I started my lab at Genentech in 2010. Prior to this, I was an Associate Professor at Stanford University. I am drawn to Genentech because of my newfound passion in translating basic discoveries and understanding of host-pathogen interactions into novel medicine for patients with serious and life-threatening infections. Genentech has a strong record of creating novel medicines from cutting edge science and I am pleased to have the opportunity to be part of this successful tradition.
During my academic career, my laboratory used infection of C. elegans by bacterial pathogens as an experimental system to discover and elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial pathogenesis and host responses within the context of an intact host. We have identified host and pathogen factors that contribute significantly to the outcome of an infection. They include the involvements of the nervous system, the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and insulin signaling pathways of the host, as well as the quorum sensing system of the bacteria, in modulating host-pathogen interactions. We are now interested in validating and extending these findings in mammalian models of infections and in identifying critical nodes of interactions that are amenable to therapeutic interventions.
I have had to opportunity to mentor several highly talented postdoctoral scholars during my tenure at Stanford and continue to be passionate about the mentoring future generation of scientists.PUBLICATION LIST (PDF)
We are interested in identifying genetic determinants from bacterial pathogens that are essential for pathogenesis and maintenance of infections in vivo using a combination of genetics, molecular and bioinformatics approaches, with focus on surface-associated molecules.
We also seek to identify and characterize host factors that are associated with disease progression during infections. Our goals are to define bacterial and/or host factors these could potentially be targeted by small or large molecules for therapeutic interventions to ameliorate diseases, including pneumonia and bacteremia.