I joined Genentech in the spring of 1985 and have been associated with the Protein Chemistry Department almost from the beginning as Director of the department and currently as Staff Scientist. My work has led to the identification of heregulin, a ligand that activates the HER2/HER3/HER4 family of receptor tyrosine kinases, to the development of high-throughput protein refolding and purification processes, and to the development of next generation antibody therapies.
Because of Genentech’s highly collaborative environment, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with many groups throughout Research and Process Development, especially groups in Antibody Engineering, Protein Engineering, Oncology, Immunology, and Physiology. While Genentech has grown impressively since I joined, the quality of science, productivity, scientific rigor and ingenuity of the scientists at Genentech has kept pace with our growth. Coupling world-class scientists and the best technologies available to medically important problems makes Genentech an exciting place to work.
My current research focus is the development of antibody–drug conjugates for testing on many types of tumors. Our group focuses on devising methods to arm our antibodies with cytotoxic drugs using a variety of different linkers, toxins and coupling chemistries. We have an extensive effort in identifying new toxins and new linkers for these efforts and in probing the various intracellular pathways used by antibody-drug conjugates to deliver their payloads in cell culture and in tumors.