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Meet The Teaching Team

The teaching team for Leeches consist of two Genentech Scientists

Bob Lazarus, Ph.D. writes...

"I am a Senior Scientist in the Department of Protein Engineering at Genentech, where I have carried out basic research in various fields of biochemistry for the past 12 years. I was born in Canton, Ohio and alwaysenjoyed math and science at Glenwood high school as well as playing just about every sport."

"I received my B.S. from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where I majored in chemistry and minored in lots of fun (it was a work-hard play, kind of place). I somewhat regrettably gave up being on the golf team because of having Saturday chemistry labs. I graded in 1974 with high honors and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. I decided to go to Penn State for graduate school (I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do and this seemed like the path of least resistance), where I received a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1979. I then did several years of postdoctoral work -- studying physical organic chemistry and enzyme mechanisms. I then came to Genentech, my first "real job," where I joined the Biocatalysis department -- a group of diverse scientists working towards applying recombinant DNA technology to make specialty chemicals. I worked on a new microbial converso of glucose to vitamin C for about 5 years and then worked on new methods for discovering and developing antiplatelet, anticoagulant, and anti-inflammatory drugs. I have also recently been studying fundamental aspect of DNase, one of our products used for people having cystic fibrosis. I currently have a group of seven people who work with me and have "taught" many college students over the years via our summer intern program."

"I've always thought the most important element of doing science is curiosity -- wondering how things work. I like to work on all kinds of problems and enjoy working with people. I like to think I have a good sense of humor. I like to spend my spare time with my family (wife --#!#, stepsons -- 25,23, & 19, son -- 5, and 1 dog -- 4months) and still enjoy most sports, hiking/camping, and gardening."

Kevin Judice, Ph.D. writes...

"I was born and, for the most part, raised in the East Texas town of Port Arthur. I had the good fortune to run into a collection of outstanding teachers in high school (Port Arthur Thomas Jefferson), and they more than anything else influenced my decision to pursue a career in science."

"I honestly can't remember having much interest in chemistry as a child; I was fascinated by space travel and meteorology, and could recite heaps of arcane data from both areas on demand, but I never spent a second with a "chemistry set". When I got to high school, a trio of phenomenal individuals began to shape my views of the world and the role of science in it: Martha Butler (biology), Jack Sell (chemistry), and Bill Tolar (physics). It is impossible to over estimate the influence that these people had in my life."

"Nearly 15 years after the fact, I can remember vividly their enthusiasm for both teaching and science, and the way it made me look at the physical world around me. For example, to a novice surfer like myself Tolar's lab on the diffraction behavior of water waves--using equipment he built and maintained himself--left me with a much better understanding of wave behavior in both the abstract and the concrete. Likewise our labs and lectures on friction, acceleration, and motion gave me a lot to think about while driving around, which at that point was also a relatively new experience."

"Ms. Butler's fruit fly genetics labs brought home numerous important points about evolution, which was not an easy subject to teach given the political climate in small-town Texas. I still remember the visual aids we employed to discuss peptide bond formation on ribosomes, and to this day my knowledge of mammalian cell structure (organelles, etc.) is primarily derived from her class. Considering I had several (largely forgettable) biology classes in college, that's saying something."

"My experience in Jack Sell's labs as both a student and a lab assistant might best be described as making up for the time not spent playing with weird chemicals as a child. I remember the many after-school impromptu experiments conducted under the droll, somewhat bemused supervision of Mr. Sell as being much more fun than the regularly scheduled material. Perhaps that is how I would up staying in chemistry this long. In any case, I never would have arrived here without Mr. Sell's encouragement and gentle prodding to compete for a very nice scholarship, which ultimately paid most of my way through college."

"Armed with that scholarship I attended Texas A&M, graduating in 1985 with a BS in Chemistry. After completing graduate work in Organic Chemistry at UCLA, I went on to a postdoc in Molecular Biology at Berkeley and finally settled here at Genentech."

During my off hours I surf, ski, play basketball, and--just as I did years ago to Jack Sell's continual chagrin--fritter away countless hours making paper airplanes.


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