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You’d think that facing down some of the toughest, most challenging diseases to date would scare some people. The unpredictability, the unknowable, is not to be taken lightly when developing life-saving treatments. But at AbbVie, researchers know there’s a specific kind of joy they take in the uncertainty of their work. They thrill at the possibility that every day presents a totally different, and often unprecedented, challenge. It turns out, there’s no real way to predict anything in the lab. AbbVie’s R&D teams understand this truth on a deep level, knowing that their mission is to chart completely unexplored scientific territory and to chase down the unknown.

Vox Media’s Epic Stories and The Explainer Studio dug into the fearlessness and determination of AbbVie researchers to find medical treatments for all types of diseases. Watch and read on to get a behind-the-scenes look at AbbVie’s R&D team: how they overcome obstacles in pursuit of a cure for river blindness, how they operate in the shadow of failure, and more.