National Academies selects BTEC director for vaccine committee

Published February 23, 2021

Philippe-Alexandre Gilbert, Ph.D.
Dr. Jennifer Pancorbo

Dr. Jennifer Pancorbo, director of Industry Programs and Research at BTEC, has been appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Addressing Issues of Vaccine Distribution and Supply Chains to Advance Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza Preparedness and Response. The committee’s purpose is to examine supply chain and distribution challenges related to vaccines and vaccinations during the COVID-19 response and explore their implications for pandemic and seasonal influenza.

The committee will meet throughout the spring and summer to complete a series of tasks, including evaluating recommendations for pandemic vaccine manufacturing made following past outbreaks; identifying ways to ensure readiness for equitable distribution and efficient use of resources for national vaccine distribution, including in low-resource countries; identifying critical gaps in vaccine delivery; identifying critical inputs (for example, needles, glass vials, and adjuvants) for influenza vaccine manufacturing; identifying how novel technologies and advances can be scaled up; identifying barriers affecting commercial supply for the manufacture of pandemic vaccines; and reviewing incentives offered to encourage investments in vaccine manufacturing, including those used during the the response to COVID-19. The committee’s final report is expected by the end of September 2021.

In her position at BTEC, Dr. Pancorbo fosters the center’s relationship with the biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industries through BTEC’s research, professional development, and ┬áBioprocess Services programs, which she oversees. She is also responsible for courses in biopharmaceutical production, particularly vaccine manufacturing, and supports professional development courses in both upstream and downstream processing. Prior to joining BTEC, Dr. Pancorbo held positions in the biomanufacturing industry for more than 15 years, five of these focused in the vaccine field, particularly in developing downstream purification processes and optimizing upstream production strategies for vector vaccines at AlphaVax Human Vaccines, Inc.