Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division

2013

November-December

VIDD Member and HVTN co-PI Dr. Glenda Gray was recently honored by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) with the 2013 EDCTP Outstanding African Scientist Award for her work on the epidemiology and biology of HIV, as well as for her advocacy for improving the care of HIV infected persons.

The EDCTP award is bestowed upon African scientists who ‘have made outstanding achievements in their field and who are recognised as research leaders in Africa.’ Glenda, a Research Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and the Director of the Office of AIDS Research, South Africa Medical Research Council, is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

Faculty Appointments and Promotions

VIDD could not be more excited to announce recent promotions of many stellar faculty here at the Hutch. Dr. Cynthia Fisher was appointed to research associate in VIDD and acting instructor/senior fellow at UW, both effective on September 1. Drs. Xuesong Yu and Dobromir Dimitrov were both promoted to senior staff scientists in July of this year.

In addition, the division applauds the following faculty promotions: Dr. Nicole Frahm, promoted to associate member; Dr. Ying Huang, promoted to associate member effective Jan 1, 2014; Dr. Elizabeth Brown, promoted to member; and Dr. Corey Casper, promoted to member.

VIDD faculty are not just world-class scientists. They possess a true dedication and love for their research: to make a significant impact in the continuing effort to alleviate the world of infectious diseases. A big 'hip hip hooray!' from all of us here in VIDD!

Staff Promotions

VIDD congratulates the recent promotions of Megan Baldwin to protocol operations coordinator and Carrie Trujillo to protocol operations manager.

As you all know, it takes a collaborative effort to keep things afloat around the Center. On rare occasions, the success of a larger team can be attributed to a single person. Shaila Austria is that rare exception and we are very excited to announce that after years of serving the Center community as an employee of the Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, she is officially a Center employee. VIDD had a special get-together to show Shaila how grateful we are for her selfless efforts.

Awards and Honors

VIDD Assistant Member Dr. Josh Schiffer was invited in September to be a standing member of the Institute of Translational Health Sciences’ (ITHS) Center for Scientific Review for small pilot applications. In addition, Josh, along with VIDD Members Drs. Larry Corey and Anna Wald and Systems/Analyst Programmer David Swan, recently published in Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy the article “Rapid viral expansion and short drug half-life explain the incomplete effectiveness of current Herpes Simplex Virus-2 directed antiviral agents” that was one of four papers chosen from among all articles in ASM journals (for which there are 14) in August for a press release, and to be included in Microbe’s Journal Highlights section.

New Hires

Devi Nayar and Liren Xiao were recently hired as systems analyst programmers; Lisa Bunts joins VIDD as a lab data manager; and Nia Johnson-Crowley as a clinical affairs safety manager. PS Statistics welcomes the following postdocs: Dr. Masanao YajimaDr. Shibasish Dasgupta and Dr. Jacob FrelingerDr. Matthew ConnorDr. Alicia Young, and Dr. Hillary Superak joined VIDD as statistical research associates in applied statistics.

Welcome all!

Other

The Infectious Disease (ID) Consult Service of VIDD, in conjunction with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), is excited to announce the expansion of the ID consult service with a new half-day outpatient clinic. Our ID physicians on the service currently serve SCCA patients in the general oncology and transplant populations at both the inpatient and outpatient facilities; this expansion will provide dedicated ID physician presence for an additional afternoon of outpatient service each week. The ID Consult Service team thanks the SCCA Senior Management Team, the SCCA’s Communications team, the Center’s Practice Plan Office, External and Internal Communications, and VIDD for their support of this initiative.

