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.
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.