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Having a Cross-Functional Bird’s Eye View of Operations

Having a Cross-Functional Bird’s Eye View of Operations

In this episode of the LabOps Leadership Podcast, Jay Stella, the Senior VP at Akouos, shares his story in the industry, from how he ended up working in a lab to explaining what he does in corporate strategy and business development. He then dives into how Akouos is working on developing precision genetic medicine for sensorineural hearing loss and the involvement of the operations team in this matter. Jay also shares how every individual brings a specific skill set to the team and how cross-functionality is key to achieving the goals they have set. Operations are always in the background making sure that everybody else can do their work.



When you work in operations, having a cross-functional team and a bird’s eye view is critical for success. 

About Jay Stella:

Jay has worked in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry for 28 years in positions of increasing responsibility across preclinical and CMC strategy & operations, finance, business development, post-M&A integrations, and corporate strategy.  In the early stage of his career, Jay worked in a GMP manufacturing environment, as a laboratory technician, and as a procurement professional in the medical diagnostics field.  He is currently Senior Vice President at Akouos, Inc., a precision genetic medicines company, where he is responsible for Corporate Strategy and Business Development.

Jay previously worked for Sai Life Sciences, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Biogen, Genetics Institute, and as an independent consultant.  He received a Baccalaureate degree from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Boston University.  Jay lives with his wife and two daughters and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Reforest the Tropics and Tower School.  When he is not working, Jay loves to ski, paddle, cook, and read. 

Things You’ll Learn:

  • The corporate strategy team creates the roadmap with dos and don’ts for the company. 
  • Business development is all about creating value for and with future partners and collaborators. 
  • The laboratory side of the business requires many skill sets. 
  • Outsourcing is a good way to bring in skill sets that the company doesn’t have internally. 
  • Being the first-to-market product is critical for companies that develop solutions for rare diseases or gene therapy. 
  • Communication between the different departments within the company is key. 
  • Look for mentors outside of your department, they may bring another perspective and be a neutral set of eyes. 


  • Connect and follow Jay Stella on LinkedIn.
  • Want to know more about the LabOps Leadership Conference? Visit their website.
  • Check out the Akouos website.

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