"It has been a great privilege to work in a laboratory with equipment, co-workers, and research collaborations that would be the envy of most scientists in my field, and I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to do basic research in the service of drug discovery."
I joined Genentech in 1994 as a postdoctoral fellow of John Stults in what was then the only large molecule mass spectrometry group in Research. As a graduate student I had used tandem mass spectrometry to sequence proteins and peptides, including those presented to the immune system by class-I molecules of the major histocompatibility complex in HIV-infected cells. At Genentech I helped establish the set of technologies that would become known as proteomics. Hired as a Scientist following my postdoc, I later became the group leader of the mass spectrometry lab and oversaw its growth from myself and 4 RAs to a Microchemistry and Proteomics Laboratory (MPL) of 14 members including Scientists, RAs, and post-docs. In 2010 I returned to the bench, and manage a small group within the MPL focused on epigenetics, targeted proteomics, and applications of mass spectrometry to protein structural analysis.
As one of the principal investigators in the Microchemistry and Proteomics laboratory, my work is heavily technology-focused and includes (first and foremost) mass spectrometry, protein and peptide separations, chemical and enzymatic manipulation, and the repertoire of informatics tools necessary to make sense of complex and multidimensional measurements. My group puts these tools of the trade to use in collaborative research with other Genentech scientists on a variety of biochemical processes and disease areas in the pursuit of new drugs and drug targets.
In common with the other MPL investigators, I use the general proteomic approaches of protein identification, quantitation, and posttranslational modification mapping at levels of complexity from single proteins to whole organs, with most work being done on cultured cells. A specific focus of my groups for several years has been epigenetic research, which we support in multiple ways, but most importantly through the quantitation of histone posttranslational modifications, whose variety and combinatorial complexity pose a stimulating challenge. Other technology interests of mine include large-scale targeted protein detection and quantitation, and applications of mass spectrometry to protein structural analysis.