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

CEO and Co-Founder
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Hanadie Yousef is a leading expert on the biology of aging and mechanisms underlying tissue degeneration. A scientific pioneer with two decades experience in biomedical research, she is the co-founder and CEO of 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.

Dr. Yousef’s high-impact published research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), SPARK at Stanford, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and led to multiple issued and pending patents. Under Dr. Yousef’s leadership, Juvena has secured nearly $50M since launching in 2018 and developed a proprietary pro-regenerative protein library supported by an artificial intelligence-enabled drug discovery and development platform.

The platform has enabled the identification, extensive preclinical validation, and lead optimization of three novel drug candidates, as well as discovery candidates for several chronic and age-related degenerative diseases.

Dr. Yousef earned her B.S. in Chemistry with a Spanish minor, summa cum laude from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley as an NSF graduate research fellow. She pursued a 5-year postdoctoral fellowship in Neurology at Stanford School of Medicine as an NIH fellow and SPARK scholar. Her early research began at Regeneron and Genentech.

Learn More about Hanadie

LinkedIn
PubMed Library
PostDoc Research
Graduate Research
Undergraduate Research and Achievements
ResearchGate

Jeremy O’Connell, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder
linkedin-icon-green

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 expert 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

Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi PhD

VP of Preclinical & Nonclinical Development
linkedin-icon-green

Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi PhD joined Juvena Therapeutics in 2022, bringing over 25 years’ experience in basic research, integrative pharmacology, translational sciences, and development of protein-based biologics. Prior to Joining  Juvena Therapeutics, Dr. Tabrizi served in positions with increasing responsibilities at Large companies such as Merck Research Laboratories, AstraZeneca/Medimmune, and biotech companies such as Soteria Biotherapeutics, Acendis pharma and Abgenix. 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

LinkedIn

Fengling Liu, PhD

Director of Protein Science
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Fengling Liu joined Juvena as a Director of Protein Science in July 2022. Dr. 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

LinkedIn

Eddie Moler, PhD

Head of Data Science
linkedin-icon-green

Eddie Moler joined Juvena Therapeutics in June 2022, bringing over 20 years of experience leading pharmaceutical and clinical diagnostics R&D, data-science/algorithm/software intensive platform development, gene-target and biomarker discovery and validation, establishing and scaling high-performing data-science & software teams, and collaboration management.

Previously, Eddie led Quest Diagnostics’ Bioinformatics organization, leading the development and launch of dozens of advanced clinical genomic diagnostic tests while more than quadrupling the size of the team across multiple sites. He has led clinical/biological research projects and the development of production-scale clinical and research platforms at Quest Diagnostics, GE Healthcare, Tethys Bioscience, Novartis, and the US Department of Energy.

He has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers including clinical and molecular medicine, population health, and health economics, and has 7 issued patents on clinical risk algorithms, biomarkers, automated histopathology image analysis, drug targets, and discovery technology. Eddie received a PhD in Chemistry from UC Berkeley and a BS in Chemistry from Texas A&M University.

Learn more about Eddie

LinkedIn

Thach Mai, PhD

Principal Scientist, Drug Discovery & Platform Development
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Thach Mai joined Juvena Therapeutics in September 2018 as a Stem Cell Biologist and Bioinformatician to lead the validation and discovery of the key rejuvenating protein factors in Juvena Therapeutics’ complex embryonic secretome cocktail and develop and improve Juvena’s HTS platform for protein therapeutic discovery.

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

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

Joined Juvena Therapeutics: September 24, 2018

Learn more about Thach

PubMed Library
LinkedIn

Clarence Dunn, PHD

Principal Scientist, Drug Discovery
linkedin-icon-green

Clay Dunn joined Juvena Therapeutics in October 2022 as a Principal Scientist on the in vitro drug discovery team.

Clay received a MPH degree in epidemiology from George Washington University where he worked with Andrew Friedman at the Genetic Epidemiology Branch, NCI, on a study characterizing the clinical features of von Hippel Lindau disease. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington, where he was trained in epithelial cell biology in the lab of William Carter, Ph.D.. He focused on studying the elements of outside→in signaling mechanisms in both activated and quiescent keratinocyte cell populations.

