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Hanadie Yousef is a trained stem cell biologist and neurobiologist with a focus on the mechanisms of aging, with pending and issued patents, several publications, a BS from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), a PhD from UC Berkeley, a 4-year postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford School of Medicine, experience leading research teams, and has worked in R&D at Regeneron and Genentech.    Yousef began doing biomedical research at the age of 16, when she interned locally at a pharmaceutical company in New York where she grew up, Regeneron, to conduct research on gene therapy and cancer. It was at this time that Yousef fell in love with drug discovery and development and knew she wanted to dedicate the rest of her life to this pursuit. She skipped a grade and attended CMU to study chemistry and continue her passion in scientific research. She returned to Regeneron to continue her research during winter and summer internships for 5 years (2003-2008). During her undergraduate studies at CMU, Yousef did a research honors thesis in the Kaminski lab at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where she elucidated molecular mechanisms driving idiopathic pulmonary lung fibrosis.    In graduate school in the Schaffer and Conboy labs at UC Berkeley (2008-2013), Dr. Yousef studied the role of adult stem cells in the biology of aging and developed methods for tissue rejuvenation in brain and muscle. She published 4 first-author papers, a research perspective,and has an issued patent and a patent application based on her discoveries.

zhihua li, PHD
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.


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