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Meet the Current Teaching Team

Team Profiles: Allergies

The Teaching Team for Allergies consists of three Genentech scientists:

Paula M. Jardieu received her Ph.D. in microbiology from Michigan State University in 1982 studying the effects of zinc deficiency on immune function of antibody secreting cells. She received a post-doctoral fellowship from 1982 to 1985 to study the regulation of IgE synthesis with Dr. Kimishige Ishizaka in the Department of Immunology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr Ishizaka is one of the founding fathers of IgE biology. Paula studied the activity of IgE binding proteins which regulate IgE glycosylation and biological activity. Paula came to Genentech in 1986 hoping to purify and clone these binding proteins to determine if they could be used to inhibit the biological activity of IgE. Although her lab's attempts to clone the IgE binding proteins were unsuccessful she decided to approach the problem of inhibiting IgE biological activity from a different angle. Her decision to develop a antibody that blocks IgE binding to the IgE receptor on mast cells led to the development of a drug that is currently in Phase II trials with the FDA.

Paula is currently a staff scientist in the Immunology Department and is the senior project leader for both the anti-IgE and anti-LFA antibody projects. Paula has participated in several bay area symposia on the role of women in science. When she is not in the lab she is either on the tennis court or attending a rare antiques auction.

Robert Shields is a senior research associate in the Immunology Department at Genentech who joined Paula's lab in 1988 to help with the purification of IgE binding proteins.

"Prior to coming to Genentech I worked in both the Department of Immunology and Cardiovascular Research Institute at the U.C. San Francisco School of Medicine studying the biochemistry of T cell receptors signaling and the role of IgE in animal models of allergic asthma. I have a strong vested interest in developing new therapies for the treatment of allergy and asthma since I am asthmatic and have allergies to shellfish, animal dander, molds and most western grass pollens.

"My interest in biology dates back to my high school field trips to the Mohave desert in Southern California where we studied the ecology of kangaroo rats. My interest in research started as an undergraduate at Stanford wandering through the mud flats of Pescadero Estuary in San Mateo county collecting samples for fecal coliform bacteria counts as part of an independent research project in marine biology. When I am not helping my wife with activities revolving around our three daughters ages 7, 4 and 2, I go down to Monterey Bay for some scuba diving and underwater photography. My awareness of the public school system's need for more science education resources has grown since I started participating in my oldest daughters annual science fair projects."

Gerald Nakamura is a senior research associate in the immunology Department at Genentech Inc.

"My first introduction to research was during the year I spent as a volunteer in a Human Genetics laboratory while an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley. Although my scientific contribution to the lab was probably minimal, it was a wonderful experience for me and I will always be grateful to that professor for the opportunity. After I graduated with a degree in Physiology, I did an internship in a Cardiovascular Research lab at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in San Francisco and then worked as a clinical chemist in a commercial diagnostic lab. About 13 years ago, I came to Genentech to work on the development of a Hepatitis B vaccine and to learn how to do good science. For the past 10 years, I have working on the development of an HIV vaccine focusing on the identification of regions on the virus critical for receptor recognition and antibody neutralization.

"I have been married for 12 years and I have a 10 year old daughter and a 7 year old son. In addition to our daily routine of helping the kids with their homework, reminding them to practice their music lessons and helping them to become better soccer players, we also enjoy hiking, camping, biking and skiing. Ten years ago I became interested in Bonsai and started collecting Japanese maples. I now have a small manageable collection of uncommon maples. Shortly after I came to Genentech I began taking violin lessons. Having no prior formal training in music, a lack of any natural rhythm and an ear that could barely distinguish a sharp from a flat, has made the first 11 years of instruction challenging. Fortunately, I have a patient music instructor who teaches with the same enthusiasm and spirit I found in many of the AE fellows I met at the 1994 summit."

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