VIDD Research Programs

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division’s (VIDD) strategy involves methodically uncovering findings in the laboratory that inform prevention studies in the clinic. Advanced statistical methods are used to analyze our experiments and reveal practical insights that guide patient care. Our advanced computational analyses help scientists and policymakers predict and prevent future outbreaks.

Our research encompasses an international scope, seeking preventions and cures for globally significant diseases including COVID-19, HIV, Ebola, tuberculosis, malaria and West Nile Virus. We also maintain robust research efforts to prevent and treat the most dangerous infections for cancer patients and people with weakened immune systems. These include cytomegalovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and multiple herpes viruses.

Leading COVID-19 Research Efforts

VIDD researchers having been on the leading edge of the research efforts for the pandemic from the beginning — charting the global movement of the virus through its genetic code as the virus spreads, developing diagnostic and serology tests and leading multi-phase observational and treatment trials — with the intent to reduce the incidence of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks.

Mapping Disease Progression

Using mathematical modeling, computational biology, epidemiology and statistics, scientists within our Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Epidemiology (BBE) Program determine how infectious diseases are spread and contained. Our researchers collaborate across multiple research areas to incorporate biostatistics, bioinformatics and population modeling throughout vaccine design, development, evaluation and deployment.

Trevor Bedford, Ph.D.

Tracking the Spread of Viruses

The Bedford Lab studies the dynamics of virus populations to understand how strains evolve and spread throughout the world, with particularly interest in how viruses mutate in response to immune responses.

Photo of Youyi Fong

Analyzing Vaccine Clinical Trials

The Fong Group uses biostatistical modeling and computational methods to analyze the effectiveness of vaccine candidates in HIV, dengue and cholera clinical trials.

Peter Gilbert, Ph.D.

Developing HIV VAccine Trials and Statistical Methods

The Gilbert Group is focused on the statistical design and analysis of HIV vaccine efficacy trials, with emphasis on assessing immune correlates of vaccine-induced protection. 

Elizabeth Halloran, M.D., D.Sc.

Using Analytics to Gain a Broader View of Vaccine Effects

The Halloran Group researches study designs and analytic methods for evaluating vaccines in populations. Research includes developing new methods as well as applying existing methods to novel applications.

Ying Huang, Ph.D.

Expanding the Use of Biomarkers in Disease Identification and Treatment

The Huang Group develops statistical methods for design and analysis of biomarker studies for disease screening, surrogate endpoint identification and treatment selection in cancer and infectious diseases.

Aaron Hudson, Ph.D.

Vaccine Efficacy Design and Analysis

Dr. Aaron Hudson is a biostatistician engaged in the design and analysis of vaccine efficacy trials. He develops and employs statistical tools to analyze a person’s immune response to vaccination and to assess the risk of adverse health outcomes.

Designing More Effective Vaccines and New Therapies

Scientists in our Immunology and Vaccine Development (IVD) Program aim to gain a fundamental understanding of the immune system, so we can create effective vaccines against serious global diseases. Our ultimate goal is to create vaccines that induce broader, more effective responses against infectious diseases. We also work to develop novel therapies for cancer, COVID-19, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other related infections. Researchers in IVD pursue investigations in the molecular underpinnings of immune regulation, vaccine immune monitoring and HIV vaccine and adjuvant design.

Ann Duerr, Ph.D., M.P.H.

From South America to Africa, Approaching HIV in Myriad Ways

The HOPE Group focuses on interventions among African women to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission via breastfeeding and on trials of prophylactic HIV vaccines through the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.

James Kublin, M.D., M.P.H.

Studying the Interaction Between the Micobiome and Vaccines

The Kublin Lab studies the role of the microbiome in vaccine responses, with a focus on how specific microbes and their metabolites modulate host innate and adaptive immune responses related for HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis clinical trials.

Jennifer Lund, Ph.D.

Immunity and HIV, Hsv-2, Influenza and West Nile Virus

The Lund Lab investigates the immune correlates of protection from HIV infection among exposed seronegative individuals, and the potential immune modulatory effects of using pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Julie McElrath, M.D. Ph.D.

