Posted by News Express | 22 May 2021 | 782 times
By EMMANUEL OGEBE, Los Angeles, US
Zion Umar, the only daughter of slain Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Secretary for Borno State, has been challenged along with her fellow graduates in US to stop the next pandemic after coronavirus.
The Keynote Speaker at their convocation ceremony last weekend in Los Angeles,
Dr Bill Gruber, MD Senior VP of Vaccine Clinical Research and Development for Pfizer, charged the graduands to “Pay down your debt (and not just the money).”
“As each of us acquires knowledge we accumulate a debt that we should pay down.
What can you do to pay down your debt? Add to the knowledge of Applied Life Sciences,” he told Zion and other graduands.
Dr Gruber who was in charge of developing the life-saving vaccine against the COVID-19 with Nigerian-born UNICAL graduate, Dr Onyema Ogbuagu, asked the class of 2021 to “Think big but backwards. President Kennedy said, “We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy but because it is hard.”
He encouraged Zion and co to, “Set an ambitious goal in the future and then work backwards to achieve it. We chose to develop a COVID vaccine... What is your goal?”
He advised them to “Forge lifelong personal scientific relationships” adding that he used relationships forged over 50 years to bring the COVID vaccine to market – “people you taught or worked with. Who can you identify that challenges you to do your best?”
He concluded, “Try to find a success to recognize each day.”
Also addressing the graduates, the President of the institution, Dr Sheldon Schuster, lamented that in the beginning of the pandemic, people attacked science and politicized preventive steps.
He commended the institution’s staff who reorganized tuition to go online in just five days without interruption to classes in response to the lockdown.
He also commended the graduates whose impassioned plea for in person graduation caused the institution to switch back from a virtual ceremony. He disclosed that although it normally takes a year to plan a graduation ceremony, the current one was done in just 60 days.
He said the Students Fundraised to assist the vulnerable, wrote a book and spoke on TV in response to the COVID19 pandemic.
Dr Schuster warned that Viruses were one of the biggest threats to the world and asked the graduates to stop the next pandemic. He said that next time there should be “no health workers with baggage bags over their heads.”
Zion Umar was among several Nigerians and other Africans who graduated with Master’s and Doctorate degrees.
As part of their course credit, they worked at global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer credited with being one of the companies that saved the world from the ongoing pandemic.
In her profile, Zion describes herself as an “Enthusiastic life sciences professional with experience and extensive knowledge in Applied Sciences, Eager to contribute to team success, support clinical trials, product development, and implement product launches by leveraging and enhancing my project management, communication, and organizational skills. Highly motivated to quickly learn and adopt new processes in a fast-paced work environment. Looking to make a long-term impact in individuals' lives and well-being through healthcare.”
Her Current Work History includes Graduate Student Consultant at Pfizer from September 2020 to May 2021 where she drafted and finalized regulatory reports, in accordance with regulatory standards, which were utilized by leadership for decision-making.
Prior to that she was Clinical and Regulatory Affairs Intern at 54gene, Washington D.C
•Conducted independent research on the African regulatory landscape to better understand how clinical trial approvals are impacted by different regulations.
•Performed market analysis to better understand potential US and European partners' clinical and research strategies to conduct benchmark comparisons.
•Created and followed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for standard workflows •Graduate Student Consultant – Project Manager, University of California Riverside, CA
•Conducted primary research by developing and disseminating surveys, using Survey Monkey, and conducting qualitative interviews with a total of 40 oncologist and medical device companies to better understand the risk factors of paper Biosensor in Lungs and Prostate Cancer; UCR decided against utilizing biosensors based on findings.
•Team Leader – Project Manager Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont, CA
•Collaborated with eight teams of 40 students to design a fictitious start-up company centered around developing a liquid biopsy medical diagnostic that utilizes ctDNA as an analyst; this gave a unique perspective of a medical device implementation for patient care.
(Senior Thesis Chemistry Department, La Verne, CA determined the concentration of heavy metals in soil samples from a Copper Smelting plant using AAS (Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy); Copper was found to have the highest ppm concentration as hypothesized
– Contact Tracing Certification: Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, MD
In addition, Zion was elected President of Pan African Students Union (PASU) – KGI Chapter, National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), Parenteral Drug Association (PDA).
•Vice President National Honors Society NOVA Chapter
•Designed an innovative Ph 3 Stasis Dermatitis (SD) study by validating SD efficacy assessments (ISGA & TLSS) using traditional and digital technology methods to expand the approved Crisaborole’s indication for Atopic Dermatitis to include Stasis Dermatitis (SD).
•Identified and documented potential principal investigators and investigators sites, within an Excel database, to participate in the Phase 3 SD study; this will guide Pfizer in collaborating with different experts in clinical trials
•Developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to support the team with accurately and consistently reporting on research findings.
The Maiduguri-born Zion had initially aspired to be a medical doctor but chose a related field subsequently. On social media she posted this, “So much to say...
“Don’t know where to begin
“So I’m going to keep it short – HE DID IT AGAIN
“Thank you Jesus for the Journey thus far....🧎♂️
“Graduate School – Done and Dusted!”
Similarly she stated: “Like the saying goes, “there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.”
“And if we are in the tunnel, we are the light in the tunnel. The lights of the tunnel.’ –
Sir Elisha EB Bala.”
•Barrister Emmanuel Ogebe is of US Nigeria Law Group, Washington, DC.
No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.