"I am driven by the opportunity to apply a multidisciplinary approach to drug development in an effort to improve patients’ lives."
Since joining Genentech in 2007, I have been responsible for understanding the absorption, metabolism, distribution and excretion of many of our large molecule therapeutics to help ensure that we achieve adequate drug exposure in the appropriate tissue compartments. In the Investigative Pharmacokinetics group, we apply a multidisciplinary approach to characterize the biodistribution of antibodies, including radiochemical, biochemical and molecular imaging techniques. Our group provides support across all therapeutic areas, including neuroscience and ophthalmology for which there are unique challenges in drug delivery and development. In my lab, we strive to provide guidance in designing and selecting the best molecule as well as the appropriate dose and regimen to achieve the pharmacologic exposure needed for efficacy.
Post Doctoral Mentor
My research vision is focused at the interface of chemistry and biology, with particular interest in using radiochemical probes to aid in the design, delivery and development of large molecule therapeutics. I feel extremely fortunate to work in a biotech company with amazing scientific resources and with the ability to participate in a postdoctoral mentoring program. The ability to tackle scientific questions that arise in drug development presents a unique opportunity for a successful postdoctoral research project.
Therapeutic antibodies tend to have long biological half-lives compared to small molecule drugs. However, achieving systemic exposure does not guarantee that the molecule will reach its intended site of action. Diffusion through tumors, across the blood-brain barrier, or within ocular compartments… these are some of the many scenarios in which the tissue distribution of antibodies becomes critical. To address problems of assay sensitivity and/or matrix interference, radiolabeled probes may be employed in measuring the concentration of antibodies within tissues. Furthermore, we are able to pair radiochemical probes with imaging techniques such as single photon emission computed tomography and whole-body autoradiography to gain spatial insight into how our large molecule drugs are distributed within tissues in animal models. Does my antibody distribute to an off-target tissue? How is the tissue distribution of my antibody affected by dose, affinity, route of administration, and other factors? These are among the many questions that we can help to answer in the Investigative Pharmacokinetics group.