SCC Alumni Helping Create COVID-19 Vaccine

Published: 12/16/2020

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In 2017, St. Charles Community College featured Andrew Lozano in a student profile. At the time, he admitted he had no idea what he wanted to do when he got to SCC. He changed his major five times until he finally found his passion– biochemistry.

When asked what he wanted to do with his future degree, his answer was simple: he hoped to work in pharmaceutical research and drug diversity and discover life-saving medications and treatments.

It didn’t take him long to accomplish his goal. For the last several months, Lozano has been working on a team that is aiding in the development and improvement of new and old vaccines at Pfizer.

“I am part of a very large group of people that have been working on the COVID-19 vaccine,” he explained, “and it is truly an honor to be able to say that I am a small part of that.”

Lozano says he spends most of his time doing analytical testing, ensuring his team knows as much as possible about any vaccine Pfizer is developing or working on.

“Every day I have the opportunity to be a part of a team whose main goal and focus is to improve the quality of life of people all around the world,” he said. “Helping bring new medicines to market and improving the quality of life of people all around the world is something I truly love about my job.”

The data he collects every day is used to optimize processes along the entire lifecycle of a vaccine from development to production.

 “The idea of helping people and making a difference in their lives is what motivates me to work so hard,” Lozano explained. “That I get to work at a company that shares that same motivation makes me feel like what I'm doing isn't just a job – it’s a calling.”

He believes his time at SCC helped get him to where he is today. It prepared him for the next step in his educational journey at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. It gave him the skills and knowledge needed to start his career at Pfizer. It built the confidence and determination needed to help him create life-saving vaccines.

“My experience at SCC was more than I could have hoped for,” he said. “You can go anywhere to take a class, but it is rare to attend a school where the professors make you feel like they have a vested interest in your success. That’s how I felt at SCC.”  

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