Vaccines are one of the greatest public health advancements of all time, resulting in the control, elimination, or near-elimination of numerous infectious diseases that were once pervasive and often fatal. Pfizer has a rich history in vaccine research and development. Over the years, we’ve played a pivotal role in eliminating or nearly eliminating deadly infectious diseases like smallpox and polio globally. We have designed novel vaccines based on new delivery systems and technologies that have resulted in vaccines to prevent bacterial infections, like those caused by S. pneumoniae and N. meningitidis.
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Today, more people benefit from safe and efficacious vaccines to prevent infectious diseases than ever before, and vaccines provide essential health benefits at all ages, from maternal and infant populations to seniors. However, our work is not done given the many infectious diseases remaining with a high unmet medical need and a growing list of vaccine preventable diseases.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
Today is an exciting time in vaccine research and development, as scientific discoveries, technological advancements and regulatory paradigms are paving the way for novel vaccines. While Pfizer’s Vaccine Research and Development scientists continue to extend our leadership position in pneumococcal and meningococcal disease prevention, they also work on vaccines against other major infectious diseases while striving to bring the benefits of vaccines into previously unexplored areas. We are at the forefront to usher in a new era of vaccine innovation, both to prevent and treat disease, with special focus on maternal/neonatal, hospital-acquired infections (HAI), and cancer.
We are optimistic about the broad potential to bring the benefits of vaccines to every age group, protecting a person throughout his or her entire life. Our vaccine research and development efforts are focused on three areas:
Work with Us
If you’re interested in collaborating with us on vaccine development, visit our Vaccine Partnering page to learn more about the work we’re pursuing.
Blocks after Body
Meet Some of Pfizer’s Vaccine Researchers
Kathrin Jansen, PhD
Senior Vice President,
Head of Vaccine Research and Development
Kathrin U. Jansen, PhD, is Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer Inc, and a member of Pfizer’s Worldwide Research and Development leadership team. Dr. Jansen oversees a fully integrated, global vaccines research and development organization, with responsibilities ranging from discovery to registration and post-marketing commitments of first-in-class or best-in-class vaccines to prevent or treat diseases of significant unmet medical need. More recent accomplishments are the global licensures of Prev(e)nar13® to prevent pneumococcal diseases and the development and licensure of Trumenba®, the first vaccine licensed in the United States to prevent invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B.
Dr. Jansen received her doctoral degree in microbiology, biochemistry & genetics from Phillips Universitaet, Marburg, Germany. Following completion of her formal training, she continued her postdoctoral training at Cornell University working on the structure and function of the acetylcholine receptor. She then joined the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology in Geneva, Switzerland, where she focused on basic studies of a receptor believed to be a drug target to treat allergies. Dr. Jansen was appointed an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania – School of Medicine in 2010.
Before the Wyeth acquisition by Pfizer in 2009, Dr. Jansen served as Senior Vice President at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and on Wyeth’s Research and Development Executive Committee since 2006 and was responsible for vaccine discovery, early development and clinical testing operations. Dr. Jansen also briefly worked at Vaxgen as Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President for Research and Development with responsibility for the company’s late stage development programs.
Prior to joining Vaxgen, Dr. Jansen spent 12 years at Merck Research Laboratories where she directed or supported a number of vaccine efforts, including Merck’s novel bacterial vaccine programs and viral vaccine programs (rotavirus, zoster and mumps, measles and rubella). Dr. Jansen initiated and led the development of Gardasil®, the world’s first cervical cancer vaccine
Helen Cho, PhD
Associate Research Fellow,
Helen Kim Cho, PhD, is an Associate Research Fellow in the Vaccine Immunotherapeutics group. She currently holds the Research and Scientific Lead roles for the Vaccine Based Immunotherapy Regimen program which entered the clinic early this year for the treatment of prostate cancer and the Oncolytic Based Immunotherapy Regimen which is in preclinical development. Dr. Cho is a member of the Pfizer-Western Oncolytic Joint Development Committee and is the point of contact for scientific exchange between Vaccine Immunotherapeutics and Western Oncolytics. Additionally, she is a subject matter expert for developing strategies for combining immuno-oncology assets and leads a group of Immunopharmacology colleagues in testing of novel combinations in preclinical models.
Dr. Cho received her undergraduate education at Yonsei University and master degree at Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology. She received her doctoral degree in the field of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where she studied how transcriptional activation is regulated using molecular, biochemical and genetic approaches.
Prior to joining Pfizer, she did her postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, studying co-regulators that govern hormone dependent transcription through epigenetic pathways in the area of chronic inflammation, metabolism and cancer. She initially came to Pfizer to find a treatment for Type II diabetes targeting chronic inflammatory pathways, but in 2007, moved to Vaccine Immunotherapeutics in order to apply her multi-disciplinary knowledge in developing a multi-modality immunotherapy regimen for cancer.
Nicholas Kitchin, MD, PhD
Nicholas Kitchin is Senior Director in Pfizer’s Vaccine Clinical Research and Development group. Dr. Kitchin joined Pfizer in 2011, and currently provides global medical leadership for clinical trials of the company’s investigational Clostridium difficile vaccine.
Dr. Kitchin obtained his medical degree from the University of London in 1991 and is a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom.
After initial training in anaesthesiology, Dr. Kitchin joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1994, and since 1998 has specialized in the field of vaccines. Having had a wide variety of roles in this area, he is a passionate advocate for the public health benefits of vaccination.
