogenesis, and making CRISPR a therapeutic reality.

Professor Conboy served as Dr. Yousef’s co-thesis advisor (2008-2013).

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UC Berkeley

Peter-Jackson

Peter Jackson, PhD

Professor, Stanford School of Medicine, former Director, Genentech
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Peter Jackson is a Professor in the Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Jackson returned to Stanford in 2013 after eight years as a Staff Scientist and Director at Genentech Inc. in S. San Francisco, California. At Genentech, he helped define and implement the development of therapeutics for cancer pathways including cell cycle checkpoints, stress pathways, and tumor metabolism. Before joining Genentech in 2005, he spent 10 years on the faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine. His laboratory has been involved in studies of cell cycle biochemistry, regulation of the cancer by kinases and phosphatases, the ubiquitin-proteasome system, and the discovery of a new physiological class of competitive (“pseudosubstrate”) E3 ubiquitin ligase inhibitors, exemplified by the APC/C regulator Emi1.

Since 2005, his lab has focused on signaling through the primary cilium, using proteomic approaches to define regulatory networks and new disease genes. More broadly, the lab has connected many proteins defective in human diseases and cancer to new complexes and pathways, with a view to discovering molecular signatures for diagnostics and therapeutic development. His research has earned him numerous visiting lectureships and honors, including awards from the Baxter Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Pluto Society, and being a Stanford Hume Faculty Scholar and a Kirsch Scholar, and elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (in 2008).

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Stanford School of Medicine

Joe-Wu

Joe Wu, MD, PhD

Professor, Stanford School of Medicine, Director, Stanford Cardiovascular Institute
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Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD, is Director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and Simon H. Stertzer Endowed Professor in the Departments of Medicine (Cardiology) and Radiology at Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Wu received his medical degree from Yale. He completed his medicine internship, residency, and cardiology fellowship (STAR program) at UCLA. He obtained his PhD in the Department of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology with Dr. Sam Sanjiv Gambhir. His clinical interests include adult congenital heart disease and cardiovascular imaging.

His lab works on biological mechanisms of patient-specific and disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with a focus on cardiovascular disease mechanisms and the implementation of precision medicine for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular patients. His lab uses a combination of genomics, stem cells, cellular & molecular biology, physiological testing, and molecular imaging technologies. Dr. Wu has published >400 manuscripts with H-index of 101 on Google scholar and recognition as top 1% of highly cited researchers in Web of Science (2018, 2019 & 2020). Among his trainees, >30 of them are principal investigators in the US or abroad.

Dr. Wu has received numerous awards, including National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award, NIH Roadmap Transformative Award, American Heart Association (AHA) Innovative Research Award, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) given out by President Obama, AHA Established Investigator Award, Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Innovation in Regulatory Science Award, AHA Merit Award, and AHA Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Wu serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Keystone Symposia, FDA Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee, AHA National Board of Directors, and Chair of the AHA National Research Committee.

Dr. Wu is an elected member of American Society of Clinical Investigators (ASCI), Association of University Cardiologists (AUC), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), American Association of Physicians (AAP), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

In addition, he has been scientific co-founder of several startups.

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Stanford School of Medicine
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Business Advisors

Matthew-Fust

Matthew Fust, MBA

Former CFO Onyx, Jazz, ALZA (merged with J&J); Board member, Neumora, Arsenal Bio, Atara, Ultragenyx
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Matthew is an advisor to life sciences companies, executive teams and investors. From 2009 through 2013, he was CFO of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, culminating in the company’s acquisition by Amgen. He previously served as CFO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals (2003 – 2008), CFO of Perlegen Sciences (2002 – 2003), and CFO of ALZA Corporation, where he was an executive from 1996 through the company’s acquisition by Johnson & Johnson in 2001. Prior to joining ALZA, Matthew was a member of the healthcare strategy consulting practice at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). 

He serves on the boards of directors of Atara Biotherapeutics, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals and Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals. He is also an advisor to Out Leadership/Quorum and Women In Bio.

Matthew holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

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Ameet Mallik, MBA

CEO, ADC Therapeutics, Former EVP, US Oncology at Novartis, McKinsey, Wharton
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Ameet Mallik is CEO of ADC Therapeutics, and a member of the Board of Directors of Atara Biotherapeutics, where he previously served as its Chief Executive Officer. Prior to that, Mr. Mallik served as Executive Vice President and Head, U.S. Oncology of Novartis. In this role, Mr. Mallik was responsible for Novartis’ commercial and medical oncology operations in the United States. Mr. Mallik also served as Global Head, Marketing, Value and Access, and as Head, Latin America and Canada, both for Novartis Oncology. Mr. Mallik began his career at Novartis as Head of Strategic Planning and has held a number of commercial leadership roles at Novartis and Sandoz. At Sandoz, Mr. Mallik was Global Head of Biopharmaceuticals & Oncology Injectables. Mr. Mallik previously worked as an Associate Principal at McKinsey and Company. Mr. Mallik holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. in Biotechnology and B.S. in Chemical Engineering, both from Northwestern University.

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Mike-Nohaile

Mike Nohaile, PhD

CEO, Prellis Biologics, former CSO, Generate Biomedicines; Former SVP Amgen, Novartis, McKinsey, UC Berkeley, MIT
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Mike Nohaile, PhD, is Chief Executive Officer at Prellis Biologics and former Senior Vice President of Strategy, Commercialization & Innovation at Amgen Inc. Dr. Nohaile joined Amgen as Vice President of Strategy in December 2012. Prior to Amgen, he served as the Head and General Manager of the Molecular Diagnostics Business Unit at Novartis. He served Novartis as the Head of Corporate Strategy and Head of Pharmaceutical Strategy.

Mike began his career at McKinsey & Company, as partner in the New Jersey office, where he worked extensively in the healthcare area with a particular focus on diagnostics, devices and pharmaceuticals. He has a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from University of California, Berkeley and he was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT in the Department of Biology.

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Mark-Leslie

Mark Leslie

Former CEO, Vertias; Stanford GSB, Stanford Healthcare
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Mark Leslie is a Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches courses in Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Sales Organization. He is also the managing director of Leslie Ventures, a private investment company, and serves on the boards of public, private and nonprofit organizations.

Mark Leslie was Co-Founder and Chairman and CEO of Veritas Software. During his tenure as CEO, the company went from 12 employees to 6,000 employees, and from a revenue base of $95,000 per year to $1,500,000,000 per year. In 2000, Veritas was the 10th largest independent software company by revenue, third largest by market capitalization, and achieved the distinction of becoming a Fortune 1000 company.

From 1980 until 1990 he served as president and chief executive officer of two Silicon Valley high-tech start-up companies. His prior experience included sales management, sales executive, systems engineer, and software engineer focused on operating systems.

Mark currently serves on the boards of, or is an advisor to. a number of high-tech and biotech companies. Mark is also on the boards of Stanford Health Care, New York University and the Leslie Family Foundation.

Mark received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and mathematics from New York University in 1966 and completed Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development (PMD)in 1980.

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Stanford Business School
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