Julie McElrath, MD, PhD

faculty member

Julie McElrath, MD, PhD

Senior Vice President and Director
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutch

Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutch

Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch

Joel D. Meyers Endowed Chair
Fred Hutch

Fax: 206.667.7767
Mail Stop: VIDD E5-110; Clinical Research D3-100

Dr. Julie McElrath is a global leader in the study of ways to prevent and control infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. As a principal investigator and director of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network’s Laboratory Center, she works to develop an effective vaccine and plays a key role in HVTN, the largest international program for testing such vaccines. Her team develops tests to predict the effectiveness of potential HIV vaccines before they move on to large-scale clinical trials, so resources can be steered to the most promising candidates. She also directs the Seattle HIV Vaccine Trials Unit, one of many international sites involved in HIV prevention trials. As head of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at Fred Hutch, Dr. McElrath spearheads research on ways to protect against microbial threats and improve outcomes for people with chronic infections and cancer. Her own research is uncovering how HIV enters cells that line the genital tract and how specialized immune cells in this tissue might protect against HIV exposure. She also studies those who do not contract HIV despite repeated exposure and those whose infections do not progress for many years. When COVID-19 emerged, Dr. McElrath used her expertise to tackle this latest global pandemic.

Other Appointments & Affiliations

Professor, Department of Medicine
University of Washington

Adjunct Professor, Department of Global Health and Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
University of Washington


MD, Medical University of South Carolina, 1980

PhD, Medical University of South Carolina, 1978

Research Interests

Understanding human immune responses that control and prevent HIV infection using multi-disciplinary and cross-platform approaches

HIV-1 vaccine development globally

Identifying innate immune mechanisms following vaccination

Current Projects

HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) Laboratory

Seattle HIV Vaccine Trials Unit (HVTU)

Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD)

Immune Correlates of Protection Following Malaria and Tuberculosis Vaccines

Long Term Non-Progressor Cohort (LTNP)

Microbicide Trials Network

"As a parent, part of the reason I do this research is to create a brighter future for my son's generation. It makes my work that much more important to me."

 — Dr. Julie McElrath

Find a Clinical Trial

COVID-19 Research at Fred Hutch

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