I completed my PhD at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in 2015 training as a cancer biologist focusing on the various roles of epigenetic modifiers in cutaneous melanoma development. Until 2018, I continued working on the epigenetic regulation in melanoma as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2018, I joined the Netherlands Cancer Institute, The Netherlands, as a senior postdoctoral fellow focusing on oncogenic variant classification, tumor initiation mechanisms, and targeted therapy resistance centered around the RTK FGFR2.
I joined Genentech in 2023 for several reasons, namely, the outstanding scientists, the collaborative culture that encourages team science, and real patient impact. Here, I collaborate across departments to understand the mechanisms of cell cycle control in cancer, ultimately identifying tumor-specific vulnerabilities that can be therapeutically exploited.
J Exp Med (2023) 220 (11): e20211743.
Nature 608, 609–617 (2022).
Cancer Cell (2018) Jul 9;34(1):69-84.e14.
The most fundamental trait of cancer cells involves their ability to sustain chronic proliferation. Inappropriate proliferation of cancer cells results from a misregulation of the machinery that controls normal cell cycles. This includes altered activities of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) that control transit through each phase of the cell cycle as well as the loss of tumor suppressors, such as p53 or Rb, that operate as central control nodes within key cellular regulatory circuits.
The current focus of my group is on the profound understanding of aberrant cell cycle regulation in cancer, particularly in breast and lung cancers, potentially revealing tumor cell-specific dependencies. We aim to translate these mechanistic insights into meaningful therapeutic approaches that exploit cell cycle vulnerabilities in tumor cells with the hope to deliver improved therapeutic outcomes for patients with cancer.