PORTRAIT – This couple of German researchers of Turkish origin founded the BioNTech laboratory, which, in association with the American giant Pfizer, is the first laboratory to receive approval from the European Medicines Agency for its anti-Covid vaccine.
Correspondent in Berlin
They both embody the triumphant face of Germany, as the Merkel government struggles to manage the coronavirus pandemic. Ugur Sahin and Özlem Tureci are the founding bosses of BioNTech, the biotechnology company which, in association with the American giant Pfizer, is the first laboratory to receive approval from the European Medicines Agency to deliver its anti-Covid vaccine in the European Union.
Couple in the city and in front of the straw mattresses, the success of this magical duo from Turkish immigration disturbs and fascinates a country, converted late, and discreetly, to cultural diversity. Ugur, the husband, 55, is a general manager, son of a worker in the automotive industry (Ford), born in Alexandrette on the Mediterranean coast, who arrived in Cologne at the age of 4.
His wife, Özlem, medical director, 53, is the daughter of a surgeon from Istanbul, who was born in Alstrup. In this village of Lower Saxony, the small
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