"Cells are truly amazing, profoundly elegant biological machines – it is such a privilege and a joy to be enabled to tackle the biological mysteries that are most meaningful to human health."
I began my scientific training at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, followed by graduate research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge, UK. I came to Genentech as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2010, and then gained valuable experience as a Scientist in Genentech’s Oncology Biomarker Department. I joined the Translational Oncology department to lead my own research group in 2015.
I was drawn to Genentech because of its reputation for top-class, creative and innovative science. I choose to stay because of the unique opportunity that Genentech provides to turn that top-class science into transformational medicines for patients.
I loved and deeply value my time as Postdoctoral Fellow at Genentech – I learned a tremendous amount as part of an energized, engaged, and high functioning community. I am really looking forward to providing that same opportunity to trainee scientists who are inspired to make new discoveries around meaningful biological questions.
I am deeply interested in the biology of tumors at the molecular, cellular and tissue level. More specifically, I am fascinated by how deregulation of certain signaling pathways enables communities of cells to escape from normal homeostatic control. This interest has taken my research from Wnt signaling and the intestine, to Hedgehog signaling and medulloblastoma, and more recently to Estrogen Receptor (ER) signaling and breast cancer.
ER is a well-established therapeutic target, but the detailed molecular mechanisms around how the approved therapeutics function to suppress ER transcriptional activity are not fully understood. We believe that through a deep understanding of how these therapeutics function, and what their limitations might be, we can design and develop better next generation therapies with the hope of driving better outcomes for women with ER+ breast cancer.