Operations and Project Management

Jamie Romero

Biotech Operations Manager

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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Dan Furlong, DHA, PMP, MBA

Head of Preclinical 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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Jamie Grayson

Senior Director of Project Management

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

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

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

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


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Natalie Ploof

Lab Manager

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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