"Microbes are intricately interconnected to human biology. It is a privilege to detangle these interactions and use microbes as next generation therapies to improve patients’ lives."
Since my first undergraduate class looking at dirt under the microscope, I have been fascinated by bacteria. My career has focused on studying and manipulating bacteria alone and in communities, as well as interrogating how they influence inflammation and disease pathways in humans.
My training has spanned studying the virulence factors in aquatic fish pathogens to biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa to human intracellular bacterial infections. After completing my postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, I joined Genentech’s Infectious Disease Department in 2015 as a Principal Scientific Researcher discovering novel antibacterial compounds targeting Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. In 2020, I transitioned to a Senior Scientist and now lead a group centered on studying and engineering microbes to treat diseases.
Proc Natl Acad Sci.115(14):3692
My lab focuses on microbes within the human gut, which depending on the environment can be beneficial, detrimental, or somewhere in between. We aim to use clinical samples and data to uncover important bacterial pathways in disease, and discover drugs that appropriately influence these pathways to bring forward novel therapies for patients.
While microbes are typically thought of as pathogens, many species are important and essential to human health. Our group is working to identify beneficial bacterial species and genetically engineer them to deliver therapeutics. These next generation delivery vehicles have the potential to precisely deliver therapeutics to the GI tract for diseases such as IBD.