Rachel A. Bender Ignacio, MD, MPH

Faculty Member

Rachel A. Bender Ignacio, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutch

Medical Director
COVID-19 Clinical Research Center, Fred Hutch

Fax: 206.667.7711
Mail Stop: E2-112

Dr. Rachel Bender Ignacio is a physician-scientist who specializes in the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, focusing on HIV/AIDS and COVID-19. With a background in epidemiology and global health, she explores co-infections with herpesviruses or tuberculosis among people with or at risk for HIV. Dr. Bender Ignacio also studies the development of cancers in people living with HIV and develops protocols for clinical care of people with HIV-related malignancies. Her translational research on the immune system includes research on inflammation, immune-cell and antibody responses to viral infections, and susceptibility to HIV, as well as studies on the establishment of latency in early HIV infection. She also is engaged in the design and operation of studies on ways to treat COVID-19 in its early stages. Dr. Bender Ignacio is a member of the HOPE Group (HIV Outcomes, Prevention and Epidemiology).

Other Appointments & Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Department of Medicine, University of Washington

Attending Physician
University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center Infectious Disease Services

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
School of Public Health, University of Washington


2012-2015 Fellow, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington

2014 University of Washington School of Public Health, MPH-Epidemiology

2008-2011 Resident, Internal Medicine Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard, Boston

2008 University of Washington School of Medicine, MD, Certificate in Global Health

2004 Dartmouth College, AB Religion, Presidential Scholar with Honors

Research Interests

Co-Infections in HIV: Various studies on human herpesviruses and tuberculosis in the setting of HIV infection or HIV risk

Inflammation, Immune responses in HIV and HIV susceptibility: Studying the role of immune activation on risk for HIV and in establishment of latency in early HIV infection, as well as role of early ART on immunologic and virologic outcomes of HIV

HIV-associated Malignancy: Protocol co-chair for AIDS Malignancy Consortium study. Various issues surrounding HIV care in persons with HIV-associated malignancies including: improvement around HIV diagnosis, treatment, barriers to care, and concomitant use of antiretroviral therapy during cancer treatment

VirScan Assay: Spearheading the transfer of this technology to the Fred Hutch and how this assay can serve as a tool for understanding immune responses to the anti-virome and for prediction of clinical outcomes

COVID-19 Epidemiology and Treatment: Designing and conducting translational, early phase, and large efficacy studies of COVID-19 treatments. Understanding the epidemiology of COVID-19 in people with HIV

Clinical Expertise


General Infectious Diseases

Infections in Solid Organ Transplantation

Herpesvirus infections

HIV-associated malignancy

HIV/TB co-infection

Awards & Honors

2003 - William Jewett Tucker Foundation International Fellowship

2004 - Presidential Scholar with Honors, Dartmouth College

2005 - Medical Student Research Training Program, University of Washington

2011 - Yale Johnson & Johnson Fellowship (deferred for another competing opportunity)

2011 - Winickoff Fellowship for Research in Primary Care, Massachusetts General Hospital

2012 - IDWeek Trainee Grant Award Winner

2014 - CFAR Trainee Support Grant

2015 - CROI Young Investigator Award

2016 - K23 Mentored Career Award, NIAID, NIH

2018 - CFAR New Investigator Award

2019 - Outstanding Research Mentor of 2019, University of Washington School of Medicine

2019 - UW Global Innovation Fund Award

2020 - Chair of Medicine Award, UW Department of Medicine

"Throughout history, how people care for the marginalized parts of the population and develop cities and their infrastructure is intrinsically tied to who’s in charge and their ethos."

— Dr. Rachel Bender Ignacio

Find an Active Clinical Trial Led by Dr. Bender Ignacio

Dr. Bender Ignacio in the News

Tackling the unknowns of long-haul COVID-19

Hutch News - January 26, 2022

Hopes and predictions for 2022

Hutch News - December 21, 2021

Science Says: Fearless science

Hutch News - December 02, 2021

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with faculty.

Email media@fredhutch.org or call 206.667.2210