Clay completed his post-doctoral training in the lab of Paul Lampe, Ph.D. at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) in Seattle, WA.. In the Lampe Lab, Clay investigated the biology connecting connexin proteins and Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication (GJIC) to several key cellular functions. His focus was on the kinases and pathways that regulate gap junction function during epidermal wounding and cardiac ischemia.

Clay has spent nearly 10 years in the Bay Area biotech industry developing assays and complex cellular models to support pre-clinical drug development. In five years at Amgen, Clay leveraged high throughput imaging and analysis to conduct IND-enabling studies supporting the development of several assets in Amgen’s pipeline. At Encoded Therapeutics, Clay worked to develop novel bioanalytical assays for the company’s gene therapies, which aim to treat pediatric epileptic seizure syndromes.

 

Learn more about Clarence

PubMed Library

LinkedIn

Jyoti Ahlawat, PHD

Associate Scientist
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Ahlawat joined Juvena Therapeutics in September 2022 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

LinkedIn

Tejaswini Ganapathi

Principal Machine Learning Engineer
linkedin-icon-green

Tejaswini Ganapathi joined Juvena Therapeutics in October 2022. She is working on 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

LinkedIn

Mohammad Hassanipour

Scientist, In vitro Human Disease Modeling
linkedin-icon-green
  • 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

Linkedin

Rohit Jadhav, PHD

Computational Biologist
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Rohit Jadhav joined Juvena Therapeutics in August 2022, bringing 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

LinkedIn

Ashil Koranne

Research Associate II
linkedin-icon-green

Ashil joined Juvena Therapeutics in January 2022 as a Research Associate to contribute to pre-clinical in-vivo research, including the functional and behavioral validation of lead protein therapeutics developed by the in-vitro team.

Ashil obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Riverside. Working in the Nabity Lab, he focused on genetics with the aim to parse out an endosymbiont genome from that of its host, the woolly apple aphid, to elucidate the mechanisms the endosymbiont utilized to fortify the amino-acid poor diet of the aphid.

Realizing his aptitude for dissection and surgery, he began a two-year stint at the Oka Lab at Caltech post-graduating. After beginning by managing and genotyping mouse colonies of up to 55 lines and 400+ animals for the lab, he moved towards behavioral testing and survival intracranial surgery. He worked as a co-author on a project to create an opiate-biosensor, validating in-vitro and ex-vivo results in-vivo by both optimizing and executing intracranial viral injections, and optic fiber implantation in the VTA in the brain. This in conjunction with post-op fiber photometry and DeepLabCut analysis allowed visualization of how the brain processes mu opiates such as fentanyl.

In Ashil’s free time, he is a basketball fanatic, both in playing pickup and following the pros!

Learn more about Ashil

Linkedin

Hee Ju Kim, MS

Associate Scientist
linkedin-icon-green

Hee Ju joined Juvena Therapeutics in August 2019 as a Research Associate to work on the validation of our pipeline of pro-regenerative lead protein therapeutic candidates in in vivo preclinical models of aging and degenerative diseases caused by aging. 

She is originally from Korea and she received her master’s degree in biochemistry from Korea University. Her master’s degree was supported by Brain Korea 21 (BK21). During her masters, she was trained in basic molecular techniques and in vitro experiments. Her master’s thesis was about double stranded DNA repair in yeast ribosomal protein S3.  

Before joining Juvena Therapeutics, Hee Ju was trained as a research volunteer in the Peter W. Laird lab, Norris Cancer Center at the University of Southern California (USC). She was involved in the epigenomic projects and she designed the reaction oligo for Mouse MetyLight and some of the primers, which she designed, were published in the paper, Urology.

Hee Ju started improving her in vivo skills in the David J. Anderson’s lab as a research assistant for 5 years at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). She was involved in the projects of anxiety and aggression. After she moved to Austin, she worked with Michael R. Drew as a research associate for 4 years at the Center for Learning and Memory, UT Austin. Then she worked at the KPC lab in Korea for 2 years in preclinical models of neurodegeneration, in particular Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.  

In Hee Ju’s free time, she enjoys traveling with family, playing golf, and spending time with her lovely dog Kelly.

Learn more about Hee Ju

LinkedIn

Pallavi Kompella, PhD

Scientist II, In vivo Pharmacology
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Kompella joined Juvena Therapeutics in July 2022 to support the validation and lead optimization of protein-based therapies in vivo and new mouse model development.

