(BUSINESS WIRE) – Pfizer Inc. announced today that Kathrin U. Jansen, Ph.D., has been appointed Senior Vice President, Vaccine Research & Development, and will be responsible for leading all Pfizer vaccine research and development programs, effective June 1st, 2015. Dr. Jansen will report directly to Mikael Dolsten, M.D., Ph.D., President of Worldwide Research and Development at Pfizer, and will be based in Pfizer’s Pearl River, New York research site.
“With over two decades of experience as a vaccine researcher, Kathrin is a world-class scientist with a remarkable track-record of delivering first-in-class vaccines in areas with serious unmet patient need such as human papillomavirus infection and Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B,” said Dr. Dolsten. “She has also played a pivotal role in advancing Pfizer’s Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile vaccine candidate programs, the licensure of Prevnar 13 in both infant and adult indications, and the development of the diagnostic assays that enabled the CAPiTAi. I am confident that she will continue to lead our Vaccine Research organization with a sharp focus on delivering potential vaccine breakthroughs for infectious diseases.”
Dr. Jansen was previously Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s Vaccine Research and Early Development Research Unit. Dr. Jansen’s Pfizer career started when she joined Wyeth, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer, in 2006, where she was responsible for leading vaccine research with a focus on infectious disease targets, early development and clinical testing. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jansen served as VaxGen’s Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President for Research and Development and also directed a number of vaccine research efforts at Merck Research Laboratories, including the company’s novel bacterial vaccine programs. Her efforts led to the licensure of the world’s first cervical cancer vaccine for the prevention of human papillomavirus infection (HPV).
“There is a remarkable scientific opportunity in vaccine research ahead of us and Pfizer’s vaccine research and development team is fully focused on addressing major neonatal, infant, adolescent and adult infections and pioneering therapeutic immunotherapy across diseases including cancer,” said Dr. Jansen. “We are building on the rich foundation of our scientific heritage with Prevnar and other vaccines to design and develop vaccine candidates that are unique – and most importantly – with the potential to significantly improve patients’ lives.”
Dr. Jansen received her doctoral degree in microbiology, biochemistry and genetics from Phillips Universität, Marburg, Germany. Following completion of her formal training and postdoctoral work at the Institute for Mikrobiologie in Marburg, Dr. Jansen continued her postdoctoral training with Professor G.P. Hess at Cornell University. She then joined the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology in Geneva, Switzerland. Since 2010, Dr. Jansen has been adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine.
Dr. Jansen will succeed Dr. Emilio Emini, who has accepted a position at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the head of their HIV program.
Dr. Jansen will lead an organization of approximately 550 colleagues comprised of clinicians, vaccine process/analytical/and formulation development, and other laboratory scientists. Vaccine Research and Development Unit includes Vaccine Research and Early Development, Vaccine Immunotherapeutics, Vaccine Clinical Research and Vaccine Operations and High Throughput Clinical Testing. As of February 2015, Pfizer’s clinical vaccine pipeline includes five programs from Phase I through III targeting diseases caused by Staph aureus, Clostridium difficile and Meningitis B, as well as smoking cessation and asthma.
Source: Pfizer Inc.