Human Biology Division, Fred Hutch
Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutch
Endowed Chair for Graduate Education
Director, Office of Education and Training
Dr. Julie Overbaugh studies HIV. She is particularly interested in factors that influence HIV transmission. She has been involved in decades-long research studies in Kenya that focus on HIV transmission, from mother to infant and in sex workers. In the 1990s, Dr. Overbaugh was part of the team that highlighted the risk of HIV transmission in breast milk, giving HIV-positive mothers important information that could protect their children. Drawing on samples collected during this groundbreaking trial, Dr. Overbaugh has also outlined characteristics of a mother’s immune response against HIV that can protect her infant, and she charted aspects of the infant immune response that could help improve HIV vaccine design. Her research in sex workers highlighted the role that other infections play in shaping the number of HIV variants that hop from one person to another. Her team also studied how the immune system responds when a person already infected with HIV is infected a second time with a new strain.
Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1983
Postdoctoral Fellow, Cancer Biology, Harvard University
The focus of research in the Overbaugh lab is on mechanisms of viral pathogenesis. Her lab studies several retroviruses, with a particular focus on those that lead to a prolonged chronic asymptomatic infection followed by eventual development of immunodeficiency disease (FeLV, SIV and HIV).
—Dr. Julie Overbaugh