Leadership

Operations

Dan Furlong, DHA, PMP, MBA

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

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

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

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

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Bek Madjidov

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

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

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

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

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Jamie Romero

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

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

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

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Natalie Ploof

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

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

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

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Jen Kiernan

Senior Executive Assistant

Jen Kiernan is our Senior Executive Assistant, providing administrative and strategic support to our C-suite executives. Jen brings over ten years of executive support experience, primarily in the biotech industry. Her areas of expertise include board relations and investor relations, expense reporting, and HR functions such as onboarding and training.

Jen previously served as Administrative Business Partner at Verily (an Alphabet company), supporting IT and Commercial leadership, following administrative support roles at Titan Pharmaceuticals and SUGEN, Inc. (a Pfizer company). With her years of experience supporting senior leadership, Jen ensures the smooth operation of the executive office. Her business acumen and dedication to continuous improvement keep the executive leadership team running at peak performance, while her communication skills and emotional intelligence help foster a warm and collaborative atmosphere within the team.

Jen holds a Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) in Organizational Leadership, as well as a certificate in Human Resource Management, both from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

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Corporate Development

Austin Wang, PhD

Corporate Development Manager
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Dr. Austin Wang joined Juvena Therapeutics as a Corporate Development Manager. Before joining, Dr. Wang spent 6 months as a Neuroscience Fellow at Mubadala Capital and also conducted several consulting engagements as a part of Biotech Connections Bay Area with biotech and venture capital firms. Dr. Wang comes with experience in clinical trial assessments, asset evaluation, and market/competitive landscape.

Dr. Wang received his PhD in Neuroscience from UCSF in Dr. Aimee Kao’s lab where he studied the cellular molecular properties of neurodegeneration, with an emphasis on protein homeostasis through lysosomal regulation. Prior to UCSF, he spent two years studying the biochemical regulation of neuronal vesicle fusion in Dr. Axel Brunger’s lab at Stanford University. He graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Physiological Science where he studied neuronal pathways underlying sensory integration in Dr. Mark Frye’s lab. In addition to his first-author publication in Human Molecular Genetics, Dr. Wang has co-authored 9 publications in top-tier journals, including a second author Nature paper.

Dr. Wang is passionate about translating scientific research into commercially successful clinical solutions for patients. At Juvena Therapeutics, he works in a cross functional capacity to support many functions related to corporate development. Outside of work, he enjoys cycling on the weekends and playing strategy board games.

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