In the kickoff series of the Get Science Podcast, we’re focusing on scientific careers of people working in biopharma, and their different paths and opportunities taken as they hunt for potential cures to human disease.
Vaccine research and development just like drug development is risky and challenging work in the pharmaceutical industry. But Kathrin Jansen, Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer, has risen to the upper echelons of the industry based on her flexibility, ability to trust her gut and her determination.
Born in Communist East Germany, Jansen’s parents fled to the West where she grew up and eventually earned a PhD in biology at Philipps University in Marburg. She later came to the U.S. to do post-doctoral research at Cornell University. While she initially intended to work in small-molecule drug development, she pivoted to vaccines early on and since then has been involved in the development of three successfully licensed vaccines (Gardasil, Prevnar-13 and Trumenba).
Learn more about Jansen’s career journey here.