"Genentech is committed to a gaining a deeper understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and heterogeneity of human disease. This will allow us to develop the right drugs for the right patients."
After undergraduate and graduate training in the United Kingdom, I moved to the United States for postdoctoral training and then joined Genentech as a Scientist and founding member of the Biomarker Discovery OMNI department. The department is studying fundamental biological mechanisms and heterogeneity in Autoimmune, Inflammatory Bowel, Airway, Fibrosis, Ophthalmology and Neuroscience diseases, and is using these insights as the basis for discovery and implementation of biomarkers that stratify patients into clinically important subgroups. This approach has demonstrated that drug response outcome is affected by underlying biological heterogeneity. These findings now underpin how we develop new therapies and identify targets in patient subgroups where existing therapies are not effective.
Genentech has a proud tradition of world-class basic and translational research, and the postdoctoral program here allows for important questions about fundamental biological mechanisms to be addressed independently of drug development programs. The large clinical trials conducted by the Roche group gives us unprecedented access to highly clinically characterized patients with matching data on treatment outcome, genetic variants, and disease state. A postdoc will be able to leverage these resources and study biological pathways of interest aided by world class scientific infrastructure, and also gain exposure to the drug development process.
Cell Reports 2019 Aug 27;28(9):2455-2470.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.07.091
I direct a laboratory focused on defining the underlying biological heterogeneity of Rheumatologic diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. We have recently shown that there is considerable cellular and molecular heterogeneity in RA synovial tissue, and that this impacts both clinical outcome to different targeted therapies and identifies predictive biomarkers to identify patient subpopulations in the clinic.
We are utilizing samples from our interventional trials and observational studies, as well as engaging in multiple collaborations with academic translational research groups, to address why patients respond to different targeted therapies, and also identify patient subpopulations where existing therapies are not effective. These insights will optimize biomarker strategies for our RA drugs under development as well as uncover new drug target opportunities.