As director of innovation networks at UCB, Dr. Luiz Miguel Camargo helps identify tools that researchers use to discover transformative medicines. Camargo’s work at UCB focuses on neurological and immunological disorders, and in his role, he helps UCB take advantage of new developments in the field, including gene editing, analytics and microbiome technologies.
The Driving Force
From early childhood, Camargo had an interest in science, drawn by the idea that he could help produce medicines to treat infectious diseases – a widespread problem in places like his native country, Brazil. This passion to discover cures led him to pursue work as a biopharmaceutical researcher. Further, his personal experience with disease motivates him to come to work every day to help solve medicine’s toughest problems, such as his son’s severe food allergies. “If I can help discover medications that not necessarily cure, but improve my son’s quality of life, I’ve made a step forward,” he says.
Challenges, Chances and Looking Forward
The most challenging part of Camargo’s work today is the process of parsing out which technologies are ready to help find treatments, and which technologies are not yet workable solutions to assist in biopharmaceutical research. One area that excites him is computer science. “Now, we can look at data in a different way, which is redefining disease and having a better, more holistic view of the patient. This is going to allow great changes, not only in how we discover medicines, but also in how we can improve care.”
Camargo says he’s inspired by the fact that the advances in treatment have the potential to reach every person and provide value in a unique way. “We all know there will be a certain number of people that will develop Alzheimer’s. We all know there are a certain number of people who may suffer from schizophrenia, or others that will be born and grow up with food allergies. We know all of these things. Our challenge is this: How do we find medicines or other ways of treating these patients? Disease is something that we all live with one way or another, either hidden or explicit. The potential to affect that many people is why I am in this business.”
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