My name is Andrew Cuthbertson. I am a Senior Scientist at Genentech where I have been working in the two fields of gene therapy and eye research for about three years.
I am originally from Australia, where I was born in the south-eastern city of Melbourne in the state of Victoria in 1955. After becoming more serious about my studies towards the end of high school I did my MD degree and began working as an Intern at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, while continuing to study towards my Board exams in ophthalmology. Although I had always imagined that I would become a clinical ophthalmologist, treating eye diseases in the operating room and in the clinic, I became more and more interested in basic science research, and embarked on a PhD program. Four years later, with two doctorates but no job, I had to make the big decision to either return to clinical practice or pursue a basic science research career. I chose the latter, and went on to do a post-doctoral fellowship in Australia, studying the molecular developmental biology of the eye, and then moved to the National Eye Institute, at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, where I worked for 3 more years doing bench molecular biology studies of eye disease.
In 1992 I moved here to Genentech as a Senior Scientist where I have maintained a great interest in the application of molecular biology and biotechnology to treating some of the common, but untreatable, causes of human blindness. I have a laboratory of two technicians and a post-doctoral fellow, and we divide their time between our work on the technology for human gene therapy, and studying novel treatments for human eye disease.