Upward Move: Christopher Rhodes
Christopher Rhodes, Ph.D., VP, cardiovascular and metabolic disease research, MedImmune
As the newly appointed VP, cardiovascular and metabolic disease research for MedImmune, Christopher Rhodes says that even in the hard science of drug discovery and development there's plenty of artistry to be found. And if he traces the steps that have lead him to his new role, it's been equal parts passion and creativity.
“I come from a musical family,” he recalls, “and attended the University of London for its vibrant 1980s music scene. I soon put my passion aside when I started research in type I diabetes.
“Looking back now, my artistic background made me the researcher I am today by allowing me to bring creative ideas to science. Passion and creativity are keys to success. You must enjoy what you do to put in the hours necessary.”
He adds that some of his best ideas have come to him while on vacation.
And it's not too difficult to stay passionate when you're working to develop medicines for one of the most prolific diseases in the world.
“Cardiovascular and metabolic disease is said to be the worst disease of our time, with nearly half a billion people projected to have type 2 diabetes worldwide within the next few years,” he explains. “We are studying the potential of a single therapeutic biologic that can help an individual suffering from diabetes lose weight and also improve their lipid profile and insulin sensitivity.”
Although MedImmune is part of a bigger drugmaker, it retains that start-up feel, he says. “MedImmune is firm in holding on to a biotech mentality where science comes first and leads to the development of medicines that help people. People come here to work hard and you can see that they love what they do.”