I joined Genentech in late 2016, as the company was setting up its new cryogenic electron microscopy (cryoEM) facility to support drug discovery and basic research. As a postdoc, I had worked for many years on algorithm and methods development for cryoEM image analysis, so I had a pretty narrow, but very deep, specialization and I was excited to see how my skills could be put to use in the service of drug discovery, which I knew almost nothing about.
I had (and still have!) a lot to learn, and that has been my favorite thing about working at Genentech. The experience of learning has been intense, multi-dimensional, and seemingly never ending. The scale and depth of collaboration that occurs every day within Research is staggering, and the experience of working on projects that are much, much larger than anything I could have achieved in a regular academic lab is truly addictive. As a result of this amazing culture of collaboration, I have become familiar with several areas of human disease and biology and got a chance to contribute to several projects by solving structures of protein targets bound by small and large molecules. It has been thrilling to help these projects progress, in some cases successfully nominating molecules into clinic trials.
Science, ISSN: 00368075
My lab uses cryoEM in general and image analysis in particular to support drug discovery and research. Many of our recent targets have been membrane proteins and targets of interest in neuroscience, but we are a technology-centered lab with interests across many therapeutic areas and in several classes of proteins, including channels, receptors, antibodies, and helical filaments. My team is also responsible for the development, optimization, and maintenance of image processing, computational and informatics tools and workflows which allow the cryoEM community at Genentech to operate efficiently and to deliver the best possible results to our colleagues.