"I am inspired by patients whose lives we impact and Genentech scientists whose relentless approach to studying cancer biology has resulted in transformative therapies."
I joined Genentech in 2006 for the opportunity to conduct cutting edge basic science research and build the small molecule drug discovery division at Genentech. I am currently Associate Director in the Department of Discovery Oncology. My department is responsible for identification and validation of targets for multiple oncology indications. We focus on studying tumor vulnerabilities through in-depth investigation of mechanisms driving mutated cancer pathways. Through understanding how mutational dysregulation of these pathways drives disease, we aim to uncover novel approaches for therapeutic intervention.
We use a variety of approaches to validate targets including target-focused approaches such as genetic knockdowns or small molecule inhibitors as well as functional genomics screening approaches. We are interested in tackling the most difficult of problems including discovering novel strategies to target RAS mutant tumors. Our department collaborates closely with many other groups at Genentech including the Bioinformatics, Translational Oncology, Proteomics, Small Molecule Drug Discovery and Antibody Engineering groups.
Post-doctoral fellows at Genentech have the unique opportunity to conduct basic science research and leverage cutting edge technology platforms that have been developed in-house. Through multi-disciplinary collaborations (such as with Bioinformatics, Proteomics, Structural Biology, and Translational Oncology), many post-doctoral fellows are able to take on the most difficult of scientific problems and make high-impact, long-lasting contributions to their field. Mentoring post-doctoral fellows is one of the most enriching experiences I have had at Genentech.
As Principal Scientist in the Department of Discovery Oncology, my lab is interested in two main areas of biology: non-catalytic functions of protein kinases and pseudokinases such as BRAF and KSR and regulation of MAPK signaling in RAS-mutant tumors. We utilize a variety of approaches to address these problems including in vivo models of disease, in vitro biochemical and cellular studies, small molecule kinase inhibitors, chemical biology approaches including proteomics studies (in collaboration with Dr. Don Kirkpatrick) and structure-function studies. To understand the mechanistic principles of scaffolding functions of protein kinases at a structural level, my lab collaborates closely with several other labs at Genentech including Dr. Sarah Hymowitz’s lab in the Structural Biology Department.