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Hanadie Yousef, PhD

Hanadie Yousef, PhD

Chief executive officer and co-founder of Juvena Therapeutics, Inc.

Dr. Hanadie Yousef is one of the world’s foremost experts on the biology of aging, a scientific pioneer with two decades of experience in biomedical research, and the co-founder and CEO of Juvena Therapeutics–a biopharma startup developing protein-based therapeutics to prevent, reverse, and cure degenerative diseases.  

Dr. Yousef’s early research identified protein signaling mechanisms underlying adult stem cell decline with aging and developed methods for tissue rejuvenation in brain and muscle in UC Berkeley’s Schaffer and Conboy labs. Later, during her tenure at the Stanford School of Medicine Wyss-Coray lab, Dr. Yousef elucidated molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to both a decline in brain function with aging and the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on understanding the interactions between aged blood and the blood-brain barrier.  

Dr. Yousef’s discoveries related to tissue homeostasis and the onset of degenerative diseases have led to novel drug targets and methods for tissue rejuvenation. Her research has been published in several peer reviewed journals including Nature Medicine and Cell Reports, was supported by multiple fellowships and grants that include the NIH, NSF, SPARK, and CIRM, and has led to numerous issued and pending patents.  

Since founding Juvena in 2018, Dr. Yousef and her team have raised nearly $50M, and translated key discoveries into a proprietary pro-regenerative protein library supported by a machine learning-enhanced drug discovery and development platform. The platform has enabled the identification, extensive preclinical validation, and lead optimization of three novel drug candidates that enhance muscle regeneration, function, and reduce frailty, with several additional discovery candidates for multiple degenerative diseases. The preclinical translation of their lead drug candidate for Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 (DM1) is supported by a $3.9M CIRM translational grant and NIH SBIR funding.  

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