Grant Pickering, MBA

Chief Executive Officer, Director and Founder

Grant is a seasoned pharmaceutical and biotech executive with over 30 years of experience across vaccines and immunotherapeutic drug development and commercialization, as well as the successful formation and financing of multiple platform companies. Prior to founding Vaxcyte in 2013, Grant served as the CEO of Mymetics Corporation, a European-based vaccine company developing a prophylactic RSV vaccine based on a virosomal platform technology. Previously, he was an executive-in-residence at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, while also serving as the CEO at Juvaris BioTherapeutics. Under his leadership, Juvaris’ immunotherapeutic and vaccine adjuvant platform yielded multiple animal health products, launched by its alliance partner Bayer HealthCare, including Zelnate® and Victrio®.

Prior to Juvaris, Grant spent a number of years at Dendreon Corporation, playing a prominent role in the company’s IPO and run-up to commercialization. During his tenure, he led Dendreon’s clinical development, operations, manufacturing, business development and project management functions, culminating in the launch of the therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine, Provenge®. He also led marketing and business development for the pain management platform company, Algos Pharmaceutical Corporation, which was acquired by Endo Pharmaceuticals. Grant began his career at Glaxo and Johnson & Johnson in sales, marketing, and clinical research roles.

Grant currently serves on the board of directors of Athira Pharma, Inc. He earned his BS degree in marketing from The Pennsylvania State University and his MBA from Georgetown University with high honors.

Jim Wassil, MS, MBA

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Jim brings over three decades of extensive 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 earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry/biology, with high honors, from the University of Notre Dame. He went on to get a Master of Science degree in bio-organic chemistry and a Master of Business Administration degree from Lehigh University.  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.

Jeff Fairman, Ph.D.

Vice President of Research and Founder

Jeff has over 20 years of experience in the biotech arena having led the research at multiple platform companies that he co-founded resulting in multiple clinical candidates and approved vaccines and immunotherapeutics. Prior to Vaxcyte, Jeff was the founder and Vice President of Research at Juvaris BioTherapeutics, whose immunotherapeutic & vaccine adjuvant platform yielded multiple animal health products launched by its alliance partner Bayer HealthCare, including Zelnate® and Victrio®. While at Juvaris, Jeff was the recipient of major grant funding from multiple sources, including NIH and NCI, supporting substantial pre-clinical programs and multiple clinical studies. He was responsible for research activities resulting in multiple clinical candidates and the approved animal health products. Prior to Juvaris, Jeff was the Director of Pharmacogenomics at Clingenix and Senior Scientist at Valentis. Dr. Fairman has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and his postdoctoral training was in the genetics of leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter and has put his amateur taekwondo career on hold, for the time being, to be courtside rooting for his daughter’s school and club volleyball teams.

Andrew Guggenhime, MBA

President and Chief Financial Officer

Andrew’s 30-year career spans the biotech and financial services industries, with broad leadership expertise across strategy, finance, operations, investor relations and corporate development. He also brings significant capital markets and business development transaction experience. Prior to joining Vaxcyte in May 2020, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Dermira, Inc. through its acquisition by Eli Lilly and Company. During his tenure at Dermira, Andrew successfully led a series of private, public and alternative financings and helped scale the company, including through its initial public offering and pivotal transition into a commercial-stage organization. Previously, Andrew served as Chief Financial Officer at several fast-growing biotech companies, including Calistoga Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired by Gilead Sciences, Inc., and Facet Biotech Corporation, which was acquired by Abbott Laboratories.

Earlier in his career, Andrew served as Chief Financial Officer of PDL BioPharma, Inc. until Facet Biotech was spun off from PDL BioPharma. Prior to joining PDL BioPharma, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Neoforma, Inc., which was acquired by Global Healthcare Exchange, LLC. Andrew began his career in financial services at Merrill Lynch & Co. and Wells Fargo & Company.

Andrew serves as the Board Chair of Caribou Biosciences, Inc. and is a member of the board of directors of Metacrine, Inc. He earned his B.A. in international politics and economics from Middlebury College and his M.B.A. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Paul W Sauer, MBA

Senior Vice President, Process Development and Manufacturing

Paul has over 30 years of experience industrializing biologics for numerous biotechnology companies. Prior to joining Vaxcyte, Paul was VP of Process Sciences & Manufacturing at Igenica Biotherapeutics, where he initiated the company’s development activities and built its supply chain network for GMP manufacturing of its antibody drug conjugates. Prior to that, Paul was Senior Director of Process Development at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, where he contributed to multiple IND filings for the company’s antibody-based oncology therapies. He also held various process, engineering, scale-up, and manufacturing positions at Protein Design Labs, Scios, and Genentech. Through the years, Paul has contributed to numerous approved biologics, including Genentech’s Activase® and Pulmozyme®. He also contributed significantly to the development of the patented high-yield process that formed the basis for production of Abbvie and Biogen’s ZinbrytaTM, a humanized antibody approved for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. Paul earned an MBA at Santa Clara University and a BS in Genetics from the University of California, Davis. Paul enjoys spending quality time with his family and helping his wife with her non-profit organization focused on transforming health through diet.

Harp Dhaliwal

Senior Vice President, Commercial Manufacturing and Supply Chain

Mr. Dhaliwal has 25 years of experience in engineering, operations strategy, manufacturing and supply chain, with significant expertise in the healthcare industry. During his career, he has led commercial manufacturing and supply chain for multiple products. Most recently, Mr. Dhaliwal served as Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Procurement at Dermira and transitioned to Eli Lilly following the company’s acquisition. In this role, he supported Dermira’s first product launch and successfully transitioned the cGMP manufacturing network from clinical to commercial. Previously, Mr. Dhaliwal was the Head of Manufacturing and Supply Chain at Medivation, an oncology-focused company. Following Pfizer’s acquisition of Medivation, Mr. Dhaliwal led the operations integration. Previously, Mr. Dhaliwal had a long career at Biogen where he ultimately served as Biogen’s Chief Procurement Officer, responsible for managing $3 billion of enterprise-wide spend. While at Biogen, he was also instrumental in transforming the manufacturing network, initiating the biosimilar business and other strategic initiatives.

Mr. Dhaliwal has an MBA in Science and Technology from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia. Harp’s free often involves golfing with his three young daughters, long walks with his wife on the beach, home projects and occasional game nights with the family.