Published October 17, 2019 / All Stories
The origin story of AbbVie’s top scientist
At AbbVie, there is only one Dr. Tom Hudson – the new Senior Vice President of R&D and Chief Scientific Officer.
However, in 1996 at the McGill University Health Centre there were four Dr. Hudsons – there was Tom (new faculty member), and three of his sisters who were medical residents in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology and Public Health. All at the same time, at the same hospital.
“They would page Dr. Hudson and more than one would show up,” says Tom Hudson, who has six sisters, including a twin sister, who were all drawn to science professions predominantly in the health care sector. “There wasn’t any pressure to be in this field. My dad was a scientist and we were encouraged to be curious and do something that matters.”
Dr. Hudson is still curious. An internationally renowned Canadian genome scientist, he was a pioneer in mapping the human genome. Before that he was a physician who specialized in immune-related diseases who was then drawn to genome research and the genetic drivers that cause human diseases, including cancer. And even before that, he was “Patricia’s twin” or “Marie’s brother” who, as a kid, wanted to be an astronaut but who also happened to be pretty good at racking up science fair awards.
Dr. Hudson brings all these experiences with him every day when walks through his office door at AbbVie. We caught up with him to find out how these past experiences influence his role leading AbbVie’s R&D organization. How does he harness the brain power of almost 9,000 talented scientists located all over the world to try and find new and better treatments for patients?
Well, for one thing, he knew you were going to ask that question.
Tom Hudson starts meetings prepared and ready to listen.
You can thank his sisters for that.