Distinguished Speaker

Robert Tjian, Tularik. “Forty + Years of Lessons and Experiences in Biotech: From Genentech/Tularik to Eikon/Lyterian and The Column Group”

Robert Tjian, co-founder, Tularik

Robert Tjian is an esteemed molecular biologist and geneticist who has contributed significantly to our understanding of gene regulation and transcriptional control. He is currently a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Tjian began his career as a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University, where he pioneered research on gene expression regulation. He later became a member of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where he established a research program aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying gene regulation.

He served as the co-founder and scientific advisor for Tularik, a biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Amgen in 2004. Tjian worked at Tularik on the development of several novel drug discovery programs focusing on cancer, inflammation, and metabolic diseases. He was instrumental in the development of several lead compounds, including T131 and T144, which targeted the Rho kinase pathway and demonstrated promise in preclinical studies for the treatment of glaucoma.

Tjian has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to molecular biology and drug discovery, including the National Medal of Science, the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine, and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.