Infectious diseases expert, Onyema Ogbuagu is a Nigerian-born researcher and medical doctor who is leading Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine development.
He is an associate professor of medicine at Yale University and has spent his career investigating some of the world’s most pervasive infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS and Ebola, just to name a couple.
Although the search for a vaccine for COVID-19 is still on, the team which Onyema leads at Pfizer have announced that the first vaccine they developed is up to 90% potent, a percentage which eclipses the 50% threshold for vaccines.
Some of the fastest vaccines ever developed took at least four years. However, scientists are now racing to develop one for coronavirus under a year, a deadline which Onyema and his team have beaten.
What’s more, The vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised!
The development has catapulted Onyema into the public eye and the US Mission in Nigeria recently took to its Twitter handle to celebrate him.
“Nigerians contribute to the world in so many ways. Our hats off to Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu at Yale who helped develop a COVID-19 vaccine!” it tweeted.
Nigerians contribute to the world in so many ways. Our hats off to Dr. Onyema Ogbuagbu at Yale who helped develop a COVID-19 vaccine! pic.twitter.com/DYFWHlJSFM
— U.S. Mission Nigeria (@USinNigeria) November 23, 2020
As the world awaits Pfizer to supply 50 million doses by the end of 2020, and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021, it is worthwhile to know of Ogbuagu’s background.
To start with, Mr Onyema was Born in New Haven in Connecticut, which serves as home to the Ivy League Yale University in the US,
The distinguished medical practitioner comes from good academic and brainly stock.
He is one of the twin children born to his mother Stella Ogbuagu, a professor of sociology who was the best graduating student of the 1974 class at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
Interestingly, his dad Chibuzo Ogbuagu was a former vice-chancellor of Abia State University in Eastern Nigeria.
Lest we forget, Onyema’s twin is an Engineer and there is no doubt that he/she will be a distinguished one.
Did you know that Onyema studied medicine at the University of Calabar, Cross River state, in 2003?
Upon graduating, he interned at the Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Nigeria before returning to the U.S where he also interned at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (Elmhurst).
Mr. Onyema is presently Yale principal investigator on multiple investigational therapeutic and preventative clinical trials for COVID-19, including remdesivir (now FDA approved), leronlimab and remdesivir and tocilizumab combination therapy, as well as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trial.
Did you miss him speaking on live TV? here is your chance to know the stuff he is made of.