"The work of a Human Geneticist, while exciting and impactful, can be highly theoretical and somewhat detached from the very reason you entered science in the first place. At Genentech, I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to do discovery research while at the same time collaborating with brilliant interdisciplinary colleagues along the full translational spectrum from bench to bedside."
With a background in complex trait genomics, I joined Genentech in 2017 after post-doctoral work at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine in Göttingen, Germany, and at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. As a scientist in our Cancer Immunology and Human Genetics departments I investigate how inherited genetic variation in immune-relevant genes shape patients’ responses to cancer immunotherapies.
Nat Rev Cancer 21, 298–312 (2021).
Nat Commun 12, 3355 (2021).
PLOS Computational Biology 17(7): e1009131.
The majority of genetics research in oncology has concentrated on the role of tumor somatic mutations, as well as inherited risk variants, in disease susceptibility and response to targeted treatments. The advent and success of cancer immunotherapies, however, have opened new perspectives for the investigation of the role of inherited genetic variation in co-determining outcome and safety. It is increasingly likely that the entirety of germline genetic variation impacting how our immune system responds to cancer accounts for some of the observed variability in responses to immune checkpoint blockade.
My group focuses on large-scale analyses of germline genetic data from patients treated with immunotherapies, and on integrated analyses of germline and tumor genomic features to identify novel drug targets and biomarkers for precision medicine approaches. We also have a special interest in immunogenetic (HLA & KIR) variation, and how this connects to T and NK cell functions in cancer immunology.