As a trained pharmacologist, Dr. Kompella has extensive experience in contributing to early-stage drug discovery. She has designed and managed several hypothesis-driven mechanistic studies and established preclinical mouse models for lead optimization and toxicological risk assessment of potential small molecule drugs across several therapeutic areas.

After receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biotechnology from India, she worked for 8 years at various drug discovery organizations in India and the U.S. Dr. Kompella received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) where she investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms of how diet-induced obesity influences DNA damage and repair and contributes to cancer development. Dr. Kompella has been awarded multiple graduate fellowships from UT Austin and the American College of Toxicology. She is also the recipient of an American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) pre-doctoral research fellowship. 

Before joining Juvena Therapeutics, Dr. Kompella was a Fulbright U.S. Postdoctoral Scholar at the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga (IBIMA) in Malaga Spain. At IBIMA, she studied the role of obesity-mediated epigenetic modification of DNA damage repair protein OGG1 in visceral adipose tissue from patients with obesity.


Besides research, she loves doing science outreach and going on hikes with friends and family.

Learn more about Pallavi

LinkedIn

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 in June 2019 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

Google Scholar

Benjamin Tucker

Research Associate II
linkedin-icon-green

Ben graduated from UC Davis with bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. While at UC Davis, he worked in Dr. Keith Baar’s lab, and was part of several research projects relating to skeletal muscle metabolism and the effects of nutrition and aging on skeletal muscle, and became responsible for performing transfections of both primary and immortal cell lines for various projects going on in the lab. Additionally, Ben worked as a biochemistry intern at Marrone Bio Innovations in Davis where he gained experience with performing and developing high throughput assays, as well as both small and large scale purification of native and recombinant proteins from several prokaryotic species.

Learn more about Benjamin

LinkedIn

Jamie Romero

Biotech Operations Manager
linkedin-icon-green

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

LinkedIn

Han Song

Senior Research Associate
linkedin-icon-green

Han joined Juvena Therapeutics in September 2021 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

LinkedIn

Munir Yousef, MS

Bioinformatics Analyst
linkedin-icon-green

Munir Yousef joined Juvena Therapeutics in July 2022 as a bioinformatics analyst to contribute to Juvena’s growing platform by developing robust data analysis pipelines for their in silico protein drug discovery platform.

After realizing his passion for data-driven discovery of solutions to real world problems, Munir obtained his Masters degree in Applied Data Science from Syracuse University.

Before officially joining the team, Munir worked as a data science consultant and helped develop internal data analysis and visualization tools to support Juvena’s growing R&D platforms.

Learn more about Munir

LinkedIn

Sarah Tang

Senior Research Associate
linkedin-icon-green

Sarah joined Juvena Therapeutics in October 2022 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

LinkedIn

Hanadie Yousef, PhD

CEO and Co-Founder
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Hanadie Yousef is a leading expert on the biology of aging and mechanisms underlying tissue degeneration. A scientific pioneer with two decades experience in biomedical research, she is the co-founder and CEO of 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.

Dr. Yousef’s high-impact published research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), SPARK at Stanford, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and led to multiple issued and pending patents. Under Dr. Yousef’s leadership, Juvena has secured nearly $50M since launching in 2018 and developed a proprietary pro-regenerative protein library supported by an artificial intelligence-enabled drug discovery and development platform.

The platform has enabled the identification, extensive preclinical validation, and lead optimization of three novel drug candidates, as well as discovery candidates for several chronic and age-related degenerative diseases.

Dr. Yousef earned her B.S. in Chemistry with a Spanish minor, summa cum laude from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley as an NSF graduate research fellow. She pursued a 5-year postdoctoral fellowship in Neurology at Stanford School of Medicine as an NIH fellow and SPARK scholar. Her early research began at Regeneron and Genentech.

