Another year of the COVID-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on health care leaders who’ve guided their teams through tragedy, burnout, innovation, and research in the effort to combat the virus. The Puget Sound Business Journal is recognizing 11 such leaders — plus one in memoriam — in their third annual Health Care Leadership Awards. Honorees include Dr. Lisa Jackson of Kaiser Permanente.
Lisa A. Jackson, MD, MPH, is a senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI), where she’s also the principal investigator in the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit — one of 10 network sites that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sponsors.
Dr. Jackson is an internist and infectious disease epidemiologist who has been conducting clinical and epidemiologic studies of vaccine safety and efficacy since 1991. After receiving her medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Dr. Jackson earned her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at the University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health. She completed her internal medicine residency training at the UW School of Medicine and served as an epidemic intelligence officer and preventive medicine resident at the CDC.
Most recently, Dr. Jackson led the world’s first COVID-19 clinical vaccine trial, co-developed by Moderna, NIH, and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies. She then oversaw the world’s first shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, given to a volunteer in Seattle on March 16, 2020 — a little less than 2 months after the first confirmed U.S. case was identified in Washington. Dr. Jackson also led the phase 3 clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Moderna, NIH, and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, part of Johnson & Johnson, at KPWHRI.
In 2021, the work has not stopped for Dr. Jackson and her team. Throughout the process, Dr. Jackson has stated that “failure is not an option.” She and her team have been involved in 5 clinical trials looking at COVID-19 variants, waning immunity, and booster shots.
Dr. Jackson has written more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and 14 book chapters. She is a past member of the Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee as well as the National Advisory Committee for the National Vaccine Program Office. Her team’s research findings are being shared with the global scientific community via the world’s most influential and most highly cited academic journals.
Dr. Jackson and her fellow honorees will be featured in a special section in the December 10 print edition of the Puget Sound Business Journal. These leaders will also be recognized at a virtual reception on December 9.