Naglaa Mohamed, PhD
Bacterial Vaccines and Technology
Naglaa Mohamed is a Principal Research Scientist, Pfizer Vaccine Research and Development. She is the Staphylococcus aureus Research and Scientific Lead supporting the development and licensure of Pfizer’s vaccine candidate. Dr. Mohamed joined Pfizer Vaccine Research and Development in 2012, supporting the S. aureus vaccine research program and made a number of important contributions, including a leadership role on different research collaborations to support the clinical development of different bacterial vaccine programs.
Dr. Mohammed earned a PhD in Environmental Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from University of Maryland and an MA in Public Health from Columbia University. She also has an undergraduate degree in pharmaceutical sciences from Suez Canal University in Egypt.
Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Mohamed completed two post-doctoral fellowships at Rutgers University and the center of Marine Biotechnology in Baltimore, working on microbial communities associated with marine organisms and their role in nutrition, defense and production of potential secondary metabolites, such as antibiotics and antifungal compounds. Dr. Mohamed authored/co-authored several research papers in the areas of microbial genomics, surveillance and microbial ecology.
Selected Publications from the Vaccine Research and Development Unit
- A Phase 1 First-in-Human Study (B4901001) Evaluating a Novel Anti-IgE Vaccine in Adult Subjects with Allergic Rhinitis The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Wong GY, Elfassi E, Girard G, Yang WH, Hebert J, Bugarini R, O'Connell MA, Champion B, Merson J, Davis H. February 2016
- A Phase 1, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Study of the Safety, Tolerability, and Immunogenicity of a Clostridium difficile Vaccine Administered With or Without Aluminum Hydroxide in Healthy Adults Vaccine Sheldon E, Kitchin N, Peng Y, Eiden J, Gruber W, Johnson E, Jansen KU, Pride M, Pedneault L. April 19 2016
- A Phase 3, Randomized, Active-Controlled Study to Assess the Safety and Tolerability of Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccine Bivalent rLP2086 in Healthy Adolescents and Young Adults Vaccine Ostergaard L, Lucksinger GH, Absalon J, Beeslaar J, Eiden J, Jansen KU, York LJ, Quinn A, Graversen ME, Perez JL. March 14 2016
- A randomized phase 1 study of the safety and immunogenicity of three ascending dose levels of a 3-antigen Staphylococcus aureus vaccine (SA3Ag) in healthy adults Vaccine Nissen M, Marshall H, Richmond P, Shakib S, Jiang Q, Cooper D, Rill D, Baber J, Eiden J, Gruber W, Jansen KU, Emini E, Anderson AS, Zito E, Girgenti D. April 8 2015
- Cell Surface Antigen Manganese-Binding Protein MntC from Staphylococcus aureus Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry Gribenko A, Liberator P, Anderson A, Matsuka Y, Mosyak L. September 14 2015
- Demonstration of the preclinical correlate of protection for Staphylococcus aureus clumping factor A in a murine model of infection Vaccine Scully IL, Timofeyeva Y, Keeney D, Matsuka Y, Severina E, McNeil L, Nanra J, Hu G, Liberator PA, Jansen KU, Anderson AS. October 5 2015
- Comparison of Phenotypic and Genotypic Approaches to Capsule Typing Neisseria meningitidis Using Invasive and Carriage Strain Collections Journal of Clinical Microbiology Jones HC, Mohamed N, Rojas E, Andrew L, Hoyos J, Hawkins JC, McNeil LK, Jiang Q, Mayer LW, Wang X, Gilca R, De Wals P, Pedneault L, Eiden J, Jansen KU, Anderson AS. January 2016
- Molecular attributes of conjugate antigen influence function of antibodies induced by anti-nicotine vaccine in mice and non-human primates International Immunotherapy McCluskie MJ, Thorn J, Mehelic PR, Kolhe P, Bhattacharya K, Finneman JI, Stead DR, Bailey Piatchek M, Zhang N, Chikh G, Cartier J, Evans DM, Merson JR, Davis HL August 25 2015
- Optimization of Molecular Approaches to Genogroup Neisseria meningitidis Carriage Isolates and Implications for Monitoring the Impact of New Serogroup B Vaccines PLos One Rojas E, Hoyos J, Oldfield N, Lee P, Flint M, Jones CH, Ala’Aldeen D, Jansen KU, Anderson AS. July 6 2015
- Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine against Pneumococcal Pneumonia in Adults The New England Journal of Medicine Bonten MJM, Huijts SM, Bolkenbaas M, Webber C, Patterson S, Gault S, van Werkhoven H, van Deursen AMM, Sanders EAM, Verheij TM, Patton M, McDonough A, Moradoghli-Haftvani A, Smith H, Mellelieu T, Pride MW, Crowther G, Schmoele-Thoma B, Scott DA, Jansen KU, Lobatto R, Oosterman, B, Visser N, Caspers E, Smorenburg A, Emini EA, Gruber WC, Grobbee DE 2015
- Production and characterization of chemically inactivated genetically engineered Clostridium difficile toxoids Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Vidunas E, Mathews A, Zi-rong Z, Weaver M, Cai P, Koh EH, Patel-Brown S,Yuan YH, Carriere M, Johnson EJ, Lotvin J, Moran J. July 2016
- The Discovery and Development of a Novel Vaccine to Protect against Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup B Disease Human Vaccines Zlotnick GW, Jones TR, Liberator P, Hao L, Harris S. McNeil LK, Zhu D, Perez J, Eiden J, Jansen KU, Anderson AS. November 1 2014