In the news: BTEC provides expertise on COVID vaccines, pandemic preparedness

Published Feb. 7, 2022

Jennifer Pancorbo sits in a BTEC lab while interviewed by Spectrum News

Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Jennifer Pancorbo, BTEC’s director of Industry Programs and Research, has shared her expertise on vaccine manufacturing with the public through various news outlets. Most recently, she was interviewed by both WRAL and Spectrum News. In these interviews, Dr. Pancorbo discussed the mRNA vaccine platform’s flexibility to address variants of the COVID virus while pointing out the related manufacturing challenges. She also explained that surveillance and other systems are needed to ensure effective manufacturing of COVID vaccines.

Other recent interviews with Dr. Pancorbo include NC State Research and Innovation bulletins on How Easy Is It to Update COVID Vaccines to Tackle New Variants? and What the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taught Us about Flu Vaccines.

Last year, Dr. Pancorbo served on a National Academy of Medicine committee charged with examining supply chain and distribution challenges related to vaccines and vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic and exploring their implications for pandemic and seasonal influenza. The committee’s work resulted in one of four reports issued in fall 2021 by the National Academy.

At BTEC, Dr. Pancorbo is responsible for courses in pharmaceutical production and supports professional development courses in both upstream and downstream processing. In addition, from 2011–2015 she coordinated BTEC’s international influenza vaccine manufacturing program, which was sponsored by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has over 15 years of experience in biomanufacturing, five of these focused in the vaccine field, particularly in developing downstream purification processes and optimizing upstream production strategies for vector vaccines.