Learn More about Hanadie

LinkedIn
PubMed Library
PostDoc Research
Graduate Research
Undergraduate Research and Achievements
ResearchGate

Jeremy O’Connell, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder
linkedin-icon-green

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 expert 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

Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi PhD

VP of Preclinical & Nonclinical Development
linkedin-icon-green

Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi PhD joined Juvena Therapeutics in 2022, bringing over 25 years’ experience in basic research, integrative pharmacology, translational sciences, and development of protein-based biologics. Prior to Joining  Juvena Therapeutics, Dr. Tabrizi served in positions with increasing responsibilities at Large companies such as Merck Research Laboratories, AstraZeneca/Medimmune, and biotech companies such as Soteria Biotherapeutics, Acendis pharma and Abgenix. 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

LinkedIn

Eddie Moler, PhD

Head of Data Science
linkedin-icon-green

Eddie Moler joined Juvena Therapeutics in June 2022, bringing over 20 years of experience leading pharmaceutical and clinical diagnostics R&D, data-science/algorithm/software intensive platform development, gene-target and biomarker discovery and validation, establishing and scaling high-performing data-science & software teams, and collaboration management.

Previously, Eddie led Quest Diagnostics’ Bioinformatics organization, leading the development and launch of dozens of advanced clinical genomic diagnostic tests while more than quadrupling the size of the team across multiple sites. He has led clinical/biological research projects and the development of production-scale clinical and research platforms at Quest Diagnostics, GE Healthcare, Tethys Bioscience, Novartis, and the US Department of Energy.

He has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers including clinical and molecular medicine, population health, and health economics, and has 7 issued patents on clinical risk algorithms, biomarkers, automated histopathology image analysis, drug targets, and discovery technology. Eddie received a PhD in Chemistry from UC Berkeley and a BS in Chemistry from Texas A&M University.

Learn more about Eddie

LinkedIn

Hanadie Yousef, PhD

CEO and Co-Founder
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Hanadie Yousef is a leading expert on the biology of aging and mechanisms underlying tissue degeneration. A scientific pioneer with two decades experience in biomedical research, she is the co-founder and CEO of 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.

Dr. Yousef’s high-impact published research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), SPARK at Stanford, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and led to multiple issued and pending patents. Under Dr. Yousef’s leadership, Juvena has secured nearly $50M since launching in 2018 and developed a proprietary pro-regenerative protein library supported by an artificial intelligence-enabled drug discovery and development platform.

The platform has enabled the identification, extensive preclinical validation, and lead optimization of three novel drug candidates, as well as discovery candidates for several chronic and age-related degenerative diseases.

Dr. Yousef earned her B.S. in Chemistry with a Spanish minor, summa cum laude from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley as an NSF graduate research fellow. She pursued a 5-year postdoctoral fellowship in Neurology at Stanford School of Medicine as an NIH fellow and SPARK scholar. Her early research began at Regeneron and Genentech.

Learn More about Hanadie

LinkedIn
PubMed Library
PostDoc Research
Graduate Research
Undergraduate Research and Achievements
ResearchGate

Jeremy O’Connell, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder
linkedin-icon-green

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 expert 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

Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi PhD

VP of Preclinical & Nonclinical Development
linkedin-icon-green

Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi PhD joined Juvena Therapeutics in 2022, bringing over 25 years’ experience in basic research, integrative pharmacology, translational sciences, and development of protein-based biologics. Prior to Joining  Juvena Therapeutics, Dr. Tabrizi served in positions with increasing responsibilities at Large companies such as Merck Research Laboratories, AstraZeneca/Medimmune, and biotech companies such as Soteria Biotherapeutics, Acendis pharma and Abgenix. 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

LinkedIn

Eddie Moler, PhD

Head of Data Science
linkedin-icon-green

Eddie Moler joined Juvena Therapeutics in June 2022, bringing over 20 years of experience leading pharmaceutical and clinical diagnostics R&D, data-science/algorithm/software intensive platform development, gene-target and biomarker discovery and validation, establishing and scaling high-performing data-science & software teams, and collaboration management.

Previously, Eddie led Quest Diagnostics’ Bioinformatics organization, leading the development and launch of dozens of advanced clinical genomic diagnostic tests while more than quadrupling the size of the team across multiple sites. He has led clinical/biological research projects and the development of production-scale clinical and research platforms at Quest Diagnostics, GE Healthcare, Tethys Bioscience, Novartis, and the US Department of Energy.

He has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers including clinical and molecular medicine, population health, and health economics, and has 7 issued patents on clinical risk algorithms, biomarkers, automated histopathology image analysis, drug targets, and discovery technology. Eddie received a PhD in Chemistry from UC Berkeley and a BS in Chemistry from Texas A&M University.

