Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori, who has a doctorate in pharmacy and
is now serving a two-year fellowship with the Concordia
University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy, examines a tank
of zebrafish that are used for research.
MEQUON — Who knew a coffee creamer could be so
years ago, Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori set out to mitigate the
side effects of anti-anxiety and Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder medications by starting a company
that designs pharmaceutical products “beyond the pill.”
Instead of ingesting a daily capsule that can cause
fogginess, weight changes or other unpleasant side
effects, patients can instead visit Owusu-Ofori’s Etsy
shop to try a blend of anxiety-relieving vitamins in the
form of a coffee creamer or hot chocolate mix.
goal is to increase a patient’s compliance to these
medications by reducing unnecessary side effects and
tapping into pleasurable activities that are already
part of a patient’s regular routine.
“Drinking coffee is a habit that most people around the
world already have, so adding daily vitamins that
improve mental health to this habit will make it easier
to remember and easier to take,” Owusu-Ofori said. “We
don’t get any health benefits from the coffee creamers
that are currently available on the market, so why not
develop a product that makes them more beneficial?”
Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori has developed a coffee creamer and
hot chocolate mix that contain a variety of vitamins
that are intended to serve as a substitute for pills
many take for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Owusu-Ofori is just a couple of years into his effort,
but the market response is already promising. Now he’s
looking to take his efforts to the next level while
gaining experience as an instructor through Concordia
University of Wisconsin’s inaugural Pharmaceutical and
Administrative Sciences Fellowship Program.
two-year fellowship, which began last month, is the
brainchild of Concordia’s School of Pharmacy,
specifically its Department of Pharmaceutical and
Owusu-Ofori, who graduated from University of
Wisconsin-Madison with his doctorate in pharmaceutical
sciences and previously worked as the Milwaukee Health
Department’s first public health laboratory operations
manager, was among dozens of applicants worldwide who
vied for the new training opportunity.
goal of the fellowship program is to offer an
opportunity similar to a faculty member experience, said
Robert Burlage, CUW Pharmaceutical and Administrative
Sciences department chair.
of the fellow’s time will be devoted to research, while
the other part will focus on all of the critical aspects
of teaching: syllabus development, assessments,
organization of lecture materials and actual in-class
fellowship is designed to polish the fellow for the next
step of gaining employment as a professor,” Burlage
said. “Many of our faculty have shared experiences as
Ph.D.s who were hindered in that first academic job
application by the lack of any significant teaching
experience. We were all adept at research, and that
counts for a lot, but teaching was being overlooked.”
the next two years, Owusu-Ofori will not only engage in
every aspect of the university teaching experience,
he’ll continue his research on new treatments for
anxiety and ADHD.
School of Pharmacy faculty members, Christopher
Cunningham and Michael Pickart, are serving as his
mentors as Owusu-Ofori looks to utilize Concordia’s
Zebrafish Research Center to take his coffee creamers
and hot chocolates through the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration approval process.
“It’s really an honor to be here at Concordia among such
accomplished individuals who are willing to take time
out of their busy schedules to make me more competitive
for a full faculty position,” Owusu-Ofori said. “I look
forward to all that’s ahead of me.”