Richard Boismenu, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer, IgGenix

Title of talk: Professor Wendy Havran – A tribute to my mentor and dear friend

Richard was one of Wendy Havran’s first post-doctoral fellows. Together, they pioneered the field of innate gamma/delta TCR T cells and defined critical roles for these cells in mucosal immune defense, inflammation and wound healing.

Before joining IgGenix, Richard served as Vice President and Head of Product Development, and Chair of the Portfolio Strategy Committee at Coherus Biosciences. Prior to this appointment, he was a Project Team Leader at Genentech, where he led programs in immunology, ophthalmology and metabolic disorder research. Before Genentech, Dr. Boismenu was Senior Director of the Immunology and Cell Biology Group at Repligen Corporation. Richard started his independent research career as an Assistant Professor of Immunology at The Scripps Research Institute where he had previously been a postdoctoral fellow in Wendy Havran’s laboratory.

“I met Wendy in 1992 shortly after we both arrived at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). She had been recruited to TSRI as an independent faculty member based on her high-profile research conducted in Jim Allison’s lab at UC Berkeley. I had joined Per Peterson’s lab as a postdoc. Wendy took me aside one day and asked me to consider joining her lab. I believe this was the result of having engaged with her in exciting (water cooler-type) conversations about the enigmatic gamma delta T cells she was so interested in. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse and, like they say, the rest is history. She became my mentor and encouraged me to always think deeply about important questions and then go design and execute the critical experiments. She would say “You can never get the time back so better focus on what can truly move the field forward… and aim for the big publications.”