Learn more about Eddie

LinkedIn

Hanadie Yousef, PhD

CEO and Co-Founder
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Hanadie Yousef is a leading expert on the biology of aging and mechanisms underlying tissue degeneration. A scientific pioneer with two decades experience in biomedical research, she is the co-founder and CEO of 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.

Dr. Yousef’s high-impact published research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), SPARK at Stanford, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and led to multiple issued and pending patents. Under Dr. Yousef’s leadership, Juvena has secured nearly $50M since launching in 2018 and developed a proprietary pro-regenerative protein library supported by an artificial intelligence-enabled drug discovery and development platform.

The platform has enabled the identification, extensive preclinical validation, and lead optimization of three novel drug candidates, as well as discovery candidates for several chronic and age-related degenerative diseases.

Dr. Yousef earned her B.S. in Chemistry with a Spanish minor, summa cum laude from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley as an NSF graduate research fellow. She pursued a 5-year postdoctoral fellowship in Neurology at Stanford School of Medicine as an NIH fellow and SPARK scholar. Her early research began at Regeneron and Genentech.

Learn More about Hanadie

LinkedIn
PubMed Library
PostDoc Research
Graduate Research
Undergraduate Research and Achievements
ResearchGate

Jeremy O’Connell, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder
linkedin-icon-green

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 expert 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
linkedin-icon-green

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
Linkedin

linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Hannoush is a general partner at Mubadala Capital, the financial investment arm of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Mubadala. He focuses on early-stage biotechnology investments, and also leads the firm’s efforts in life sciences company creation. Prior to his current position, Dr. Hannoush spent fifteen years at Genentech where he was a Senior Group Leader, and he led both early- and late-stage discovery biology programs in Ophthalmology, Immunology and Oncology, with a focus on drug discovery and development, as well as target discovery and validation.

His former Laboratory in translational biology at Genentech focused on new drug modalities and understanding the role of protein – protein interactions in stem cell signaling pathways for cellular reprogramming and tissue regeneration, and his group made important contributions in the fields of Wnt signaling and protein lipidation. He obtained his PhD in Chemistry from McGill University and did his postdoctoral training in chemical biology and cell biology at Harvard.

Learn more about Rami and Mubadala Capital

linkedin-icon-green

Learn more about Ben and Bison Ventures

Drug Discovery

Thach Mai, PhD

Principal Scientist, Drug Discovery & Platform Development
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Thach Mai joined Juvena Therapeutics in September 2018 as a Stem Cell Biologist and Bioinformatician to lead the validation and discovery of the key rejuvenating protein factors in Juvena Therapeutics’ complex embryonic secretome cocktail and develop and improve Juvena’s HTS platform for protein therapeutic discovery.

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

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

Joined Juvena Therapeutics: September 24, 2018

Learn more about Thach

PubMed Library
LinkedIn

Clarence Dunn, PHD

Principal Scientist, Drug Discovery
linkedin-icon-green

Clay Dunn joined Juvena Therapeutics in October 2022 as a Principal Scientist on the in vitro drug discovery team.

Clay received a MPH degree in epidemiology from George Washington University where he worked with Andrew Friedman at the Genetic Epidemiology Branch, NCI, on a study characterizing the clinical features of von Hippel Lindau disease. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington, where he was trained in epithelial cell biology in the lab of William Carter, Ph.D.. He focused on studying the elements of outside→in signaling mechanisms in both activated and quiescent keratinocyte cell populations.

Clay completed his post-doctoral training in the lab of Paul Lampe, Ph.D. at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) in Seattle, WA.. In the Lampe Lab, Clay investigated the biology connecting connexin proteins and Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication (GJIC) to several key cellular functions. His focus was on the kinases and pathways that regulate gap junction function during epidermal wounding and cardiac ischemia.

Clay has spent nearly 10 years in the Bay Area biotech industry developing assays and complex cellular models to support pre-clinical drug development. In five years at Amgen, Clay leveraged high throughput imaging and analysis to conduct IND-enabling studies supporting the development of several assets in Amgen’s pipeline. At Encoded Therapeutics, Clay worked to develop novel bioanalytical assays for the company’s gene therapies, which aim to treat pediatric epileptic seizure syndromes.

