"Human biology and human diseases are astonishingly complex. Now is a golden time to combine the torrent of genomic and other high-throughput data with rigorous science and clinical research to understand our individual biology with the goal of improving millions of lives."
I lead the oncology bioinformatics group, exploiting genomics and computational analysis to understand the driving forces of tumors, and their dynamic changes.
I was trained in biochemistry and genetics, and have transitioned multiple times between academia and industry, most recently as director of the Razavi-Newman Center for Bioinformatics at the Salk Institute. Genentech, for me, has many of the best aspects of both worlds: the intellectual rigor and fundamental mindset of academic research, and the real-world relevance, teamwork and global impact of industry.
Genentech is driven by two sacrosanct principles: the very highest quality of research, and commitment to real advances in human health. For postdocs, these provide a rigorous and exciting environment, where we can tackle fundamental problems that are rooted in real human biology. Our ingrained teamwork culture provides exposure to many different technologies and approaches, and the group of over 100 postdocs is highly cross-supportive. The energy, innovation and diversity that our postdocs bring is one of the keys to sustaining a great research culture, and we take our responsibility in training future scientists very seriously.
Science. 2002; 298:1912-34.
Traditional, reductionistic biology has been tremendously effective in understanding the fundamental mechanisms of life. Genomics, ‘big data’ and computation are complementary, in exploring all the variations we see in biology and disease and how they integrate to create the vast diversity of functional organisms. My goal is to help transform biology by integrating these approaches to create a richer understanding of health and disease, and to design treatments that understand and even exploit the individual nature of disease. My group works with both molecular oncology and cancer immunology across research and development to better understand the driving forces of cancer, and the dynamic effects of therapies on the disease.
I also work on building an integrated bioinformatics support across Genentech, and to uphold our commitment to fundamental research and sharing our findings with the research community, through publication, data sharing and open source software.