Senior Scientist, Discovery Oncology
"I am inspired by the strength and courage exhibited every day by patients living with cancer. I hope that the fruits of my labor will be realized in the form of new drugs that offer hope for cancer patients."
years at Genentech
awards & honors
I joined Genentech in 2006, after working for smaller biotechnology companies for six years. I was attracted to Genentech because of the high quality of science and the company's record of taking innovative approaches to drug discovery and development. Genentech employs world-class researchers who carry out cutting-edge research to identify novel approaches to drug development; this begins with discovery and continues into the clinical trials. At Genentech, I have the opportunity to make discoveries in the lab and work with outstanding clinical teams that rely on a deep understanding of biology to guide decision-making during clinical development.
Sensitivity to Anti-Tubulin Chemotherapeutics is regulated by Mcl-1 and FBW7.
Nature 2011; 471(7336):110-4.
Wertz, I., S Kusam, C Lam, T Okamoto, W Sandoval, D Anderson, E Helgason, J Earnst, M Eby, J Liu, L Belmont, J Kaminker, K O’Rourke, K Pujara, P Kholi, A Johnson, M Chiu, J Lill, P Jackson, W Fairbrother, S Seshagiri, M Ludlam, K Leong, E Dueber, H Maecker, D Huang, and V Dixit.
View Abstract on PubMed
Our goal is to identify biomarkers for selection of patients likely to be appropriate candidates for specific investigational oncology drugs. We are currently working on identification of predictive biomarkers for novel drug candidates that target programmed cell death, tumor metabolism, B cell receptor signaling and epigenetic regulation. Cancers frequently exhibit genetic or epigenetic alterations that support rapid proliferation or survival. However, these alterations can create vulnerabilities that can be therapeutically exploited. We therefore have ongoing efforts to identify rational drug combinations and synthetically lethal combinations of drugs and somatic alterations in cancer cells. Additionally, we have ongoing efforts to identify mechanisms of resistance to oncology drugs.
Exploiting selective BCL-2 family inhibitors to dissect cell survival dependencies and define improved strategies for cancer therapyScience translational medicine, 2015, ISSN: 1946-6234 View on PubMed
Structural Basis for Resistance to Diverse Classes of NAMPT InhibitorsPloS one, 2014, ISSN: 1932-6203 View on PubMed
AXL inhibition sensitizes mesenchymal cancer cells to anti-mitotic drugsCancer research, 2014, ISSN: 0008-5472 View on PubMed
Dependence of Tumor Cell Lines and Patient-Derived Tumors on the NAD Salvage Pathway Renders Them Sensitive to NAMPT Inhibition with GNE-618Neoplasia, 2013, ISSN: 1476-5586 View on PubMed
Loss of NAPRT1 Expression by Tumor-specific Promoter Methylation Provides a Novel Predictive Biomarker for NAMPT InhibitorsClinical Cancer Research, 2013, ISSN: 1078-0432 View on PubMed
Bcl-2/Bcl-xL Inhibition Increases the Efficacy of Mek Inhibition Alone and in Combination with PI3 Kinase Inhibition in Lung and Pancreatic Tumor ModelsMolecular Cancer Therapeutics, 2013, ISSN: 1535-7163 View on PubMed
Bcl-2, Bcl-x(L), and Bcl-w are not equivalent targets of ABT-737 and navitoclax (ABT-263) in lymphoid and leukemic cellsBlood, 2012, ISSN: 0006-4971 View on PubMed
GDC-0941, A Novel Class I Selective PI3K Inhibitor, Enhances the Efficacy of Docetaxel in Human Breast Cancer Models by Increasing Cell Death In Vitro and In VivoClinical Cancer Research, 2012, ISSN: 1078-0432 View on PubMed
Navitoclax (ABT-263) Reduces Bcl-x(L)-Mediated Chemoresistance in Ovarian Cancer ModelsMolecular Cancer Therapeutics, 2012, ISSN: 1535-7163 View on PubMed
The STARD9/Kif16a Kinesin Associates with Mitotic Microtubules and Regulates Spindle Pole AssemblyCell, 26 Dec 2011, v147(6), p1309-23, ISSN: 0092-8674 View on PubMed
Sensitivity to Anti-Tubulin Chemotherapeutics is regulated by Mcl-1 and FBW7Nature, 2011, ISSN: 0028-0836 View on PubMed
Navitoclax Enhances the Efficacy of Taxanes in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer ModelsClinical Cancer Research, 2011, ISSN: 1078-0432 View on PubMed
A Chemosensitization Screen Identifies TP53RK, a Kinase that Restrains Apoptosis after Mitotic Stress.Cancer Research, 2010, ISSN: 1538-7445
- University of California, Berkeley, Postdoctoral Research Fellow – 2000
- University of California, San Francisco, Ph.D. – 1995
- University of Colorado, Boulder, B.A – 1988
Awards & Honors
- Co-Principal Investigator, Small Business Innovation Research Grant – 2000
- National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship – 1999
- National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship – 1992
- University of Colorado, Boulder, magna cum laude – 1988