Jim Wassil ‘95G ‘05G

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Vaxcyte

Jim brings over three decades of experience developing and commercializing vaccines intended to treat or prevent diseases that impact children and adults around the world. During this time, he held significant leadership positions in the vaccine divisions of Pfizer, Novartis and Merck. Prior to joining Vaxcyte, Jim served as the business unit lead for Pfizer Vaccines with a span of responsibility across market access, policy, pricing, tender negotiations, epidemiology and health outcomes for the entire portfolio, including the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine franchise (Prevnar 13®).  Jim was also a long-tenured leader at Novartis where he led the development and launch of Menveo, a meningococcal conjugate vaccine; Bexsero®, a meningitis B vaccine; and the meningococcal ABCWY vaccine candidate.  Previously, he led international marketing for the pediatric vaccine franchise at Merck Vaccines where he launched RotaTeq®, a vaccine for rotavirus gastroenteritis in infants, and held other technical and operational roles of increasing responsibility within research, manufacturing, quality, regulatory and technology transfer.

Jim received a Master of Science degree in bio-organic chemistry and a Master of Business Administration degree from Lehigh University.  Prior to this, Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry/biology, with high honors, from the University of Notre Dame.  In 2014, James received the VIVA Award as Novartis’ top scientist in 2014 for development and approval of Bexsero®.  He also was an ACE Finalist (Secretary of State Award for Corporate Excellence) for his role in conducting an effectiveness study of RotaTeq in Nicaragua.