Current Job Openings

Populations Sciences open positions:
SCHARP Applied Statistics:
Statistical Research Associate III (x2)
Statistical Research Associate IV (x2)
SCHARP Statistical Programming:
Systems Analyst Programmer II (x2)
Systems Analyst Programmer III
Systems Analyst Programmer VI
PS Statistics:
Post-doc
Systems Analyst Programmer IV
SCHARP Project Management Unit:
Project Management Unit Head

HVTN:
Clinical Trials Physician/Protocol Team Leader
Regulatory Affairs Supervisor/Manager

 

October

The Puget Sound Business Journal (PSBJ) honors Dr. Julie McElrath as one of the 2013 Women of Influence. The Business Journal’s Women of Influence awards program recognizes the hard work and dedication of Puget Sound businesswomen, community leaders and philanthropists who have made significant contributions to their communities. Julie was one of 16 award winners out of 195 nominations. Congratulations, Julie!

Julie will be honored at the Women of Influence Awards Ceremony, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. Click to see a complete list of Women of Influence Alumnae and to purchase tickets for the event.

Faculty Appointments and Promotions

VIDD Associate Director and Member Dr. Steve Self has decided to step down as head of the VIDD Population Sciences (PS) Program. Steve took the reins in establishing and developing the PS Program; a program whose success would not have been possible without him. We are delighted to announce that as of September 1, 2013, Dr. Peter Gilbert will become the new PS Program Head. This transition should be seamless, and both Steve and Peter will continue to serve on the VIDD Executive Committee. A special interest of Peter’s is strengthening bonds with the University of Washington biostatistics department and other UW quantitative science departments, both to improve the educational programs and to improve VIDD research conducted collaboratively with students.

On behalf of VIDD, we wish to thank Steve for his great efforts in leading the PS Program and congratulate Peter for taking the helm. 

Dr. Yunda Huang, a biostatistician in SCHARP, was recently promoted to principal staff scientist, effective October 1, 2013. Also effective October 1, Dr. Mac Cheever’s appointment of affiliate investigator was renewed for 2 years. Mac’s primary appointment is professor of oncology at University of Washington. Dr. Erin Gabriel joined VIDD as an affiliate investigator in September. She is a mathematical statistician at the National Institutes of Health and, more familiarly, a recent graduate of UW’s doctoral program in Biostatistics (her PhD advisor was our own Peter Gilbert).

We congratulate the appointment of Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem to VIDD affiliate investigator. He is a full member in the Clinical Research Division and professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Hans-Peter also has extensive experience in pre-clinical and clinical studies of stem cell transplantation and gene therapy. He also serves as a co-principal investigator with Dr. Keith Jerome of the Martin Delaney Collaboratory, funded by NIH to develop therapies for the cure of HIV.

Congrats to all!

 

August-September

VIDD Staff Scientist Dr. Michele Peake Andrasik led the fourth installment of the Qualitative Methods Workshop Series sponsored by UW/FHCRC CFAR Sociobehavioral & Prevention Research Core:
"Writing Grant Applications that Incorporate Qualitative Research" August 16th, 2013 at the Health Sciences Library.

Faculty Appointments and Promotions

VIDD welcomes newly appointed Assistant Member Dr. Trevor Bedford. Trevor came via air, land and sea from University of Edinburgh, Scotland to join VIDD’s Population Sciences program.

Dr. Yunda Huang, as of June 1, 2013, is starting a new leadership position for the HVTN Statistical and Data Management Center (SDMC): associate director of Phase I/II Statistical Science. Yunda has been a member of the SDMC Vaccine Leadership Team for more than a year. VIDD welcomes Dr. Xinyi (Cindy) Zhang who was appointed staff scientist June 14, 2013.

The Population Sciences program congratulates Dr. Jingyang Zhang for appointment to staff scientist. VIDD Staff Scientist Dr. Michele Andrasik was recently appointed as clinical assistant professor in the Department of Global Health at University of Washington, effective July 1, 2013.

Awards and Honors

VIDD Assistant Member Dr. Josh Schiffer was chosen for the Institute for Translational Health Sciences' (ITHS) Rising Star Program in March 2013. The ITHS is a partnership between University of Washington, Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Northwest Association for Biomedical Research, as well as other local institutions and communities. Their mission is to improve public health in the WWAMI states: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.

