I joined Genentech in 2004 as a scientist in the research immunology group. My background has ranged from exploring anti-helminthic responses in patients as a PhD student in Leiden, The Netherlands, to identifying novel surface markers on effector T cells at the DRFZ in Berlin, to exploring chromatin remodeling of cytokine genes in effector T cells during my post-doc at UCSF. I joined Genentech because it gave me the opportunity to apply my knowledge of both the human and murine immune response to understanding the pathogenesis of debilitating human autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. I’m at Genentech because of the scientific rigor, the great colleagues, the support and the commitment we all have to making transformative medicines.
Cancer Cell, 2014, 26:923-37.
The research projects in my lab focus on inflammation, autoimmunity and tumor immunology. We work on the TNF-superfamily (TNFSF), and the role they have in shaping the innate and adaptive immune responses. Members of the TNFSF play diverse roles in shaping immune responses yet are common to the pathogenesis of multiple autoimmune diseases and cancers. We are exploring their role in rheumatoid arthritis, in inflammatory diseases at mucosal surfaces and in tumors. We have recently identified a unique role for the TNFSFs in regulating innate lymphoid cells. Effector T cells also underpin the pathogenesis of multiple diseases, and are exquisitely regulated by a balance of stimulatory and inhibitory co-receptors, and is the second area of interest in our lab. Through integrative approaches, combining bioinformatics, biology and diagnostics, we have identified key regulators of effector and regulatory T cells, and continue to explore their roles in coordinating appropriate T cell responses. One of these molecules, TIGIT, regulates CD4, CD8, NK and regulatory T cells and we have recently identified a role for it is a checkpoint inhibitor of anti-tumor and anti-viral responses.