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Abigail Grosskopf (PhD ‘22) | Alumni Spotlight

Abigail Grosskopf





Abigail Grosskopf

Ph.D. ‘22
Chemical Engineering
Academic advisor: Professor Eric Appel

What have you been up to since Stanford?

I defended my PhD a little over a year ago in May 2022, after studying with Professor Eric Appel. Since then, I have been working as a Senior Scientist at Genentech Research and Development in South San Francisco. I work with teams of scientists to develop therapies from the initial stages of a drug candidate all the way to a complete treatment that can be administered to patients in clinical trials. My primary focus is on biologics, such as antibodies and cellular therapies. We optimize the engineering of the biologics and the dosing to achieve optimal pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and ultimately efficacy for a given indication. This process involves running many in vitro cell assays, preclinical studies, and physiological models and simulations to fully understand the processes at play before bringing the therapy to humans. At Genentech, I also have the opportunity to publish fundamental findings and ideas that emerge from our work.

I have also been busy planning my wedding! My fiancé Tony (whom I got to know through Rains graduate student housing at Stanford) and I will be getting married this coming September.

What’s your fondest memory about your time at Stanford?

I have many fond memories of Stanford! During my early days in grad school, I enjoyed planning creative events for ChemE with my roommate and fellow ChemE, Eva de la Serna, as part of the action committee. It was our way of decompressing after all the demanding problem sets and exams during the first year of ChemE. I also loved skiing at Lake Tahoe on many weekends during the winters. The Stanford ski team has a great cabin in Tahoe that makes it very convenient. 

I was also fortunate to travel to many conferences and courses across the country and abroad to share my work and gain inspiration from other researchers. These experiences taught me a lot about effective communication to diverse audiences and allowed me to visit some pretty cool locations. In particular, I’ll always remember my adventurous experience at Gerry Fuller’s summer rheology course at Peking University in Beijing.

Above all, I will always miss the exploratory days in the lab, trying new experiments, waiting for exciting results, and spending long, happy hours with my labmates. It was really the ideal nurturing and liberating environment for me to dive deep into my research field and allow my ideas to materialize into reality.

Can you share any advice with our current students or postdocs?

Savor your time at Stanford! The unique intellectual atmosphere it provides is unparalleled. Embrace the opportunity to meet a diverse group of brilliant students, making lifelong friendships and connections. Engage with student organizations, explore new hobbies, and soak in the campus—take bike rides past the palm trees and grab some food outside with your friends at Treehouse or Jimmy V's.

This article is part of the Department of Chemical Engineering Alumni Spotlight series designed to highlight the impact and trajectory of the work of our alumni. Stanford University does not endorse any non-Stanford entities, programs, products, or services listed in the article.

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