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Jennifer Lafontaine, PhD

Senior Director, Oncology Medicinal Chemistry Synthesis and Analytical Group

Jennifer Lafontaine, PhD, is a Senior Director leading the Oncology Medicinal Chemistry Group in La Jolla. Dr. Lafontaine has worked as a medicinal chemist and people leader at Pfizer for 18 years and throughout her career has led drug discovery efforts across a number of therapeutic areas and chemistry sub-disciplines. She has led teams responsible for the delivery of multiple clinical candidates from research into development, including several compounds for ophthalmology and oncology projects.

Dr. Lafontaine joined Pfizer in Groton, CT, in 1998, after receiving her PhD in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. During her time in Groton, Dr. Lafontaine led a chemistry team targeting small molecule ß3 agonists for the treatment of obesity, leading to the discovery of CP-722,221, which was progressed into early development in 2001 (Lafontaine JA, et al. Discovery of Potent and Orally Bioavailable Heterocycle-Based ß3-Adrenergic Receptor Agonists, Potential Therapeutics for the Treatment of Obesity. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. 2007, 17, 5245.)

Dr. Lafontaine transferred to Pfizer’s La Jolla Research and Development site in 2001, where she continued to work on obesity and diabetes projects, and later became Director of Ophthalmology Chemistry, leading a group of chemists on projects targeting a range of diseases. In this role, she was awarded the Pfizer Global Research and Development People Leader Award in recognition of her commitment to supporting and leading her group.

From 2009 to 2015, Dr. Lafontaine served as Director of Cancer Platform Chemistry, a group comprised of a range of project-based and platform synthetic and technology groups. The team members work integrally with chemists and other project scientists to apply cutting-edge and innovative analytical technology for the advancement of projects.