"We are uniquely positioned to deliver new therapies that help patients with unmet needs to live normal lives."
After completing a combined MD-PhD degree at Cornell and Rockefeller and postdoctoral studies at Stanford, I joined Genentech in 2006. My laboratory has employed genetic and genomic tools in primary human tissue, clinical trial samples, and preclinical model systems to discover mechanisms of pathogenesis, candidate therapeutic targets, and biomarkers for respiratory diseases.
In addition to supervising translational research in my laboratory, I oversee two research groups. Immunology Discovery is a department of 14 laboratories responsible for target discovery and preclinical therapeutic development in inflammatory, autoimmune, fibrotic, and ophthalmic diseases. Biomarker Discovery-OMNI is a department of 8 laboratories responsible for patient selection strategies, biomarker discovery, indication selection, and reverse translation for the immunology, neuroscience, ophthalmology, and infectious disease therapeutic areas.
One privilege of working at Genentech is being a part of a long tradition of top quality basic and translational research. While it is essential to do the rigorous and focused experiments necessary to develop therapeutics, it is just as essential to explore uncharted areas of biology to yield new insights that may pay off further in the future. Our postdoctoral program represents a great opportunity to take a deep dive into fundamental mechanisms of human disease. Postdocs have a lot of latitude to explore new areas and bring to bear the incredible resources and infrastructure available at Genentech. It is the best of both worlds – a postdoc can do great research and gain valuable exposure to the drug development process.
Cell, ISSN: 10974172 00928674
We have sWe have shown that subsets of asthma patients exhibit activity of diverse pathways including various inflammatory cytokines, mast cells, and neuroinflammation. We developed non-invasive biomarkers of these asthma subtypes and discovered mechanistically differentiated candidate therapeutics that are being tested in clinical studies.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating progressive interstitial lung disease with a worse prognosis than most cancers. We have characterized the activity of therapeutically targetable pathways in primary lung tissue from IPF patients. This work has led to the discovery of several targets currently in preclinical and clinical development as well as blood biomarkers that can identify patients at risk of rapid disease progression and monitor response to targeted therapies. We are particularly excited about the potential to promote regenerative processes so that instead of just slowing disease progression, we might someday be able to reverse pathology and regain function.
Taking advantage of the samples and phenotypic data available from the well-characterized patients enrolled in our clinical trials, we are performing genetic studies and developing sophisticated preclinical models to discover new disease mechanisms and therapeutic targets in respiratory diseases. This represents a great example of the feed-forward virtuous cycle of translational research in drug discovery and drug development as we move back and forth between bench and bedside.