The IBD Drug Discovery and Development Unit's (IBD3) team is composed of research-scientists and clinicians with experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, as well as clinical research.

Our team's diverse background ensures we understand the biotech industry's needs for drug development and creates better coordination and fosters interdisciplinary cooperation to advance the discovery and sharing of cutting-edge knowledge to improve the lives of individuals living with inflammatory bowel disease.

Lab Leadership: From left to right:
Dr. Stephan Targan, Dr. Janine Bilsborough, and
Dr. Dermot McGovern.

Janine Bilsborough, PhD
Head of IBD Drug Development Unit

Dr. Janine Bilsborough is leading the IBD3 Drug Discovery and Development Unit's activities. She worked in the biotech/biopharma industry for more than 12 years. Her role in the industry included directing both discovery research and drug development teams in their efforts to develop therapeutics for diseases such as atopic dermatitis, asthma, systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) and inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Bilsborough has a PhD in immunology from the University of Queensland, Australia, and is focused on the development of successful therapeutics for inflammatory diseases.


Pearl Gray, PhD
Project Scientist

Dr. Pearl Gray received her Master's degree and PhD from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. Her interests focus on the identification of novel mechanisms involved in signal transduction in order to curtail excessive activation of the host's innate immune response against infectious microorganisms. Dr. Gray's current research is focused on the molecular mechanisms of inflammatory bowel disease.


Marie Bowsman
Senior Research Specialist

Marie Bowsman earned an MBA and MS in biotechnology from California State University, Channel Islands. She has 13 years of in vivo biology experience, including six years in the pathology department of a leading biopharmaceutical company. Marie specializes in the development of preclinical models within a variety of disease areas, including inflammatory bowel disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, diabetes and angiogenesis.


Bradley Henkle
Research Specialist

Brad Henkle has more than 15 years of laboratory experience, including 11 years in biotech. During his tenure in biotech, he developed primary human immune cell assays supporting drug development for inflammatory diseases. Brad has a bachelor’s degree in physiology and cell biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.


Yoichi Kakuta, MD, PhD
Visiting Postdoctoral Scientist

Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Yoichi Kakuta earned both his medical and doctorate degrees in internal medicine from Tohoku University in Japan.  From 2008-2011, while conducting research at Tohoku University Hospital, he was also a clinician specializing in IBD. His research interests are focused on understanding the effects of genetic polymorphisms for pathogenesis as well as prognosis and responses to drugs in IBD patients. His most recent project focuses on the disease association and functional analyses of TNFSF15 gene in the IBD population.

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