Jennifer Pickens, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Client Services

jpickens@southernresearch.org

Pickens holds more than 10 years of scientific leadership experience as a subject matter expert in infectious diseases and preclinical drug development focused on the advancement of cutting-edge vaccine and therapeutic medical countermeasures in the nonclinical and clinical setting. Before joining Southern Research in 2019 and again in 2022, she earned a Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia in 2011 under the mentorship of S. Mark Tompkins and later completed postdoctoral fellowships (2012-2017) within the laboratory of James E. Crowe, Jr at the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center and Ralph A. Tripp at the University Georgia. Her career has focused on managing preclinical research programs aimed at identifying and assessing the efficacy of novel antiviral therapeutics against potentially lethal respiratory viruses (i.e. respiratory syncytial virus, metapneumoviruses, SARS-CoV-2 and influenza), as well as managing more than 40 clinical trials within the Lymphoma and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Division at Sarah Cannon Research Institute, working alongside renowned physician leaders Dr. Ian W. Flinn and Dr. Carlos Bachier. During the COVID-19 pandemic, her work focused predominately on developing the nonclinical commercial and government A/BSL-3 SAR-CoV-2 program at Southern Research before joining the Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA) in 2021 as a nonclinical and infectious disease SME/Biologist. She returned to Southern Research in 2022 as Associate Director of Client Services; and in her new role, she works alongside commercial and government clients providing scientific and operational guidance through the lifecycle of their pre-IND pipelines. Her research has resulted in eight highly-cited publications and invitations to present at national and international conferences.

Pickens’ Key Accomplishments:
• Identified low pathogenic avian influenza strains that exhibited enhanced pandemic potential
• In vitro and in vivo characterized antiviral therapeutics against influenza, RSV, orthopoxvirus, SARS-CoV-2, HIV, and hMPV
• Helped develop the hamster and NHP animal models for SARS-CoV-2

Related Articles

Southern Research breaks ground on new biotech center and campus renovations

Southern Research breaks ground on new biotech center and campus renovations

May 16, 2022 | Southern Research

Birmingham, Ala. – Southern Research today broke ground on a flagship biotech center that will anchor the development of 200,000 square feet of new or renovated wet lab space for life sciences. The new facility, located on the corner of R...
Read More
Southern Research expands, diversifies board of directors

Southern Research expands, diversifies board of directors

April 27, 2022 | Southern Research

The Southern Research board of directors has expanded to 15 members, with new additions representing a diverse range of national expertise. The new members were recently approved by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees and will join the current board in May 2022. “Southern Res...
Read More
Southern Research announces new key additions to staff, leadership team

Southern Research announces new key additions to staff, leadership team

January 18, 2022 | Southern Research

Southern Research today announced key additions to its staff and leadership team. Brantley Fry has joined the organization as its new vice president of People and Community. Fry served as state director for former U.S. Sen. Doug Jones and most recently has worked as chief of staff and general ...
Read More