University of Washington announced this year’s Awards of Excellence recipients, recognizing achievements in teaching, mentoring, public service, and staff support. The winners were honored June 13 at a ceremony in Meany Hall for the campus and general public. Harald Haugen, lab supervisor for the McElrath Lab, received a Distinguished Staff Award for work in the Partners PrEP study team.
Congrats, Harald!

Staff Promotions

Population Sciences recently promoted several staff members. Katie Snapinn is now a systems analyst programmer, Lily Zhang is a statistical research associate, Jill Zeller is now a clinical affairs safety associate, Tammy Buechler is a grant and contract coordinator, and Xin Li has moved to statistical research associate. Congratulations to all!

New Hires

VIDD welcomes many new faces in Population Sciences:

Shannon Grant - statistical research associate
Brent Douglas - systems administrator
Chris Troeger - data coordinator
Zach MacMillen - research tech
Danny Szydlo - statistical research associate
Kate Ostbye - statistical programmer
Dr. Michal Juraska - postdoctoral fellow
Kevin Ushey - systems analyst-programmer
Dr. Soyoung Kim - postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Betsy Teeple - postdoctoral fellow

Dr. Bryan Mayer and Dr. Pavitra Roychoudhury are new postdoctoral fellows working with Dr. Joshua Schiffer. Roychoudhury recently received her Ph.D. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from University of Idaho.

Please help us in welcoming Vinitha Rangaraju as an intern with the HVTN Regulatory Affairs Unit. Vini has just completed her first year in the UW master’s program in Biomedical Regulatory Affairs, which includes courses on clinical trials and technical writing.

There are two new hires in HANC: Dr. Melissa Austin, HANC laboratory project manager; and Kiarra Witcher, Legacy Project, Be The Generation Bridge, program assistant.

Other

On Thursday, May 16, VIDD investigators took part in the HIV Prevention Panel: "Gels and Pills as HIV PrEP: The Promise of Prevention in Africa?" This event was part of the University of Washington graduate-level course HIV/STIs in Women and Children. The panel included VIDD Member Dr. Barbra Richardson and VIDD Affiliate Investigators Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo and Dr. Connie Celum.

The HPTN 2013 Annual Meeting, held in Washington, D.C. May 6-8, 2013, included VIDD Principal Staff Scientist Dr. Deborah Donnell who gave a plenary talk entitled “Non inferiority trials of new PrEP interventions” in the Current and Future Prevention Science: Part II session. For the meeting agenda and plenary presentations, visit http://www.hptn.org/network_information/2013AnnMtgPlenary.htm.

Goings

Dr. Tobias Hohl will be leaving VIDD in August 2013 for Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He has made great contributions, both as a scientist and clinician, to our understanding of invasive fungal infections, particularly in cancer patients. We are grateful that he will remain part of VIDD as an affiliate investigator. All of VIDD wishes Tobias the best of luck!

 

March-May

Faculty Appointments and Promotions

VIDD has recently appointed several outstanding faculty as affiliate investigators: Dr. Trevor Bedford, University of Edinburgh, Scotland; Dr. Connie Celum, University of Washington, Medicine and Global Health; Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, University of Washington, Medicine and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Ruanne Barnabas, University of Washington, Medicine and Global Health (renewal); Dr. Ajit Limaye, University of Washington, Medicine (renewal), Dr. Robert Hackman, University of Washington, Pathology and Lab Medicine; and Dr. Jia Zhu, University of Washington, Lab Medicine.

Dr. David Fredricks was promoted to VIDD member and Dr. James Dai was promoted to associate member, both in January 2013.

VIDD assistant member Dr. Martin Prlic was recently appointed to affiliate assistant professor and staff scientist Dr. Jennifer Balkus to affiliate instructor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington.

