In our ongoing Dream Team Profiles series, we shine a spotlight on the remarkable individuals within our organization. Today, we're thrilled to introduce you to University of Toronto Computer Engineering major Luis Antunes, our Artificial Intelligence Research Intern.

Luis’s transformation from a bright-eyed co-op student and Artificial Intelligence Research Intern to a pioneering force in AI technology at Compugen exemplifies the essence of innovation and perseverance. And his journey from Portugal to Canada, navigating diverse cultural landscapes and educational experiences, has equipped him with a unique perspective and a tenacity to tackle challenges head-on. 

Background + Journey tmp_a26ca447-326d-48b1-9b14-bb03cb17fa6b (1)

Hailing from Portugal, Luis's journey to Compugen is a tale of multicultural experiences and unwavering determination.  

"Growing up in Portugal, I was immersed in an international environment, having studied at an English-speaking school which prepared me well for global opportunities,” says Luis. “This foundation led me to pursue higher education abroad, and I chose the University of Toronto for its esteemed Computer Engineering program and vibrant multicultural community." 

Key Lessons + Career Growth 

"I quickly learned that things move a bit slower here (in the private sector) than at university because of all the security rules we must follow,” says Luis. “It was a big change from school, where I could just get started on things right away. At Compugen, I had to follow a process and stay busy while waiting for the permissions I needed.  

Despite the initial challenges of life at a near billion-dollar revenue company, Luis embraced the opportunity to learn and grow, recognizing that patience and adaptability are key to navigating corporate environments.  

Dream, Design, Deliver Philosophy 

Luis embodies the essence of Compugen's philosophy, translating bold dreams into tangible realities.  

"It starts with dreaming up innovative solutions — like the time we envisioned an in-house AI platform tailored to our client's needs,” explains Luis. “This dream phase is all about big ideas and imagining what could be. From there, we shift into design, where those ideas take form."  

Luis's commitment to the 'Dream. Design. Deliver.' framework speaks to his passion for innovation and his dedication to creating value for clients through cutting-edge technological solutions. It’s also an easy way to stand out to your managers at Compugen. 

Drive to Succeed 

Fueled by a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of technology, Luis's passion for innovation knows no bounds. And it’s that passion that will, ultimately, prove to be the key to Luis’s success. 

"It’s amazing to think about how much we rely on technology today — like AI," says Luis. “This belief in tech’s potential pushed me to build an AI tool all by myself in just half a year." 

Luis's interest in AI development led him to create an in-house portable solution that allows Compugen to deploy its own AI model in whatever way it sees fit. One shining example of this innovative tool's application is its integration with email to automatically answer employees' benefit questions. 

"We created it because we saw a need in the market for something like this, and we had clients of Compugen asking for solutions like this," explains Luis.  

The experience was extremely valuable since he got to develop a solution from start to finish and closely work with the client to adjust it to their needs.   

Advice for Co-op Students 

To aspiring co-op students, Luis offers invaluable advice born out of his own journey.  

"One thing I'd tell co-op students is to believe in your own ideas and speak up,” explains Luis. “When I first started, I was quiet, but I quickly learned that it's important to get involved."  

Luis’s story demonstrates the importance of seizing opportunities and embracing challenges as catalysts for growth. Conversely, it shows that Compugen’s leadership recognizes talent and nurtures it at all levels of the organization.  

Luis’s advice serves as a guiding light for those embarking on their own professional journeys, reminding them that success lies not just in technical expertise but in the courage to dream big and take advantage of the opportunities presented. 

Balance + Personal Pursuits 

Beyond his role at Compugen, Luis finds fulfillment in community involvement and personal passions. 

"Maintaining this balance is important because it enriches my life beyond the professional realm," he says. 

Luis really cares about his community and improving himself. He believes in balancing passion with purpose in life. He's all about preserving culture and using technology to make life better for people, locally and globally. 

He's president of the University of Toronto Portuguese Student Association (UTPA) and is part of a Portuguese folk band called Luso-Can Tuna. As part of the UTPA, Luis and his team raise over $10,000 yearly to provide scholarships to students in the community in need. 


If Luis could choose any superpower to excel in his role at Compugen, it would be the ability to instantly learn and apply new technologies.  

"In the ever-evolving field of computer engineering and AI, the rapid pace of technological advancement presents both a challenge and an opportunity," says Luis. “Having the superpower of accelerated learning would allow me to stay ahead of the curve, rapidly assimilating complex information, and new skills.” 

Luis's desire to stay ahead of the curve and embrace emerging technologies is very on brand with his innovative spirit and his commitment to pushing the boundaries of what's possible. His superpower of accelerated learning would not only enhance his effectiveness as an AI professional, but also inspire those around him to embrace change and strive for continuous improvement in their own endeavours.  

Vision for the Future 

Looking ahead to the back half of 2024 and beyond, Luis is excited about the limitless possibilities on the horizon. His optimism and forward-thinking mindset, coupled with his dedication to excellence, serve as a driving force behind his success, inspiring those around him to embrace change and harness the power of innovation to shape a better future. His vision for the future serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration, reminding us all that with passion and perseverance, anything is possible. 

Explore Our Dream Team   

If you enjoyed learning about Luis, we invite you to dive into our past Dream Team profiles featuring other remarkable individuals within our organization.   

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