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Peter Peumans

Peter Peumans

From Princeton and Stanford to imec’s Health Technologies Department

With a PhD in electrical engineering from Princeton University under his belt, Peter Peumans embarked on a professorship at Stanford University. The KU Leuven alumnus then moved to imec, where he is now CTO of Health Technologies. It was in this capacity that he recently wrote in the Belgian newspaper De Tijd that computer chips are constantly getting cheaper, but drugs are getting increasingly expensive. “How can we break that trend?”

For Peumans, the answer is clear: by unleashing advances in computing power on drug development. “Already today, new drugs are studied not only in vitro (in a test tube) and in vivo (in living tissue), but also in silico (with calculations on silicon chips). In the future, it will be possible to design drugs completely digitally, and from then on, we will only do it like that because it is cheaper and better. With the help of AI, we can model complex biological systems even if we don’t understand the underlying mechanisms. At the same time, AI allows us to simulate drug-body interactions better and better, so that soon only promising drugs will have to go towards further studies. That could prevent expensive failures.”

IMEC - Peter Peumans

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