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Robert Johnston - Principal Scientist Development, Reverse Translation

Robert Johnston

Principal Scientist Development, Reverse Translation

"The cancer immunotherapy field is starting a new chapter, with discoveries now beginning to move from bedside back to the bench."

I began my training at the University of California San Diego and the La Jolla Institute of Immunology, where I studied the mechanisms by which CD4+ T cells support long-lived and high-affinity antibody responses to vaccines and infections. I continued on to a post-doctoral fellowship here at Genentech, exploring the role of the co-inhibitory receptor TIGIT in cancer immunosurveillance. Several TIGIT antibodies, including Genentech’s own Tiragolumab, are now in clinical development.

In 2020, I returned to Genentech as a Senior Scientist with joint appointments in the Oncology Biomarker Development and Cancer Immunology departments. I was drawn back by Genentech’s world class scientific community and by its investments into reverse translation and other emerging opportunities.

Featured Publication

VISTA is an acidic pH-selective ligand for PSGL-1.

Nature. 2019;574(7779):565-570. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1674-5

Johnston RJ, Su LJ, Pinckney J, et al.

The immunoreceptor TIGIT regulates antitumor and antiviral CD8(+) T cell effector function.

Cancer Cell. 2014;26(6):923-937. doi:10.1016/j.ccell.2014.10.018

Johnston RJ, Comps-Agrar L, Hackney J, et al.