"Having the resources and freedom to satisfy scientific curiosity becomes exponentially more rewarding when you see it translate to the discovery of new medicines."
I completed my doctoral thesis under the guidance of Dr Gerald S. Marks in the department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario Canada. As young, somewhat skeptical, and naive scientist, I felt my research on inhibitors of drug metabolizing enzymes was not particularly applicable, useful, or, most disconcerting at the time – marketable.
It was therefore very surprising for me to find myself recruited to join the department of Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism at Sugen, with my first task to figure out why the exposure of a lead compound was decreasing after repeat dosing in dogs.
Not long after, I began to appreciate the link between alterations in drug metabolism and the overall exposure of a drug, and, more importantly, how understanding this process is a critical component to the development of new medicines.
I joined Genentech in 2015 and was immediately immersed in a community of passionate scientists that were clearly at the forefront of their respective fields. As a member of the Department of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, I am responsible for understanding the potential for drug-drug interactions and advancing our ability to translate preclinical in vitro data to the clinic.
A potential serious liability for a new medicine occurs when the exposure of one drug is altered by another drug. Due to the propensity for polypharmacy, many patients are on multiple medications, which increases the risk for serious, potentially life-threatening adverse interactions.
Understanding how a drug candidate interacts with drug metabolizing enzymes and improving our ability to translate and predict these processes in the clinic is my primary research focus.