Scientists Rock! is a monthly Q&A where we pull an AbbVie scientist out of the lab to hear what makes them tick. This month, we chat with Gavin Daigle, Ph.D., senior scientist, Cambridge Research Center, AbbVie. Whether tearing up his mom’s azalea bushes to create a makeshift laboratory, or secretively spicing up family dishes, Gavin’s passion for experimentation began at a very early age. These days, his determination to advance science remains alive and well. The only difference … now, he has the most state of the art tools to aid in his quest.
Tell us the story of how you fell in love with science.
During undergraduate studies, I stumbled upon a geneticist studying movement disorder using fruit flies. With no experience, I convinced her to train me. I remember being super excited about contributing to a purpose even if I was just doing general lab maintenance. Pretty soon after, I gained her trust and was allowed to set up my first genetic experiment where I mated two different fruit fly lines. The result should yield offspring that express a green fluorescent protein in the fly brain. With offspring in hand, I took the vial of flies to a dark room, placed them under the blue light, and found my first experiment glowing.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to become a doctor. In primary school, I would cure my fellow classmates of their tummy aches and pains. I’m happy that I actually did become a doctor, with the skills to advance science that has the potential to alleviate human suffering.
What keeps you coming to work every day?
The excitement of discovery is a driving force. I also have the privilege of working with incredibly brilliant people all passionately seeking breakthrough therapies that treat the underlying cause of a disease that affects millions of people.