Hanadie Yousef, PhD

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Dr. Hanadie Yousef is a leading expert on the biology of aging and mechanisms underlying tissue degeneration with over two decades of experience in biomedical research. In 2018, she launched Juvena Therapeutics, a venture-backed biotechnology company mapping the therapeutic potential of secreted proteins to develop biologics that prevent, reverse and cure chronic and age-related diseases. The company has secured about $60M to date and developed a proprietary pro-regenerative protein library supported by a computationally driven drug discovery and development platform that enables them to characterize human stem cell-secreted proteins for therapeutic potential. Their artificial intelligence-enhanced platform leverages multiple data modalities and technologies, including quantitative proteomics, multi-omics, high-content imaging and machine learning. Juvena’s scaling platform has enabled the identification, extensive preclinical validation, and lead optimization of three novel drug candidates, including a lead recombinant fusion protein headed towards an investigational new drug and anticipated to enter the clinic in 2024 for Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1, as well as multiple discovery candidates with in vivo efficacy across several chronic, age-related and rare metabolic and muscle degenerative disease areas.

Dr. Yousef’s high-impact published research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation, SPARK, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and led to multiple issued and pending patents. She has received multiple awards and been named to various shortlists for her entrepreneurship and innovation, including the Biocom Catalyst award in 2022, Emerging Pharma Leader by Pharmaceutical Executive, Business Insider 30 under 40 in Healthcare, and Endpoints 20 under 40 lists in 2023. She earned her B.S., summa cum laude from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD from UC Berkeley as an NSF graduate research fellow then completed a 5-year postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford School of Medicine as an NIH fellow and SPARK scholar.

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

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

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

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

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Jeremy O’Connell, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder

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

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

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

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Neil Berkley, MS, MBA

Chief Corporate Development Officer

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

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

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

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Mo (Mohammad) Tabrizi, PhD

SVP of Translational Biology

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

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


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Dan Furlong, DHA, PMP, MBA

VP of Program Management

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

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

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

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

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Bek Madjidov

Head of Finance and Operations

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

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

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

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

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