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Richard Bourgon - Director and Senior Scientist, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

Richard Bourgon

Director and Senior Scientist, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

Postdoc Mentor
"Advances in high-throughput genomic assay technologies and the computational techniques necessary for their productive use have created unique opportunities—for pursuing personalized approaches to cancer therapy and for better understanding the complex molecular basis of the disease."
Years at Genentech

In 2006, I obtained a Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley, under the mentorship of Terry Speed, and I was one of the early participants in a new, cross-disciplinary designated emphasis program in computational biology. I went on to join the European Bioinformatics Institute as a staff scientist, investigating technical aspects of microarray and next-generation sequencing data analysis with Wolfgang Huber, and applying these technologies to study fundamental aspects of meiotic recombination and inheritance, in collaboration with Lars Steinmetz at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

I joined Genentech in 2010, applying my technical background to the study of prognostic and predictive cancer biomarkers. My initial work was in pre-clinical model systems; however, recent methodological advances have enabled application of the same technologies to clinical trial sample collections, and I now collaborate closely with scientists in both Research Molecular Oncology and Oncology Biomarker Development.

Postdoctoral Mentor

Advances in high-throughput data generation technologies have lead to a dramatic increase in the demand for computational scientists in molecular biology research. For individuals who are highly skilled in the development or use of specialized analytic techniques, Genentech provides an outstanding opportunity to apply these techniques to practical problems in drug target and biomarker discovery. However, quantitative sophistication is not sufficient for success in this space; it also requires a strong understanding of the relevant biological principles and a focus on the practical impact of methodological advances. I am interested in recruiting two types of recent graduates to post-doctoral positions in my group: (i) computational specialists who seek to deepen the biological and/or clinical relevance of their work, and (ii) experimental scientists who are transitioning to data-heavy research approaches and want to significantly increase their computational abilities.

Featured Publication

TGFβ attenuates tumour response to PD-L1 blockade by contributing to exclusion of T cells.

Nature. 2018 Feb 22;554(7693):544-548.

Mariathasan S, Turley SJ, Nickles D, Castiglioni A, Yuen K, Wang Y, Kadel Iii EE, Koeppen H, Astarita JL, Cubas R, Jhunjhunwala S, Banchereau R, Yang Y, Guan Y, Chalouni C, Ziai J, Şenbabaoğlu Y, Santoro S, Sheinson D, Hung J, Giltnane JM, Pierce AA, Mesh K, Lianoglou S, Riegler J, Carano RAD, Eriksson P, Höglund M, Somarriba L, Halligan DL, van der Heijden MS, Loriot Y, Rosenberg JE, Fong L, Mellman I, Chen DS, Green M, Derleth C, Fine GD, Hegde PS, Bourgon R, Powles T.