Meghna Das ThakurSenior Scientist, Oncology Biomarker Development at Genentech
Dr. Meghna Das Thakur received her Ph.D from Washington University in St Louis in 2010 where she studied the Role of Ajuba LIM proteins as negative regulators of the Hippo growth-signaling pathway. Dr. Das Thakur then moved to California and did a joint research project at Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research and UCSF as a Presidential Posdoctoral candidate where she generated preclinical melanoma models to study acquired resistance to BRAF and MEK inhibitors, and developed methods of forestalling the onset of resistance by altering dosing regimens which has since been tested in the clinic. In 2013 she took on a Scientist role in Novartis where she led efforts to build GEMM and Patient Derived Xenografts models to generate clinically relevant resistance to targeted therapies.
Dr. Das Thakur has been a part of Genentech’s Oncology Biomarkers group since May 2014 and has been the Biomarker lead for the Innovative Pediatric Oncology Drug Development (IPODD) program. In this role, she worked towards building an internal knowledge base for pediatric diseases through collaborations and leveraging past (Avastin) and ongoing (Cancer Immunotherapy and Targeted inhibitor) pediatric trials to develop and execute comprehensive biomarker strategies that are specific to pediatric diseases.
Since then Dr. Das Thakur worked on the Cancer immunotherapy combination Ph1b trials which led to ongoing registrational trials in CRC and melanoma. In addition she was on a Phase 1b combination clinical trials platform where her focus was on GI disease area strategies with a goal to propose novel immunotherapy combinations. To this end, beyond her biomarker work on trials she has been working on CRC, Gastric Cancer and Pancreatic Cancer datasets from internal trials and through external collaborations allowing her to dissect their disease biology and help inform new combinations in these hard to treat indications.
In the three years, Dr. Das Thakur has been leading the Biomarker efforts for a Molecule called CEA-TCB that binds T-cells and tumour cells simultaneously. CEA-TCB was studied in patients with carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-positive solid tumours, including microsatellite stable (MSS) metastatic colorectal cancers (mCRC) that overexpress CEA. She is now researching predictive biomarkers and the pharmacodynamics of this drug in ongoing clinical trials.