 

Learn more about Clarence

PubMed Library

LinkedIn

Mohammad Hassanipour

Scientist, In vitro Human Disease Modeling
linkedin-icon-green
  • 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

Linkedin

Jyoti Ahlawat, PHD

Associate Scientist
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Ahlawat joined Juvena Therapeutics in September 2022 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

LinkedIn

Benjamin Tucker

Research Associate II
linkedin-icon-green

Ben graduated from UC Davis with bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. While at UC Davis, he worked in Dr. Keith Baar’s lab, and was part of several research projects relating to skeletal muscle metabolism and the effects of nutrition and aging on skeletal muscle, and became responsible for performing transfections of both primary and immortal cell lines for various projects going on in the lab. Additionally, Ben worked as a biochemistry intern at Marrone Bio Innovations in Davis where he gained experience with performing and developing high throughput assays, as well as both small and large scale purification of native and recombinant proteins from several prokaryotic species.

Learn more about Benjamin

LinkedIn

Pharmacology

Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi PhD

VP of Preclinical & Nonclinical Development
linkedin-icon-green

Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi PhD joined Juvena Therapeutics in 2022, bringing over 25 years’ experience in basic research, integrative pharmacology, translational sciences, and development of protein-based biologics. Prior to Joining  Juvena Therapeutics, Dr. Tabrizi served in positions with increasing responsibilities at Large companies such as Merck Research Laboratories, AstraZeneca/Medimmune, and biotech companies such as Soteria Biotherapeutics, Acendis pharma and Abgenix. 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

LinkedIn

Pallavi Kompella, PhD

Scientist II, In vivo Pharmacology
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Kompella joined Juvena Therapeutics in July 2022 to support the validation and lead optimization of protein-based therapies in vivo and new mouse model development.

As a trained pharmacologist, Dr. Kompella has extensive experience in contributing to early-stage drug discovery. She has designed and managed several hypothesis-driven mechanistic studies and established preclinical mouse models for lead optimization and toxicological risk assessment of potential small molecule drugs across several therapeutic areas.

After receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biotechnology from India, she worked for 8 years at various drug discovery organizations in India and the U.S. Dr. Kompella received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) where she investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms of how diet-induced obesity influences DNA damage and repair and contributes to cancer development. Dr. Kompella has been awarded multiple graduate fellowships from UT Austin and the American College of Toxicology. She is also the recipient of an American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) pre-doctoral research fellowship. 

Before joining Juvena Therapeutics, Dr. Kompella was a Fulbright U.S. Postdoctoral Scholar at the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga (IBIMA) in Malaga Spain. At IBIMA, she studied the role of obesity-mediated epigenetic modification of DNA damage repair protein OGG1 in visceral adipose tissue from patients with obesity.


Besides research, she loves doing science outreach and going on hikes with friends and family.

Learn more about Pallavi

LinkedIn

Hee Ju Kim, MS

Associate Scientist
linkedin-icon-green

Hee Ju joined Juvena Therapeutics in August 2019 as a Research Associate to work on the validation of our pipeline of pro-regenerative lead protein therapeutic candidates in in vivo preclinical models of aging and degenerative diseases caused by aging. 

She is originally from Korea and she received her master’s degree in biochemistry from Korea University. Her master’s degree was supported by Brain Korea 21 (BK21). During her masters, she was trained in basic molecular techniques and in vitro experiments. Her master’s thesis was about double stranded DNA repair in yeast ribosomal protein S3.  

Before joining Juvena Therapeutics, Hee Ju was trained as a research volunteer in the Peter W. Laird lab, Norris Cancer Center at the University of Southern California (USC). She was involved in the epigenomic projects and she designed the reaction oligo for Mouse MetyLight and some of the primers, which she designed, were published in the paper, Urology.

Hee Ju started improving her in vivo skills in the David J. Anderson’s lab as a research assistant for 5 years at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). She was involved in the projects of anxiety and aggression. After she moved to Austin, she worked with Michael R. Drew as a research associate for 4 years at the Center for Learning and Memory, UT Austin. Then she worked at the KPC lab in Korea for 2 years in preclinical models of neurodegeneration, in particular Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.  

In Hee Ju’s free time, she enjoys traveling with family, playing golf, and spending time with her lovely dog Kelly.

