Lauren Celano is the co-founder and CEO of Propel Careers, a life science search and career development firm focused on connecting talented individuals with entrepreneurial life sciences companies. Propel works with current leaders and actively cultivates future leaders through full time placement, internships, mentoring, career coaching, and networking. Propel Careers is engaged across all areas of life sciences, including therapeutics, medical devices, healthcare IT, diagnostics, consulting, venture capital, and investment banking. Prior to Propel Careers, Lauren was a senior account manager for SNBL USA where she worked with emerging biotech companies in Europe, Asia, and the US to help characterize and advance their drug molecules. Prior to SNBL USA, she held business development positions with Aptuit and Quintiles, where she focused on IND enabling studies to advance therapeutics from discovery into the clinic. Earlier in her career, Lauren held positions as a marketing manager and account manager at Absorption Systems, where she was responsible for managing life sciences companies in the northeastern United States. She has a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Gettysburg College and an MBA with a focus in the health sector and entrepreneurship from Boston University. Lauren is on the Board of MassBioEd, the Advisory Board of the Boston University School of Public Health Pharmaceuticals Program, and the Advisory board for Endicott College Boston. She also serves on the programming committee of the Capital Network.
Omar Amirana, M.D. is Co-founder and Chairman of Propel Careers. He is also presently the Managing Director, Life Sciences, at Allied Minds, Inc., a US private equity corporation. Prior to Allied Minds, he served as a Partner at Oxford Biosciences focusing on life sciences technology investing. He joined Oxford in 2005 as an Investment Manager with 15 years of industry—related experience in both large and small companies. He previously served as the VP of Business Development at St. Jude Medical focusing on electrophysiology, interventional cardiology and peripheral vascular intervention. Prior to joining St. Jude Medical, Dr. Amirana was the CEO of Resolution Medical, a privately held cardiology company in Silicon Valley. Dr. Amirana has helped raise over $60M in venture financing which resulted in three IPOs: EP Technologies, Cardima, and MedicaLogic/Medscape. He co—founded Cardima, where he served for seven years as Vice President of Marketing, Business Development and Chief Technology Officer. He was VP of Marketing at MedicaLogic through its IPO which raised $101M and achieved a ~$1.1B market capitalization. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University and an M.D. from Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Jena Pitman-Leung, Ph.D. is a Career Development Consultant at Propel Careers and has been with Propel Careers since August, 2013. She has a passion for mentoring that has been consistent throughout her career. During her graduate studies at Northwestern University and postdoctoral studies at the University of Massachusetts Medical School she was the primary mentor of over a dozen undergraduate and graduate students; providing career advice, and training them to be independent scientists. Many of these students have gone on to successful careers in industry, law, academia, and medicine. As a postdoc, she designed activities to interest middle school aged students in careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Prior to joining Propel, Jena worked as a consultant at a Boston-area firm specializing in fatigue risk management in 24/7 industries. Her projects ranged from consulting on mining and pipeline operations, to aviation and transportation, to health care. In this role she enjoyed training employees on ways to better adapt to a shiftwork lifestyle. She also contributed to proposals to management on ways to mitigate fatigue-related risk and improve scheduling practices for their employees. Jena is an avid cat lover. She has served as co-chair of a non-profit organization (Spay Worcester) promoting quality of life and responsible pet ownership for over three years.
Amina Abrar is the Human Resources Manager for Propel Careers and has been with Propel Careers since September of 2012. In this role, she actively engages with individuals looking for roles in the life sciences sector and supports awareness of Propel through social media. She is a recent graduate from Hesser College and Southern New Hampshire University with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She also has an associate’s degree in Interior Design from Hesser College. While completing her Bachelor’s degree in business administration, she interned with UPS as a hiring supervisor. This position spurred her interest in human resources. Prior to this, she was a lead generator with Zoe Marketing to develop business for the firm. She is passionate about helping people find the right opportunities for their personal and professional growth. She is very active in her community and is involved with a nonprofit organization called PAGB (Pakistani Association of Greater Boston) where she is the Director of Memberships.
Yuly Fuentes—Medel is a Marketing and Outreach Intern at Propel Careers. She is presently the co-founder of an organization called Descience - http://www.fashiondescience.com/ that is fusing the fashion and scientific worlds. Before this, she completed a fellowship in economics at the Sloan School of Management at MIT studying the economics of life science innovation. She completed her PH.D in Biomedical Sciences at UMass Medical School in Worcester, MA and developed her thesis work in a collaborative project between Dr. Vivian Budnik and Dr. Marc Freeman within the Neurobiology Department. Her research area focused on how glial cells contribute to the formation and growth of synapses at the Drosophila NMJ. During her time as a PH. D. student, she pioneered the co—organization of the International workshop called “Small Brains Big Ideas" Biomedical Insights from Invertebrate Neuroscience Research, held in Santiago, Chile, in 2010. This initiative successfully trained thirty Latin—American students in the application of genetic model systems. Prior to her Ph.D., she moved to the United States to complete her Biochemistry Masters degree in the laboratory of Paul Gardner at the Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Institute, at UMASS. She has a biochemistry undergraduate degree from University of Concepcion, Chile. Yuly is energetically involved in fostering scientific interest and careers in the sciences. One of her major undertakings is to create a connection between Propel Careers and the Universities/Biotech companies located in the Worcester, MA Area. She is an active member of Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology.
Jennifer Campbell is a Marketing and Outreach Intern for Propel Careers. She is constantly seeking out compelling networking events within the Boston Life Science industry, and is enthusiastic about providing a quickly accessible resource on the Propel Careers website for various opportunities to gain insight from corporate partners and other like—minded individuals. Jennifer is also Doctoral Candidate at Boston College investigating the role of innate immune cells in HIV/SIV infection and AIDS associated neuropathogenesis. She recently found that specific monocyte subsets expand during both acute and chronic SIV infection and correlate with the degree of neuronal injury, strongly supporting the notion that ongoing monocyte expansion is required to drive CNS disease progression. Her current research interest is examining the efficacy of therapeutics in the targeting of monocyte/macrophage activation and the trafficking of cells into the brain. Before beginning her PhD, Jennifer gained experience in a rural Ugandan medical clinic with the Foundation for International Medical Relief in Children, where her passion for studying neurological diseases in HIV infected patients began. Jennifer previously worked as a research associate characterizing longevity control pathways involving the Sirtuin gene family in the Paul Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging at Harvard Medical School. She earned a BS in Neuroscience from Furman University, completing a thesis discussing ethanol sensitivity in B—endorphin deficient mice.