By Kaine Korzekwa
Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori took advantage of on-campus leadership opportunities during his PhD in pharmaceutical sciences to walk away from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a unique blend of business acumen and scientific knowledge. Today, he is operations manager of the Milwaukee Public Health Laboratory and owner of the Anokye Food Company.
“I liked the program in pharmaceutical sciences because it was very complete,” explains Owusu-Ofori, who graduated with his PhD in 2010 from the School of Pharmacy. “I was able to learn pharmacology, medical chemistry, and drug delivery. It was very nice to be around that environment.”
In graduate school one area of his research was on how to make less toxic drugs for kidney stones. However, he had an urge to see projects like his implemented on a business level. During his time on campus he was involved in the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences, eventually becoming president. He also participated in numerous workshops on grant writing, science writing, and leadership through the Graduate School and other campus entities.
“I didn’t have to leave campus,” says Owusu-Ofori, whose family is from Ghana. “I learned so much at UW. There were so many different opportunities to pursue. I learned so many things and it was all on campus.”
After graduation he also participated in a slew of business development programs at universities across the country. He currently owns his own health food company focused on “the idea of creating nutritional supplements that are low dose and low toxicity to promote overall increased mental and physical health,” he says. As a small company he works to test their products and develop business systems to get the company growing.
At the Milwaukee Public Health Laboratory, he brings his scientific knowledge and familiarity with the scientific method to the business behind running a lab. He manages business development, looking for new ways to generate revenue, begin new partnerships, improve quality, and increase efficiency.
“This experience allows me to be around science without actually doing the science but in that aspect being able to support the science. My whole career is to engage the culture of science or scientific research to make people happier, more productive, and less wasteful.”