My name is Ivar Johann Kljavin. I am a scientist at Genentech working as a neuroscientist in the field of eye research. I started working here about 6 months ago after completing my postdoctoral training at the University of California at Berkeley.
I was born in Long Island New York in 1960, but quickly, very quickly at only a few months of age moved to Boise Idaho which I consider my first home. Just after 6th grade I moved to the mountains of Northern Idaho, to a small city called Coeur D' Alene. Snow skiing, water skiing, the mountains, more snow skiing and soccer was my life throughout high school and the local college years. Then, off to the University of Oregon, for more soccer, skiing and actually some intense studying and decision making regarding what kind of science I was going to do. Actually, I had a goofy thought about medicine which was quickly lost after working as a certified nursing assistant for one summer changing bed pans. So, off to the lab -- as an undergraduate I started working on retinal development in a laboratory within the Institute of Molecular Biology at the U of O where I also completed a Masters degree. Following this work I went off to Children's Hospital at Harvard Medical School in Boston for a few years to direct an electron microscope laboratory. My research in Boston was concerned with characterizing retinal mutations in mice and nerve regeneration within the peripheral nervous system. Then, back to the great North West where I completed my Ph.D. program at the University of Calgary in Alberta and University of Washington in Seattle. In addition to building Igloos (seriously, I did) and learning to luge (ridding a sled down an ice track like a mad man), I continued to work on the retina. I actually combined my research experiences in Boston of nerve regeneration and retinal degenerations to try figuring out how to regrow synaptic connections of photoreceptor cells following injury.
Now at Genentech my laboratory continues to focus on retinal disease and injury in terms of how best to delay the loss of vision due to cell death. I also spend time trying to keep up with a 5 year boy and 30-something year old wife. I still ski -- but no more luge for me!
Science Seminars Archive