The pandemic has forced many people, particularly those in the field of medicine, to think outside the box, to be innovative to find solutions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and address the many health issues affected. Millions of people work tirelessly in clinical research and development dedicated to finding solutions to benefit public health. This dedication has transversed centuries, leading to some of the greatest advances in the field of medical discovery.
Dr. Huma Qamar is one of those people who has dedicated her life to the world of research, which is evident in her work as Associate Vice president and Head of Clinical Development at Ocugen, Inc..
“At Ocugen, we are committed to addressing the patients’ unmet medical needs. I work with my clinical and R&D teams who bring a wealth of diverse expertise on our novel gene modifier and cell therapy programs with an intent to cure blindness and articular cartilage defects. Additionally, at Ocugen, we are committed to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic’s ever changing landscape of variants of concern via their whole virus inactivated- broad spectrum immune response vaccine candidate, called CovaxinTM,” Dr. Qamar explains.
Dr. Qamar is an immigrant who came to the U.S. from Pakistan with limited resources and almost no money to her name. Her journey to success was not smooth and she found herself often working five times as hard as the average person. However, this hard work paid off in the end as she climbed her way to the top in her field.
“My journey was not a smooth sail initially when I moved to the USA, I had to work five times harder as a single immigrant in the HealthCare arena. Additionally, I made waves in the scientific community by incorporating my passion for public health, clinical research and medicine and my extraordinary work for the communities in the Greater Philadelphia Area to address health inequities. I have worked in the clinical research field for some of the notable Ivy League Institutions such as Yale, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania. I have worked with major hospitals such as Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Fox Chase Cancer Center, FSD Pharma and Ocugen,” Dr. Qamar states.
What separates Dr. Qamar from others in her field is her self made nature which taught her to be strong and resilient. She had to constantly have a good mindset and problem solving attitude in order to defy the odds that she did to become as prominent in her field as she is today!
“I am a very self made woman. I have always believed in “originality”. I have been a trend-setter rather than a trend-follower. I have self-confidence and leadership skills that clearly differentiate me from the rest of the crowd. I am a visionary thinker who focuses on developing others. I support my peers, colleagues, mentees, family and friends by being part of their self-development. Being optimistic, compassionate, a strategic planner and an effective communicator has helped me build many scientific programs from scratch successfully,” Dr. Qamar says.
Dr. Qamar is not slowing down any time soon. She is, in fact, focusing not only on lifting herself up further, but lifting others up with her as well. She is working on numerous other events to support women. She details them below:
“My long-term goal in 3-5 years is to contribute to reshaping the healthcare organization, from a leadership perspective as a Chief Medical Officer. In the coming year, I will be working on various women empowerment and public health projects in the Greater Philadelphia Area focusing on education and immigrant health. Population health is my passion and I will strive continuously to bring new treatment options/clinical trials to address the unmet medical needs of our patients.”