How can I become a biotech scientist?

"We are vaccine" : About two scientists who not only give hope against the virus

I would never have thought that the Turkish bonus letters soft Ğ, Kringel-Ş and the inflationary Ös and Üs in the Turkish language would make me so ecstatic.

All that's missing is the Y, but I've already got it myself. Sorry for banging in with my enthusiasm, most of you won't even guess what I'm talking about.

I'll keep the tension going a little longer and briefly mention that I bet my impressive collection of kebab knives that all Turks and people of Turkish descent in the world know what or who exactly I mean by the letters Ğ, Ş, Ö and Ü. Or to use the Pope headline: We are vaccine.

But first things first: The really good news is that the first clinical tests for a corona vaccine have been approved. The company BioNtech from Mainz is allowed to test its agent BNT162 for the prevention of a Covid-19 infection on volunteers.

[You can find all current developments as a result of the coronavirus pandemichere in our news blog. We will keep you informed about developments, especially in Berlinup to date at this point.]

Two names that do you good

At the end of April, testing of tolerance and effectiveness is to begin. This was announced by one of the founders of BioNTech. It's called: Uğur Şahin.

If you now have problems with pronunciation, no problem: The name of the scientist is pronounced like this: U‘ur Shahin. The G with hat is mute and is not spoken, instead the vowel is drawn out afterwards. And the S with Kringel sounds like our Sch.

You are now wondering why then still Ö and Ü? Well, co-founder and medical director at BioNTech is Özlem Türeci. The Turkish Z sounds like the German S, but a touch softer in sound, like in sage. The C in Türeci is a soft dsch like in the jungle.

Not coincidence, but Kismet

And as if Cupid was not a god of love, but a god of science, the two doctors are also married to each other.

That alone would be enough to override all the randomness of the world if BioNTech is still “at the gold mine”. We Turks don't believe in coincidence anyway, only in Kismet.

Balm for the battered Turkish soul

But seriously: After all the years in which people of Turkish origin in Germany were repeatedly labeled as losers from integration and reduced to headscarf girls who are supposedly constantly being produced anew, had to serve for the job description of the unskilled vegetable seller, with the murders of the NSU and in Hanau The names Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci are like balm for the tortured Turkish soul.

Şahin's family comes from the south of Turkey, he did his doctorate in Cologne, Türeci's family comes from Istanbul, the father worked as a country doctor in Lower Saxony. The two met at the University of Homburg, where she studied.

Both are children of Turkish immigrants, German citizens and internationally renowned scientists. BioNTech, which Şahin, Türeci and immunologist Christoph Huber founded in 2008, usually specializes in cancer therapies.

Recognition and pride

“They're Germans” or “That's normal” some responded to the joy of people of Turkish origin, which quickly spread on social media. But that is not the case if you recall the negative images that have been used again and again in the political election campaign alone.

In addition to the recognition for the work of the scientist, many people of Turkish origin also feel proud that two Turkish names are now associated with the vaccine.

A real opportunity

I know about the tenacity to face change. But wouldn't this be the best opportunity to see migrants no longer just as a problem for German society, but as a real opportunity?

How nice it would be if from now on they are only measured by who and what they are and not where they or their parents come from. This is what Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci stand for.

To home page