Awards and Honors

Congratulations to Dr. Corey Casper, who recently received one of four International Infrastructure Awards from the UW/FHCRC Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) International Core. The award will fund space renovations to house a new generator for the production of liquid nitrogen at the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala, Uganda.

The following seven new scholars have been chosen in the HVTN Research and Mentorship Program (RAMP) for Black and Latino Medical Students, 2013-14.

Oluosla "Justin" Ayankola    (mentor Lindsey Baden)
Nubia Chong            (mentors Steve DeRosa, Nicole Frahm)
Sean Fling            (mentors Rick Novak, Michele Andrasik)
Rebecca Obeng            (mentors Dan Barouch, Ken Mayer)
Oscar Padilla            (mentors Esper Kallas, Ken Mayer)
Sharise Richardson        (mentors Hong Van Tieu, Beryl Koblin)
Bennie Taylor            (mentors Hyman Scott, Jonathan Fuchs)

VIDD assistant member Dr. Paul Edlefsen was elected as a new member to the Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium. The Consortium includes over 400 faculty from the Center, UW, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Seattle Children’s Hospital and was designed as a collaboratory of doctors and scientists in the Seattle area whose research interests include public health, cancer and basic biology.

New Hires

VIDD welcomes Samantha Mastridge, a new grants and contracts coordinator in Population Sciences Finance, Keala Li in Populations Sciences Applied Statistics as a statistical research associate and David Costanzo in Population Sciences Information Systems as a systems analyst/programmer.

 

January-February

Faculty Appointments and Promotions

VIDD Assistant Professor Dr. Josh Schiffer has a joint appointment with the Clinical Research Division and the University of Washington School of Medicine Department of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as an Assistant Professor. 

Dr. Lakshmi Rajagopal was appointed Affiliate Investigator, effective September 1, 2012. Dr. Rajagopal is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Microbiology and Global Health, University of Washington School of Medicine/Seattle Children’s Research Institute. The division looks forward to her collaboration on new tools in bacterial pathogenesis.

Dr. Angela Campbell was also appointed Affiliate Investigator, effective September 1, 2012. Dr. Campbell is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Washington School of Medicine/Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Campbell formerly held the position of Associate in VIDD and CRD. She will continue her collaborations with the division, focusing on respiratory virus infections, and their impact on stem cell transplant recipients.

VIDD faculty recently appointed 2 new Staff Scientists, Drs. Jessica Graham and Yao Li, effective October 1, 2012. Dr. Graham works with Dr. Jenny Lund on examining the role of regulatory T cells during flavivirus infection using a mouse model as part of a collaborative U19-funded project centered at the University of Washington Department of Immunology. Dr. Li works in Dr. Peter Gilbert’s group and is interested in how host genetics impact immune responses to vaccination that are hypothesized to have protected some RV144 vaccine recipients from HIV-1 infection, and if and how host genetics modulate the vaccine effect on post-infection endpoints. Dr. Li will collaborate with Dr. Sue Li on this project.

Longtime member of the HVTN team, Niles Eaton, has been promoted to Associate Director of Site Operations.

Congratulations to all!

Awards and Honors

Dr. Tobias Hohl was recently elected as a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in August 2012 for his outstanding contributions to the field.

Congratulations to the following UW doctors, who received ID Week Trainee Awards (both are associated with IDS):

Dr. Cynthia Fisher

Dr. Alpana Waghmare

New Hires

The HVTN welcomes Stephaun Wallace, who will be a Community Engagement Officer in Legacy, starting 1/21/13.

Other

The first defeatHIV Newsletter was recently published on defeatHIV.org. defeatHIV is a collaboration of scientists from the public and private sectors working together with the common goal of HIV eradication. VIDD’s Drs. Keith JeromeStephen De Rosa and Martin Prlic are part of this consortium.

Job Openings

There are currently no openings.

Goings

Dr. Olivier Defawe recently left VIDD for a position in biotech. Good luck, Olivier!