Antibody and small-molecule drugs, as well as big data applications, will remain at the center of biomedical research, International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology president-elect Andrew Wang (王惠鈞) said.
The union is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1955.
Wang was speaking about the future of biomedical technology in an interview with the Central News Agency, in which he encouraged local scientists to find the right direction if they devote themselves to antibody drug research and development.
Biomedicine is an emerging sector that has attracted many scientists around the world, said Wang, a visiting chairman of the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s top academic research institution.
Wang said researchers should seek new techniques, citing the example of Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer Doudna and Zhang Feng (張鋒), the trio who shared the Tang Prize for biopharmaceutical science last year.
They were honored for the development of CRISPR/Cas9, a genome editing tool that enables geneticists and medical researchers to edit DNA using a technique that has the potential for a wide range of applications, the Tang Prize Foundation said.
CRISPR/Cas9 was a big breakthrough that could significantly affect research, even going as far as biological transformation, Wang said.
“In the future, cell therapies will become very important,” Wang said.
In addition to antibody and small-molecule drug research, changes to treatment methods are a direction that local scientists can also turn to, Wang said.
The results of big data analysis related to health insurance practices can be applied in the precision medicine sector, he said.
The Tang Prize awards were established by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) in 2012 to honor people who have made significant contributions in the fields of sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology and rule of law.
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