Senior Scientist, Discovery Oncology
years at Genentech
awards & honors
I came to Genentech after completing my postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF. At the time I was deciding whether to pursue a career in academia or a career in industry. In thinking about what motivated me to be a scientist, I realized that the reason I did cancer research was pretty simple; I wanted to help patients. There's no place better to do that than Genentech. As an added bonus I get to work with outstanding scientists in a highly collaborative environment.
My work at Genentech centers around gaining new insights into cancer biology to aid in the identification and validation of novel therapeutic targets in oncology indications.
Having the opportunity to mentor postdocs doing true basic research projects is one of the key factors that makes Genentech the unique and highly respected company that it is. Having postdocs in the lab allows us to dive deeply into the biology of cancer, and the mechanisms by which different genes and pathways influence tumor cell heterogeneity, therapeutic resistance and relapse. I really enjoy the opportunity to mentor very smart and driven people, and to see them develop into independent scientists. Postdocs help all of us remember why we love science so much, and they bring an energy and excitement that everyone in the group benefits from.
Notch3 is a marker of tumor-propagating cells in non-small cell lung cancer and is required for their self-renewal.
(2013)Cancer Cell, Jul 8;24(1):59-74. doi: 10.1016
Yanyan Zheng, Cecile C. de la Cruz, Leanne C. Sayles, Chris Alleyn-Chin, Dedeepya Vaka, Tim D. Knaak, Marty Bigos, Yue Xu, Chuong D Hoang, Joseph Shrager, Dorothy French, William Forrest, Zhaoshi Jiang, Erica L. Jackson* and E. Alejandro Sweet-Cordero
I am interested in how the regulation of differentiation and cell identity goes awry in cancer. In order to propagate a tumor, cancer cells must inhibit differentiation and have the capacity for unlimited proliferation. In this way, they have similarities to stem/progenitor cells that maintain normal tissue homeostasis. Epigenetics, lineage specific transcription factors and splicing regulatory networks all contribute to the specification of cell identity during normal development and tissue homeostasis. My lab is studying how these regulators are co-opted by cancer cells to maintain the transformed state.
Intratumoral Heterogeneity: From Diversity Comes ResistanceClinical cancer research, 2015, ISSN: 1078-0432 View on PubMed
Oncogenic RAS pathway activation promotes resistance to anti-VEGF therapy through G-CSF-induced neutrophil recruitmentProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013, ISSN: 0027-8424 View on PubMed
Blocking NRG1 and Other Ligand-Mediated Her4 Signaling Enhances the Magnitude and Duration of the Chemotherapeutic Response of Non-Small Cell Lung CancerScience Translational Medicine, 2013, ISSN: 1946-6234 View on PubMed
Lactate Dehydrogenase B is required for the growth of KRAS-dependent lung adenocarcinomasClinical Cancer Research, 2012, ISSN: 1078-0432 View on PubMed
Residual tumor cells that drive disease relapse after chemotherapy do not have enhanced tumor initiating capacityPloS ONE, 2012, ISSN: 1932-6203 View on PubMed
- UCSF Dept. of Neurological Surgery, Postdoctoral Fellow – 2003-2006
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Biology, Ph.D. – 2003
- Brandeis University, Dept. of Biology, B.A. – 1995
Awards & Honors
- Marvin Barker Award – 2007
- American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship – 2005-2006
- American Brain Tumor Association Postdoctoral Fellowship – 2004-2005
- Anna Fuller Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship – 2001-2002