Darin J. Messina, who holds 75 patents, oversees research and development at Allergan’s 54-acre campus, which specializes in novel biologics, pharmaceuticals and skin-care products. Among other things, Messina’s team is working on a game-changing technology that treats the underlying cause of dermal aging to restore skin to a youthful appearance. Allergan (now a division of AbbVie) opened in Irvine in 1966 as a provider of eye-care products, helping to make Irvine a world leader in ophthalmology. Messina spoke to us about innovation in Irvine and his role as senior vice president of aesthetics and research and development.
What are you passionate about?
I love that science is at the core of everything we do. I see firsthand the impact our products make on people’s lives, empowering confidence and allowing individuals to feel their very best. That’s really what matters.
Among your 75 patents related to stem cells, regenerative biomaterials and aesthetic medicine, which do you consider your greatest triumph?
To pick one invention or discovery is like picking your favorite child. You can’t do it! I think of my patent portfolio as moving the needle more holistically in the field of regenerative medicine with the ultimate aim of restoring tissue form and function. Like the innovators before me, and those who will come after me, it’s together as a community of scientists and clinicians that we are more likely to solve intractable diseases and enhance people’s quality of life. I’m just appreciative to be a contributor to this endeavor.
“To be somewhere like Irvine – where entrepreneurial spirit is so present and palpable – that kind of environment helps me and my team work smarter and supports our drive to innovate. ” –Darin J. Messina
What gets you excited to go into work every day?
I get to work with people I care for and respect while having the opportunity to continually learn from them. We have team members with such diverse skill sets and expertise, all committed to achieving our mission. Working together, I firmly believe we have the intellectual firepower to innovate in ways that others cannot.
As someone immersed in innovation, how does Irvine’s entrepreneurial spirit help?
I am inspired by the people I am surrounded by. To be somewhere like Irvine – where entrepreneurial spirit is so present and palpable – that kind of environment helps me and my team work smarter and supports our drive to innovate. We are fortunate to be living in a technology hotbed. This, in turn, supports strong talent recruitment.