Developing New Technologies to Deliver the Best Results for the Patient
Through my long career as a professor, researcher, and in other roles, I’ve always been working in applied mathematics one way or the other.
When I first got my degree at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, I had no idea that there was such a distinct difference between pure mathematics and applied mathematics. However, throughout all my diverse experiences – from working in plasma physics to mechanics – I finally found my calling in applied mathematics in the field of oncology.
During a lecture I was giving at the Ecole Normale, one of my colleagues in the back of the room told me that the work I was doing could be applied to oncology. This is how it all started! I soon learned that people were starting to look into this area but only in an abstract way to understand the effects of the drugs or the dynamics of tumor growth, for example. It was only theoretical biology, and nothing was being done yet with real clinical data. This challenge inspired me to build a team dedicated to this in 2009.
After almost five years, we got the chance to test our algorithm in a clinical setting. While it was very exciting, we knew that we would need more support to develop a robust solution. We first met the SOPHiA team at a workshop for clinicians and researchers, and that’s when the collaboration began. To this day, SOPHiA continues to be the best place I have ever worked.
I really enjoy being able to help people in the clinical field, especially in oncology. In my current role as Vice President of Radiomics, I’m focusing on radiomic technologies analyzing medical imaging and working to couple it with genomics information. It’s a completely new approach which addresses real and current needs, but because it’s the first technology of its kind, it requires large global coordination.
My main responsibility is to interact very frequently with oncologists, physicians, and radiologists to gain a better understanding of how our technology should evolve in order to answer their needs as precisely as possible. A big part of my role is to build a future vision for how this technology can integrate with genomic data to better assess risk and treatment options. This combination of multi-omics data will ultimately lead to better outcomes for patients.
This vision to democratize Data-Driven Medicine is really what motivates me. We have a huge international footprint with people from North America, South America, Asia - all over the world! – and this creates a very inspiring dynamic in the company. Although we are very diverse in the way we think or act, everyone shares the same vision: to help support the clinical fields with our technologies to be as global as we are.
In our office in Bordeaux, I also help run activities and the teams here in the day-to-day. Recently, a couple of engineers finished a challenging project they had been working on. They were so excited and called everyone over to come have a look. The whole office joined in the celebration! It’s a wonderful feeling to have and very rare to find in the workplace. This enthusiasm exists because we all want to deliver the best results we can for the patient. It really is something beautiful.