Africa is blessed with a lot of talents and Africans are making us proud around the world. Each time we hear about amazing innovations, oftentimes, we do not know that Africans were behind their makings. Finally, we have the Covid-19 vaccines, and one of them is the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which is 95% effective against the coronavirus.
What many of us do not know is that Paul Mensah, a Ghanaian chemical Engineer led the Pfizer team to develop this Covid-19 vaccine. Paul is the vice president of the bioprocess research and development group at Pfizer in St. Louis, USA. Mensah is in charge of the Bioprocess R&D and Drug Substance Supply group in Pfizer’s BioTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences organization.
Paul had several responsibilities that helped him grow fast in Pfizer. His work on the vaccine’s DNA helped us in having one of the most effective covid-19 vaccines in the world.
Mensah was ecstatic and relieved that the vaccine works. He worked with a team of people, who ensured that they had success at the end of the day. They did not expect that their vaccine was going to be 95% effective. If there is something that many Black people are wary about these days, it is taking the Covid-19 vaccines.
However, Mensah talked about the significant improvements in that process. Lots of work have been put in place to ensure errors in such experiments do not occur again.
He joined Pfizer in 1999 but had worked with the Culture Process Development group in Bioprocess R&D.
He has not disappointed us in his projects. In the early part of Mensah’s career, he had taken charge of the Purification Process Development group. He has also handled teams for several biotherapeutics and supported steering them through clinical development, from Phase 1 through Phase 3. Mensah had served as a Research Project Leader for an asset in the Rare Disease Research Unit.
Paul started his Pfizer job with a zeal to achieve great feat. As a new, young employee, Paul was not aloof, he made contact with everyone, from high-level scientists to pipe fitters. Everyone was important to him and with handshakes and smile, which is his trademark, he make sure everyone is happy.
His mentors saw the potential in him and knew he would go a long a way in the industry. Paul has the technical knowledge, interpersonal skills, and intellectual strenght. His relationship with others gave him the edge he needed in life. Little wonder, he was determined to help the world curb the covid-19 menace.
He found people like Dave Brunner and Sam Guhan, who mentored him at Pfizer
Mensah had received several other awards as a Chemical Engineering student.
He received the 1997 AIChE Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award, and went on to get an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. This award is the highest recognition from the department for graduate students.
Paul, also got the Lou Rader Award in Chemical Engineering.