"Scientific creativity is the key to innovative and transformative drug development."
I joined Genentech as a Scientist in Fall of 2007 after my graduate and postdoctoral studies focusing on protein folding. My scientific research shifted after joining the Antibody Engineering Department, and I meanwhile support drug development by protein engineering. In part, I was attracted to Genentech by the collaborative research environment that is providing the opportunity to engage with a diverse group of scientists to effectively and rigorously solve scientific problems with creative approaches.
My group is involved, among other things, in the development of technologies to produce bispecific antibodies for research and clinical development. It has provided me with the opportunity to establish new technologies to advance bispecific antibodies from research into Early or Clinical Development in a variety of disease indications.
Being a postdoctoral mentor is providing me with the opportunity to pursue research that is not linked to the immediate need of a pipeline project, but has the potential to become an impactful technology for future drug development. The scientific resources and expertise at Genentech allow pursuing the most challenging questions with focus and creativity.
My laboratory is focused on developing technologies for next generation protein therapeutics. While traditional monoclonal antibodies are successful therapeutics, protein engineering provides the opportunity to endow them with novel functionalities to potentially overcome limitations or enhance their activities. Bispecific antibodies are one possibility to expand the mode of action of traditional monoclonal antibodies by combining the binding specificity of two antibodies into a single moiety. With collaborators across the company, we are applying their utility across different disease areas to recruit cytotoxic T-cells to tumor cells, to simultaneously neutralize two disease mediators or to serve as ligand mimetic to activate signaling pathways.
In addition, we are also interested in trying to improve antibody delivery to cellular compartments and tissues previously poorly accessible to antibodies, as well as improving and predicting viability of therapeutic antibody candidates.