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Jennifer Heller

PartnerBay Area

Serves pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology firms, and global health institutions in developing cutting-edge innovation and go-to-market strategies for biologics and vaccines; co-leads our work in vaccines and infectious diseases globally

Jennifer is a leader in our Pharmaceuticals & Medical Products Practice, and she serves pharmaceutical and high growth biotechnology companies on innovation and go-to-market strategies for biological therapeutics and vaccines. A scientist by training, Jennifer leads McKinsey’s knowledge development in vaccines and infectious diseases and is currently a leader of the firm’s public health response to COVID-19.

Jennifer has worked with a broad set of industry-leading biopharmaceutical companies to define their growth strategies with the development and launch of innovative platforms, products, and portfolios in the vaccines and broader biologics markets. She has written and spoken extensively on the topic of vaccines, including sessions at BIO, The Sabin-Aspen Vaccine Science & Policy Group, and the US National Vaccine Advisory Committee. Jennifer has also served clients across the biosimilars industry as it has accelerated in momentum over the past several years.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Jennifer was a trainee at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in their autoimmunity, transplantation, and inflammatory disease area group. She holds a PhD in immunology from Northwestern University and a BS in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona, where she also obtained a BA in Spanish.

  • Life Sciences

Published Work

Beyond the pandemic: The next chapter of innovation in vaccines,” McKinsey & Company, May 2024

A light at the end of the tunnel: US COVID-19 vaccine administration,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

Getting to work: Employers’ role in COVID-19 vaccination,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

On pins and needles: Tracking COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics,” McKinsey & Company, February 2021

The risks and challenges of the global COVID-19-vaccine rollout,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

On pins and needles: Will COVID-19 vaccines save the world,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Refueling the innovation engine in vaccines,” McKinsey & Company, May 2019

5 things to know about biosimilars right now,” McKinsey & Company, July 2018

Past experience

Novartis Pharma AG


Northwestern University
PhD, immunology

University of Arizona
BS, ecology and evolutionary biology
BA, Spanish