Jessica FlechtnersqJessica Flechtner: Business Leader and BioScience Pioneer in the Development of Novel Vaccines
Business Leader and BioScience Pioneer in the Development of Novel Vaccines, Genocea Biosciences
Twitter: @jessaflecht

Bio: Chief Scientific Officer, Genocea Biosciences, Inc.; she joined shortly after the company’s founding in 2007. Previously, an Immunology Consultant and Scientist. Pre-and Post-Doctoral research at Cornell and Harvard (respectively).

Innovating in Field of Work:

  • Cultivated scientific growth of Genocea from formation through to IPO. Set the vision for development of the company’s T cell-directed vaccines.
  • Inventor on numerous issued and pending patents.
  • Recently expanded into oncology and collaborates with leading oncologists to develop therapeutic vaccines to treat cancer.


  • Developed materials and represented Genocea in meetings with venture capitalists and strategic investors resulting in $78mm in private financing
  • Procured $7.5mm in non-dilutive funding from Gates Foundation, PATH Vaccine Solutions, National Institutes of Health, etc.
  • Marketed Genocea to public investors in collaboration with the CEO and CMO culminating in a $66mm IPO in 2014.
  • Member of the American Association of Immunologist and the American Society of Microbiologists.
  • Author of multiple peer-reviewed publications.

Role Model:

  • Initiated outreach to bring more women into STEM education.
  • Actively pursues chances to share stories with, and introduce girls to the opportunities in scientific fields.
  • Educates young women, based on her personal experience, to help others navigate early career challenges successfully.
  • Panelist in annual National Symposium for the Advancement of Women in STEM, 2015, organized by Women in Science at Harvard-Radcliffe discussing women in biotechnology as compared with academia.

Reinvention / Risk / Momentum:

  • Team created two product candidates that are in clinical testing, both in under five years from blackboard to bedside, unprecedented in vaccine development.
  • Instituted organization change to optimize and increase efficiency and facilitate rapid growth (32% increase in one year).
  • Responsible for team of 43 scientists and researches and manages company’s pipeline and portfolio, intellectual property, evaluation of in-licensing opportunities and creation/maintenance of external collaborations.
  • Leverages experience growing a nascent biotech co. from start-up to successful IPO by serving on Boards of other small biotech companies.
  • Networks with fellow scientists and venture capitalists to build relationships and pay forward her acquired knowledge.
  • Guiding her company through an expansion of scope to add immuno-oncology to present infectious disease focus.

“Jessica is a scientific leader, mentor and pioneer in the development of novel immunotherapies. She has cultivated the scientific growth of Genocea from its formation through the company’s IPO and beyond – setting the vision for the development of the company’s T cell-directed vaccines in infectious disease and immuno-oncology.”