Head of Biotech Operations

94304, Palo Alto
Competitive salary and annual bonus and stock options-Health/Dental/Vision insurance-Paid vacation
Jan 11, 2022
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

Company Summary 

Juvena Therapeutics is a biopharma startup developing protein-based therapeutics for chronic and rare degenerative diseases by mining the secretomes of human pluripotent stem cells through a machine learning (ML)-enhanced platform. Juvena's platform integrates proteomics, transcriptomics and images with phenotypic human in vitro disease model screening and extensive preclinical validation to build a map of secreted protein biology and a compounding database linking therapeutic proteins to disease indications. Juvena’s multimodal protein drug discovery and preclinical development platform (JuvNET) identifies lead therapeutic candidates from a proprietary human embryonic stem cell-derived protein library and accelerates their development into protein-based, tissue-specific medicines for chronic and rare diseases. ​​Initial therapeutic programs are advancing leads for muscular dystrophies, muscle atrophy, injury, and osteopathies. Since their launch in mid-2018, Juvena has discovered several muscle regenerative protein therapeutic candidates with potent human in vitro and mice in vivo efficacy. They are advancing a lead program, JUV-161 for Myotonic Dystrophy Type I. Juvena is planning to expand the platform and pipeline to new programs and therapeutic areas. 

Position Summary 

Juvena Therapeutics seeks a dynamic and experienced Head of Biotech Operations to join Juvena’s management team. This new position at Juvena will partner with the CEO and CSO to run and manage all aspects of Juvena’s administrative operations, organizational budgeting as well as collaborate on the supervision of staff. Depending on the time of hire, the Head of Biotech Operations may also manage the relocation of the company and ensure the establishment of functional cell biology laboratories, cell culture, and vivarium facilities. Prior experience working in the biotech space is required. This role will report to the CEO and will support the discovery, validation, and translational biology teams in daily laboratory operations. As the Head of Biotech Operations at Juvena, you would also be responsible for the lab operation strategy including topics such as space, equipment, instrumentation, storage, etc. The successful candidate in this position must be able to interpret drawings, wiring diagrams, and equipment specifications to effectively perform troubleshooting and repair activities. The candidate will also support HR and accounting-related operations. 

Key Responsibilities 

Develop and implement lab operations strategy, including topics such as space, equipment, instrumentation, storage, etc.

Manage the development, establishment, and maintenance of quality, policies, processes, procedures and controls ensuring that performance and quality of laboratory documentation and records conforms to established standards

Ensure policies and safety protocols are adhered to by staff

Support the discovery, validation, and translational biology teams in daily laboratory operations 

Manage daily facilities operations and have management responsibilities over some company employees  

Supervise and conduct daily lab maintenance

Develop and oversee the team’s operational budget

Act as Health & Safety point of contact on behalf of the team 

Lead procurement, inventory management, shipping and receiving, and equipment maintenance (calibrations and warranty renewals)

Manage chemical, equipment, consumables and biological sample shipping and receiving

Ship materials/reagents to collaborators and CROs

Schedule maintenance and repair of lab equipment

Perform corrective and preventive maintenance on laboratory instruments and equipment such as biosafety cabinet, CO2 incubator, centrifuge, refrigerator and freezer, microscopes, liquid nitrogen cryostorage container, and sterilizers

Manage staff needs, providing coaching on work challenges, alleviating bottlenecks, helping prioritize work focus, developing skills, and sharing feedback

Project manage operational consultants: 

Payroll, PTO, and benefits management 

Contractor and vendor payments management 

Manage holiday parties and social events such as speaker invitations, celebrations, seminars, etc. 

  • HR consultant 

    Website designer 

    Recruitment firms 

    Accountant / bookkeeping virtual assistants 

Job requirements 

Bachelor’s degree required, relevant advanced degree preferred

4-8 years of experience working in an operations management role in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry or the equivalent combination of education and experience 

At least 4+ years managing operations (with several years managing and developing direct reports) and understand how to deliver value to a community, build teams, and oversee the development of operational processes and policies

Strong capabilities as both as a manager of people and a leader, sets standards for team engagement and tone

Have a high level of technical proficiency in multiple skill areas and the ability to interpret complex information to solve problems

Thrives in a highly collaborative fast-paced environment with the ability to work effectively both independently and as part of multidisciplinary team

Results-driven and agile with the commitment and confidence to assume a leadership role in an evolving biotech environment

Excellent communication skills with strong command of English verbal/written communication

Preferred Qualifications

Previous experience supporting R&D organizations 

Previous experience as a lab manager a plus 

Experience working in a Biotech/Pharmaceutical environment is required

Work experience at a biotech startup is a great plus

Experience managing staff and budgets