Scientist, Sr. Managing Leader, Lily

Nov 28, 2023
Scientist, Sr. Managing Leader, Lily

Dr. Hugo Caicedo is a Sr. Director in the Accelerated R&D Leadership Program at Eli Lilly and Company. His current role is within the Clinical Laboratory Sciences organization in support of drug development and decentralized clinical trials. He is part of an elite group of emerging leaders with strong acumen in biomedical sciences, clinical development, and business management. With strong sponsorship from C-Suite Executives, they contribute to shaping and executing Lilly’s long-term growth strategy.

What is the highest degree you have earned and what can you tell us about your academic path?

I hold a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering (focused on Molecular Neuroscience) from the University of Illinois at Chicago & Sorbonne Université in Paris, a postdoctoral research fellowship from Harvard Medical School, and a Fellowship in Business Administration from MIT. My bachelor was in engineering from the Universidad del Valle in Cali (Colombia), but I never practiced engineering. In graduate school, I got more interested in biomedical sciences and their applications to human biology, human health, and preventive medicine. Overall, I am interested in the intersection of enterprise strategy and R&D.

Where do you work now and what is your company about?

I work at Eli Lilly and Company. A focused biopharma company that creates medicines that make life better for people around the world. Our four focused areas are Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolism; Neuroscience; Oncology; and Immunology.

How did you first learn about the company?

I am also interested in history. In 1982, Lilly gave birth to the Biotech industry with the first ever commercially approved biologic: Human insulin.

What do you like most about the company?

The purpose of the company. Today, once again, Lilly is rewriting medical history with modern science and solutions for clinical medicine. I also like the emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in everything we do.

What skills make you successful in your role and why did you choose this role?

A set of hard and soft skills. Hard skills include topnotch technical knowledge and subject-matter expertise. Soft skills include EQ, perspective, mindset, cultural openness, resocialization flexibility. All of which have informed and shaped my leadership style. I chose this role because I feel I am equipped to make an impact and I want to continue my leadership journey with the best professionals in the best environment in the biopharma industry.

How do you define success?

Success is not a zero-sum competition with winners and losers. Success is a win-win situation where all key stakeholders win. Depending on the context, key timed-bound performance indicators need to be defined and measured against a baseline.

What's the most fulfilling aspect of your job?

Three things: The purpose of the company, the opportunity for career progression, and the people I work with.

What advice do you have for students and job seekers?

First off, be kind. Then, be ambitious. Identify your purpose in life sooner than later; recognize your strengths, weaknesses, and close the gap; don’t be afraid of making mistakes; learn from those mistakes -quickly- and don’t repeat them; find your internal fuel and keep moving forward and upward.

What book did you read last?

Deep Medicine by Eric Topol, The Autobiography of Malcom X (re-read), and The 50th Law by 50 Cent (yes, the rapper) and Robert Greene.