Daniel Kirchhofer - Staff Scientist, Early Discovery Biochemistry

Daniel Kirchhofer

Staff Scientist, Early Discovery Biochemistry

Postdoc Mentor
Staff Scientist
Years at Genentech
Awards & Honors

My first project after joining Genentech in 1997 was on blood coagulation proteases, specifically on antibody-based and small molecule inhibitors of tissue factor and factor VIIa. I have worked on proteases and pseudo-proteases (hepatocyte growth factor) ever since.

Postdoctoral Mentor

PostDocs have always been a cornerstone of the research in my lab. I truly enjoy mentoring them over the course of about 4 years and seeing them mature into independent scientists. There is also a wonderful camaraderie among the many postdocs in our research organization, which often results in productive collaborations.

The focus of the current PD project is the newly discovered trypsin fold protease, called neutrophil serine protease 4 (NSP4). Little is known about it and there are only a handful of papers on NSP4. The former Postdoc Jack Lin was able to gain a clear understanding of the unusual catalytic mechanism of this protease by solving the first crystal structures of NSP4. Based on the strong evolutionary conservation of NSP4 and its unique substrate specificity we anticipate that NSP4 may be involved in highly interesting biological processes, which we aim to unravel.

Featured Publication

Discovery of a cryptic peptide-binding site on PCSK9 and design of antagonists.

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2017 Aug 21.

Zhang Y, Ultsch M, Skelton NJ, Burdick DJ, Beresini MH, Li W, Kong-Beltran M, Peterson A, Quinn J, Chiu C, Wu Y, Shia S, Moran P, Di Lello P, Eigenbrot C, Kirchhofer D.