department of pharmacology


AVisvha Dixit, Ph.D.

Vice-President, Research
Early Discovery Research Department
Genentech, Inc.
S. San Francisco, CA

Dixit's pioneering studies defined the biochemical framework illuminating many of the key components of the cell death pathway. He identified numerous proteins in the cell death cascade and determined how they functioned at a molecular level. It was previously thought that receptors signal either by serving as ion channels or by altering phosphorylation-dephosphorylation events. Work in the Dixit laboratory conclusively showed that death domain containing receptors signal apoptosis by an entirely new mechanism, specifically, the adapter (FADD) mediated recruitment and activation of death proteases (caspase-8).