Executive Vice President, Genentech Research and Early Development
"The thing that I live for is that moment when you understand something you've been thinking about for days or months or years."
years at Genentech
awards & honors
I joined Genentech in 2001 as senior vice president, Research and was named executive vice president of Research in September 2003 and appointed chief scientific officer in 2008. Following the Roche merger in 2009, I became executive vice president of Research and Early Development. In this role I oversee Genentech's discovery research through clinical proof of concept. I am a member of Genentech's Executive Committee and a member of the Enlarged Executive Committee of Roche.
I was initially drawn to Genentech because its culture lies somewhere between academic and corporate and comprises the best of both worlds. Like a university, Genentech values research and individual creativity tremendously, with its basic and clinical scientists publishing many important papers in prestigious journals. But because we are a therapeutics company, we encourage scientists to focus much, but not necessarily all, of their research on potential applications to medicine.
Identification of Rab11 as a small GTPasebinding protein for the Evi5 oncogene.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007 Jan 23; 104(4): 1236-41.
Westlake CJ, Junutula JR, Simon GC, Pilli M, Prekeris R, Scheller RH, Jackson PK, Eldridge AG.
View Abstract on PubMed
I spend my days hearing scientific progress reports from different groups in the Research organization, grappling with how basic science can be translated into medical applications.
I enjoy the breadth of scientific discovery that I encounter every day and the challenge of trying to turn research into potential therapies for patients. I also enjoy interacting with the clinical groups and attend the development review committees (DRCs), where critical decisions on clinical trial programs are made.
Site-Specific Trastuzumab Maytansinoid Antibody–Drug Conjugates with Improved Therapeutic Activity through Linker and Antibody EngineeringJournal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2014, ISSN: View on PubMed
An improved and robust DNA immunization method to develop antibodies against extra-cellular loops of multi-transmembrane proteinsmAbs, 2013, ISSN: 1942-0862 View on PubMed
An improved and robust DNA immunization method to develop antibodies against extracellular loops of multi-transmembrane proteinsmAbs, 2014, ISSN: 1942-0862 View on PubMed
In search of the molecular mechanism of intracellular membrane fusion and neurotransmitter releaseNature Medicine, 2013, ISSN: 1078-8956 View on PubMed
Rac and Rab GTPases dual effector Nischarin regulates vesicle maturation to facilitate survival of intracellular bacteriaThe EMBO Journal, 2013, ISSN: 0261-4189 View on PubMed
Conjugation site modulates the in vivo stability and therapeutic activity of antibody-drug conjugatesNature Biotechnology, 2012, ISSN: 1087-0156 View on PubMed
Oxidizing potential of endosomes and lysosomes limits intracellular cleavage of disulfide-based antibody-drug conjugatesProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2005, ISSN:
- Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Postdoctoral Fellow; Molecular Neurobiology – 1982
- California Institute of Technology, Postdoctoral Fellow; Division of Biology – 1981
- California Institute of Technology, Ph.D. Division of Chemistry – 1980
- University of Wisconsin, Madison, B.S. Department of Biochemistry – 1975
Awards & Honors
- Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award – 2013
- The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience – 2010
- National Academy of Sciences, Member – 2000
- American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow – 1998
- National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology – 1997
- W. Alden Spencer Award, Columbia University – 1993
- National Institute of Mental Health MERIT Award – 1992
- National Science Foundation Alan T. Waterman Award – 1989
- Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences – 1986
- Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Grant – 1986
- Presidential Young Investigator Award – 1985
- Klingenstein Fellow in the Neurosciences – 1985
- Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award – 1984
- Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow – 1984
- March of Dimes Foundation Basil O'Connor Award – 1983
- McKnight Foundation Scholar – 1983
- National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship – 1981-1982
- National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship – 1976-1980