Print Edition

  Email News Updates

Upstate Medical’s Thomas serves as lead principal investigator for Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trial

By Eric Reinhardt (


Dr. Stephen Thomas, chief of infectious disease of Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, is the lead principal investigator for the global Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trial. Upstate Medical is serving as one of the phase-three vaccine-trial locations. In this photo, Thomas is pictured in July at a news conference at Upstate Medical’s Institute for Human Performance during a visit by New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate Medical University’s Dr. Stephen Thomas has been appointed the lead principal investigator for the global Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trial, which is showing a more than 90 percent efficacy in preventing COVID-19.

Upstate Medical is serving as one of the global, phase-three vaccine-trial locations. Thomas is the medical school’s chief of infectious disease.

As the lead principal investigator, Thomas supports Pfizer and BioNTech as they prepare vaccine-trial data for submission to regulatory agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

The data submission is expected to happen later this month.

“The Upstate team has worked incredibly hard to support Pfizer and their partners as we all try to find ways to stop this pandemic,” Thomas said in the release. “This hard work combined with the outpouring of support from our CNY community has put [us] in a position to be great contributors to the COVID vaccine develop effort.”

Dr. Mantosh Dewan, president of Upstate Medical, commented, “Dr. Stephen Thomas’s international leadership role as lead principal investigator on the Pfizer/BioNTech global phase 3 clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate is a source of pride for all of us. He and the work of his colleagues here at Upstate and across the globe on this vaccine trial are having a dramatic impact on how we will prevail over this pandemic.”

As one of the global, phase-three vaccine-trial sites, Upstate Medical University has enrolled more than 300 adult volunteers in the trial. The study of the vaccine candidate in younger volunteers will begin soon, and Upstate Medical was again selected as one of a few sites.


Thank You For Visiting