Meet Our Scientists: Yahong Peng

Meet Our Scientists: Yahong Peng

Yahong Peng is a Sr. Director of Biostatistics and is part of the Vaccines group within WRD. In this blog you will find out what she does as a statistician and the impact her role has on our clinical trials. She also discusses what it’s like to be working on a COVID vaccine! Colleagues like Yahong drive our business, as her role is essential to vaccine development. We are so fortunate to have her as part of the Pfizer family.


Describe your role at Pfizer. What do you do?

Yahong: “I am a statistician supporting vaccine clinical research and development (VCRD). Currently I am the statistical lead for Pfizer 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (20vPnC) program, the next generation of Prevnar 13. I’ve also supported other Pfizer vaccine development programs for Staphylococcus aureus, C. difficile, Group B Streptococcus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and most recently COVID-19. As a statistician, we provide critical inputs on clinical trial design, develop sound statistical strategy to analyze the clinical trial data, and help the team accurately understand trial results to guide decisions for the vaccine development.”


Why did you choose to work at Pfizer?

Yahong: “I decided to join Pfizer in early 2009 when Pfizer (Wyeth then) had a very impressive and diversified pipeline for treating Alzheimer’s Disease, a therapeutic area with unmet medical need. Although I no longer support clinical programs in neuroscience area, it’s still the case that within VCRD, the number of vaccine programs in development offers colleagues plenty of opportunity for career development, as demonstrated from my personal experience.”


What have you worked on that you couldn't imagine anywhere other than Pfizer?

Yahong: “The experience to contribute to the development of a vaccine like 20vPnC or COVID-19, which potentially could impact lives of millions, even billions, of people.”


How does it feel to be developing/distributing vaccines/drugs during the current COVID-19 situation? How do your friends and family react to your role?

Yahong: “There have been a lot more questions and discussions with friends and family members on vaccine research and development during the current COVID-19 situation. This provides a great opportunity to share what we do at Pfizer and how a vaccine works and impacts individuals and communities. It feels stressful (from time to time) but also satisfying to be part of Pfizer VCRD while the whole world is waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine.”


Describe the atmosphere where you work. Everyone’s coping with the ‘new normal’ in very different ways. We’re interested to hear how you’re coping?  How are you supporting each other as colleagues?

Yahong: “We are more flexible and creative with regard to work hours and project assignments in order to meet both the business and family needs. I also find that many are more motivated and willing to help and support each other. Before the COVID-19 situation, I enjoyed 1-1 sessions walking outside with workplace colleagues and friends during lunch or afternoon breaks, and we’ve tried to continue that during the COVID-19 pandemic except that we are on the phones while walking and often at evening hours or over the weekend.”