Shiva Malek, PhD

Shiva Malek, PhD

Executive Director and Staff Scientist, Discovery Oncology
Genentech, Inc.
South San Francisco, California

Dr. Shiva Malek received her PhD in biochemistry from UC San Diego studying the structure and function of NF-kB/IkB protein complexes in the laboratory of Dr. Gourisankar Ghosh. Dr. Malek has over 20 years of experience in oncology research and drug discovery having held positions of increasing responsibility at biotechnology companies including Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Exelixis and Genentech. She  has spent the last 15 years at Genentech and is currently executive director of discovery oncology, a department responsible for the targeted therapy oncology portfolio at Genentech. Dr. Malek has authored/co-authored over 30 papers with her most notable work being the discovery that BRAF inhibitors paradoxically activate the MAPK pathway and enhance tumor growth in RAS mutant or RAF WT contexts. This work was selected by Nature as one of the most highly cited cancer research articles published in 2010 and one of the most important cancer papers published between 2008-2010. Since then her lab has continued to make important contributions to the field including defining the mechanism of action of MEK inhibitors, the discovery of BRAF-MEK complexes in RAS mutant tumors and the mechanism of oncogenic deletion mutations in BRAF, HER2 and EGFR. Her own lab continues to focus on understanding how catalytic and non-catalytic functions of RAF kinases regulate cancer signaling in RAF and RAS mutant tumors. She is particularly passionate about developing novel, transformative therapies for RAS mutant cancers. Dr. Malek actively mentors a number of early career scientists and has spoken about the importance of mentorship in the “Portraits in Science” editorial series titled “The Gift of Mentorship” http://www.gene.com/stories/the-gift-of-mentorship?topic=portraits-in-science).