Learn more about Hee Ju

LinkedIn

Ashil Koranne

Research Associate II
linkedin-icon-green

Ashil joined Juvena Therapeutics in January 2022 as a Research Associate to contribute to pre-clinical in-vivo research, including the functional and behavioral validation of lead protein therapeutics developed by the in-vitro team.

Ashil obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Riverside. Working in the Nabity Lab, he focused on genetics with the aim to parse out an endosymbiont genome from that of its host, the woolly apple aphid, to elucidate the mechanisms the endosymbiont utilized to fortify the amino-acid poor diet of the aphid.

Realizing his aptitude for dissection and surgery, he began a two-year stint at the Oka Lab at Caltech post-graduating. After beginning by managing and genotyping mouse colonies of up to 55 lines and 400+ animals for the lab, he moved towards behavioral testing and survival intracranial surgery. He worked as a co-author on a project to create an opiate-biosensor, validating in-vitro and ex-vivo results in-vivo by both optimizing and executing intracranial viral injections, and optic fiber implantation in the VTA in the brain. This in conjunction with post-op fiber photometry and DeepLabCut analysis allowed visualization of how the brain processes mu opiates such as fentanyl.

In Ashil’s free time, he is a basketball fanatic, both in playing pickup and following the pros!

Learn more about Ashil

Linkedin

Protein Science

Fengling Liu, PhD

Director of Protein Science
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Fengling Liu joined Juvena as a Director of Protein Science in July 2022. Dr. 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

LinkedIn

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 in June 2019 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

Google Scholar

Han Song

Senior Research Associate
linkedin-icon-green

Han joined Juvena Therapeutics in September 2021 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

LinkedIn

Sarah Tang

Senior Research Associate
linkedin-icon-green

Sarah joined Juvena Therapeutics in October 2022 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

LinkedIn

Data Science

Eddie Moler, PhD

Head of Data Science
linkedin-icon-green

Eddie Moler joined Juvena Therapeutics in June 2022, bringing over 20 years of experience leading pharmaceutical and clinical diagnostics R&D, data-science/algorithm/software intensive platform development, gene-target and biomarker discovery and validation, establishing and scaling high-performing data-science & software teams, and collaboration management.

Previously, Eddie led Quest Diagnostics’ Bioinformatics organization, leading the development and launch of dozens of advanced clinical genomic diagnostic tests while more than quadrupling the size of the team across multiple sites. He has led clinical/biological research projects and the development of production-scale clinical and research platforms at Quest Diagnostics, GE Healthcare, Tethys Bioscience, Novartis, and the US Department of Energy.

He has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers including clinical and molecular medicine, population health, and health economics, and has 7 issued patents on clinical risk algorithms, biomarkers, automated histopathology image analysis, drug targets, and discovery technology. Eddie received a PhD in Chemistry from UC Berkeley and a BS in Chemistry from Texas A&M University.

Learn more about Eddie

LinkedIn

Tejaswini Ganapathi

Principal Machine Learning Engineer
linkedin-icon-green

Tejaswini Ganapathi joined Juvena Therapeutics in October 2022. She is working on 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

LinkedIn

Rohit Jadhav, PHD

Computational Biologist
linkedin-icon-green

Dr. Rohit Jadhav joined Juvena Therapeutics in August 2022, bringing 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

LinkedIn

Munir Yousef, MS

Bioinformatics Analyst
linkedin-icon-green

Munir Yousef joined Juvena Therapeutics in July 2022 as a bioinformatics analyst to contribute to Juvena’s growing platform by developing robust data analysis pipelines for their in silico protein drug discovery platform.

After realizing his passion for data-driven discovery of solutions to real world problems, Munir obtained his Masters degree in Applied Data Science from Syracuse University.

Before officially joining the team, Munir worked as a data science consultant and helped develop internal data analysis and visualization tools to support Juvena’s growing R&D platforms.

Learn more about Munir

LinkedIn

Operations and Project Management

Jamie Romero

Biotech Operations Manager
linkedin-icon-green

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

LinkedIn

Dan-Furlong

Dan Furlong, DHA, PMP

Project Management Consultant
linkedin-icon-green

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.

