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
Global President, Vaccines,
Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group
Nanette Cocero is the Global President of Pfizer Vaccines. In her role, Nanette oversees an international business and is responsible for the development and delivery of innovative vaccines that address serious and life-threatening conditions, helping to protect communities around the world.
Nanette leads a global team of 1,500 colleagues and manages a diverse vaccines portfolio aimed at protecting lives at all stages, from infants to older adults. She and her team also partner with governments, civic organizations, and others in the biopharmaceutical industry to accelerate global public health progress. She is Chair of the International Federation of Pharmaceuticals and Manufacturers Association (IFPMA) Vaccine CEO Steering Committee, advocating for policies and practices that will enable greater access and affordability to vaccines in low and middle-income countries. In addition, Nanette is a board member of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA).
Prior to her current position, Nanette was Regional President, Emerging Markets, for Pfizer’s Innovative Health business. In this role, she led business operations in over 100 countries across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, spanning Pfizer’s core therapeutic areas including vaccines, oncology, inflammation and immunology, internal medicine and rare disease. During her 15+ year tenure at Pfizer, Nanette has held numerous leadership positions in both developed and emerging markets, driving continuous growth for the businesses she managed and bringing novel medicines and access solutions to patients.
Before joining Pfizer, Nanette worked for 10 years as a management consultant and served as a Research Fellow for the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Pharmacology. Nanette earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Cornell University; a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from The Wharton Business School. She has lived and worked in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and Spain and she is bilingual in English and Spanish.
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.
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.