Dr. Grace Wong's Biography

Dr. Grace Wong has worked for Genentech, Millennium, AstraZeneca and Serono on new drug discovery in a variety of therapeutic areas. Dr. Wong did a PhD under Dr. John Schrader and Sir Gus Nossal at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia. She was the first scientist to discover that interferon-g (IFN-g) but not IFN-a induces expression of Class II-MHC on mast cells (PNAS. 79: 6989) and in the brain (Nature 310: 688). In the US, Dr. Wong did a postdoc with Dr. David Goeddel (who cloned and expressed human insulin, GH, TPA and IFNs) at Genentech. Dr. Wong was the first to discover that TNF and IL-1 induce manganese superoxide dismutase gene (Science 242: 941) which is essential for protecting cells from oxidative stress (Cell 58: 923). After promotion to Scientist at Genentech, she successfully shepherded basic research discoveries to product development with Dr. Gordon Vehar. Dr. Wong became the Head of Apoptosis Research at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and identified drug resistance genes using functional genomics.

Dr. Wong then joined AstraZeneca as Section Head of Molecular Genetics and identified genes regulated by b-amyloid in Alzheimer's disease. Since AstraZeneca was moving to Delaware, Dr. Wong joined Serono as Head of Functional Genomics, worked with Dr. Jim Strickler and Dr. Steve Arkinstall and discovered genes regulated by FSH, LH and HCG and in women’s diseases. She has been awarded 13 scholarships in Asia and received 5 Recognition Awards from Genentech. She was invited to present at 203 international conferences including the Nobel Symposium (Sweden, 1994).

She has published 93 papers (including 12 Nature, 1 Science, 3 Cell, 5 PNAS and 7 J. Immunol) and is an inventor on 28 patents. Dr. Wong founded ActoKine Therapeutics to discover new drugs for cancer, CNS and viral diseases (www.actokine.com), founded Student Vision (www.studentvision.org), www.soleluna.us and Nobel-Pauling (www.pauling.us, www.nobel-pauling.org) to inspire students in biotechnology. Dr. Wong organizes Nobel-Pauling Biotech Dim Sum Symposium to give foreign students, post-docs and scientists who cannot be with their families for Christmas or thanksgiving days, the opportunity to gather together and share the holiday for advice from academia, biotech & pharma experts (seminar fee is always $ 0).

Mentors at Genentech and Millennium