Meet Our Scientists: Pamela Pegman

Meet Our Scientists: Pamela Pegman

Pamela Pegman, Director, Head of Cell Banking Bioprocess R&D, plays a very important role at Pfizer in Medicinal Sciences. She leads the BTx Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) cell banking organization, which is part of our bioprocess R&D group. She makes GMP cell banks, ensuring we have consistently high quality starting materials (cell banks) to support all of our biologic manufacturing. The team consists of 14 colleagues spread across two sites (St. Louis and Andover), and they remain very busy!

Not only is Pamela passionate about her everyday work, but she truly cares about seeing her team members succeed, as she spends time mentoring colleagues and developing them into future leaders. In this blog post, you will learn more about Pamela’s career path, achievements, the impact COVID has had on her team and how they strive to put patients first.

 

Out of all the pharmaceutical companies, why did you choose to work here?

Pamela: “I joined about eight years ago. I was originally in cell-line development. I used to work for GSK in the UK and left for Amgen to work in discovery, where I led the protein science group. From there I went on to work at a startup company, and then I came to Pfizer. One of the reasons I chose Pfizer was having been at both large companies and small companies, I knew there would be the right financial and technical resource structure here where you can do your job and have the means and expertise to do it. I knew at Pfizer there is a really strong quality culture and was excited about the quality of work and the personnel. I met a lot of colleagues at industry conferences throughout my career, which is what made me interested in Pfizer to begin with. It was the people that drew me in.”

 

Thinking about your accomplishments at Pfizer, what are you most proud of?

Pamela: “I think the opportunity to coach my colleagues, as I have been able to transition a number of colleagues to leadership roles, as well as mentor one of my colleagues through their PhD. It’s a combination of the mentorship piece, colleague development, and our shared determination to develop a COVID vaccine and other life-changing therapeutics.”

 

In what ways have you or your colleagues put patients first?

Pamela: “I think it’s two pieces:

1. Working on the COVID vaccine in which a lot of folks are working weekends and late nights to get this done and knowing we will all benefit from this.

2. Quality as a GMP organization; we take quality very seriously. The cell banks must pass vigorous quality testing to be released for use in manufacturing. It’s the focus on QUALITY at Pfizer that puts patients first.”

 

What is the atmosphere like where you work?

Pamela: “I think it’s a very collaborative environment and colleagues are friendly, helpful and supportive. We as individuals are not experts on everything, but we can leverage the expertise of others and the scale of the organization.”

 

Everyone’s coping with the ‘new normal’ in very different ways. How are you coping? How are you supporting each other as colleagues?

Pamela: “Everyone is trying to be empathetic. Everyone is trying to find space in their plan of records. Figuring out a way to block a week off to give folks a chance to work on other things, changing the schedule to release some pressure. People are understanding. There is going to be noise in the background and working at different times. Having young kids at home, it’s challenging, and my perspective is understanding that people may not be as responsive as they normally may be under different circumstances.”