"Genentech has a deep commitment to advancing fundamental science and the resources to transform new discoveries into medicines. I am energized by the ability to influence all stages of drug discovery to bring new therapies to patients."
After completing my PhD in Organic Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute I joined the Genentech Discovery Chemistry department in 2005. Since then I have contributed to projects spanning basic research, lead discovery / optimization, and clinical development. I have worked in the oncology, infectious disease, and immunology disease areas as an individual contributor, chemistry team leader, and project team leader. In my current role I lead a team of approximately 60 scientists on a drug discovery program for immunology. My mandate is to deliver a molecule with a preclinical potency and safety profile meriting study in clinical trials. In my time at Genentech I have been fortunate enough to contribute to three clinical candidate molecules. It is extremely satisfying to first discover a molecule in the lab, progress it through preclinical testing, and ultimately advance it to human patients.
I am a medicinal chemist by training and my primary interest lies in the discovery of drug-like molecules. Drug-likeness can take many forms depending on the disease area and desired distribution profile. Most recently I have focused on non-oral drug delivery for tissue targeting, with a primary interest in lung localization via inhalation. Inhaled delivery is a highly compelling modality for respiratory disease because it potentially maximizes pharmacology in the lung while minimizing the total body burden of drug.
Inhaled drug design is a fascinating and endlessly complex research area. At the molecular level, the drug must have a unique combination of features that allows it to selectively modulate the target of interest while being retained within the lung. The drug must also be formulated and combined with a device that allows it to be inhaled by the patient. The molecular features, the formulation, and the device must all be optimized, and then work in harmony in order to produce a viable drug candidate. The scientific and technical challenges in this area are great, however once solved, have the potential to provide unique benefits to patients.