Learn more about Dan
LinkedIn

Business Advisors

Matthew-Fust

Matthew Fust, MBA

Former CFO Onyx, Jazz, ALZA (merged with J&J); Board member, Neumora, Arsenal Bio, Atara, Ultragenyx
linkedin-icon-green

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.

Learn more about Matthew

LinkedIn

Mark-Leslie

Mark Leslie

Former CEO, Vertias; Stanford GSB, Stanford Healthcare
linkedin-icon-green

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.

Learn more about Mark

Stanford Business School
LinkedIn

ameet-mallik

Ameet Mallik, MBA

CEO, ADC Therapeutics, Former EVP, US Oncology at Novartis, McKinsey, Wharton
linkedin-icon-green

Ameet Mallik is CEO of ADC Therapeutics, and a member of the Board of Directors of Atara Biotherapeutics and Rafael Holdings, 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.

Learn more about Ameet

LinkedIn

Mike-Nohaile

Mike Nohaile, PhD

CEO, Prellis Biologics, former CSO, Generate Biomedicines; Former SVP Amgen, Novartis, McKinsey, UC Berkeley, MIT
linkedin-icon-green

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.

Learn more about Mike

LinkedIn

Scientific Advisors

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).

Learn more about Irina

CONBOY LABORATORY
UC Berkeley

Peter-Jackson

Peter Jackson, PhD

Professor, Stanford School of Medicine, former Director, Genentech
linkedin-icon-green

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).

Learn more about Peter

LinkedIn
Stanford School of Medicine

David-Schaffer

David Schaffer, PhD

Professor, UC Berkeley, Director, Berkeley Stem Cell Center, co-founder, 4D Molecular Therapeutics; Director, Bakar BioEnginuity Hub
linkedin-icon-green

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).

Learn more about David

LinkedIn
UC Berkeley

Joe-Wu

Joe Wu, MD, PhD

Professor, Stanford School of Medicine, Director, Stanford Cardiovascular Institute
linkedin-icon-green

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.

Learn more about Joe

Stanford School of Medicine
LinkedIn

Preclinical and Clinical Consultants

linkedin-icon-green

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 Regulatoium. 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

LinkedIn

Joyce-James

Joyce James, PhD

Nonclinical and pharmacology consultant; Former VP Early Dev, Odonate; Former VP Clinical Pharmacology, Lyric Pharma; Former Sr. Director Drug Metabolism, PK, Cytokinetics
linkedin-icon-green

Joyce James, Ph.D., is a strong leader with over twenty years of industry experience dedicated to the discovery and development of therapeutics, including small molecules, peptides, and biologics. Areas of expertise include nonclinical, early phase clinical trials, and bioanalytical, biomarker, and pharmacodynamic assays to support all stages of development, including related development and regulatory strategy. Founder of Corvid LLC, an early development and clinical pharmacology consulting company. Previously served as Vice President of Early Development and member of the management team for Odonate Therapeutics, an oncology-focused company. Founding and core member of Lyric Pharmaceuticals, serving as Vice President, Clinical Pharmacology & Early Development. Prior to Lyric, served as Senior Director and Head of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics & Analytical Chemistry at Cytokinetics, supporting numerous research and clinical programs. Held senior positions at Ambit Biosciences, playing a key role in the discovery and development of quizartinib for the treatment of FLT3-ITD positive acute myelogenous leukemia (approved in Japan). Provided critical support for the successful filing of multiple INDs and deep experience in nonclinical and clinical Phase 1 study designs. Consult for a number of biopharmaceutical companies providing ADME, analytical, clinical pharmacology, and bioanalytical support. Began a pharmaceutical career as a Research Fellow at Merck Research Labs, devoting time to both NMR spectroscopy and discovery DMPK. Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry, The University of California, Berkeley, Department of Chemistry and B.S. in Biochemistry, The College of Charleston, Department of Chemistry, summa cum laude.

Learn more about Joyce

LinkedIn

Nicholas-E.-Johnson

Nicholas E. Johnson, MD, MSCI, FAAN

Clinical Consultant; Professor and Vice Chair of Research, Neuromuscular Diseases, VCU
linkedin-icon-green

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.

Learn more about Dr. Johnson

LinkedIn
VCU

Jeff Welch

CMC consultant
linkedin-icon-green

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.

Learn more about Jeff Welch

LinkedIn