Preventing Disease Through Partnerships

The McElrath Lab applies multi-disciplinary and cross-platform approaches to their studies on HIV, malaria and tuberculosis vaccines, partnering with multiple organizations in various countries.

Andrew McGuire, Ph.D.

Understanding Antibodies to Improve Vaccine

The McGuire Lab studies antibody response to natural infection with viral pathogens of public health importance and design and test safe and effective vaccines.

Evan Newell, Ph.D.

Human T Cell Immunology

The Newell Lab develops and applies novel methods for identifying and characterizing antigen-specific human T cells in the context of cancer and chronic infection.

Martin Prlic, Ph.D.

Defining the Functional Plasticipty and Potential of T Cells

The Prlic Lab studies T cell and innate-like T cell responses in mucosal tissues, with a particular interest in understanding how these cells function during infections and cancer occurrences to learn how to manipulate the cells for therapeutic purposes.

Leo Stamatatos, Ph.D.

Investigating B Cell Responses to Infection and Vaccination

The Stamatatos Lab investigates the activation, survival and maturation of B cell clonal lineages, and develops new immunogens and immunization regimens to target these lineages in vivo.

Justin Taylor, Ph.D.

Building a Better Vaccine

The Taylor Lab studies the mechanisms limiting the generation of a protective B cell response to better understand the phenotypic and functional analysis of naive and activated B cells, leading to increased knowledge in effective vaccine design.

Detecting, Preventing and Treating Infectious Diseases

Scientists in our Infectious Disease Sciences (IDS) Program apply laboratory, clinical and computational approaches to advance our knowledge and understanding of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, HIV, HSV-2, West Nile virus, Zika virus. We concentrate on detecting, preventing and treating infectious diseases as well as mitigating serious diseases, including Graft-versus-Host Disease and Cytomegalovirus in immunocompromised individuals, who are at high risk for infection. Our goal is to advance knowledge of host-pathogen interactions and develop innovative management strategies for infectious diseases.

Michael Boeckh, M.D., Ph.D.

Preventing and Treating Infections in Immunocompromised Patients

The Boeckh Lab strives to prevent infectious disease in healthy and  immunocompromised hosts and to reduce the severity of infections that do occur. The team focuses on COVID-19, herpes viruses, respiratory viruses, and biomarkers that define susceptibility to infectious diseases.

Larry Corey, M.D.

Viral Immunology and Tissue-Based Immunity

The Corey Lab seeks to understand how tissue resident cells in the genital tract contribute to host containment of HSV-2, with the goal to develop therapies that control HSV-2 reactivation and reduce transmission.

David Fredricks, M.D.

Understanding Microbial Communities in Health and Disease

The Fredricks Lab uses molecular biological tools to describe microbial diversity. They identify specific microbial communities associated with disease states including graft-vs.-host disease and bacterial vaginosis.

Leslie Goo, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Studying the Immune Response to Flaviviruses

The Goo Lab researches the immune response to mosquito-borne flaviviruses such as dengue virus, West Nile virus, and Zika virus. By combining tools in virology, molecular biology, immunology, genomics, and epidemiology, the team strives to inform the design of vaccines and antiviral drugs.

Joshua Hill, M.D.

Infections in Immunocompromised Hosts

The Hill Group studies the epidemiology of infections in immunocompromised populations, with a focus on human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and other viral infections in bone marrow transplant recipients, as well as the infectious complications of CAR-T cell immunotherapies.

Keith Jerome, M.D., Ph.D.

Fighting Viruses Through Gene Therapy

The Jerome Lab investigates the use of gene editing enzymes and other gene therapy approaches to target persistent viral infections. These approaches offer the prospect of cure for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, and herpes simplex virus infections.

Catherine Liu, M.D.

Improving Patient Outcomes Through Appropriate Use of Antimicrobials

The Liu Group focuses on evaluating and optimizing the usage of antimicrobials and infectious disease diagnostic tests with the aim to improve outcomes for cancer patients and prevent the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant pathogens.

Manoj Menon, M.D.

Improving Cancer Care in Resource-Limited Settings

The Menon Group strives to enhance cancer diagnostics in Uganda, and to improve the care of patients with cancer in resource-limited regions.

Steve Pergam, M.D., M.P.H.

Preventing Infections in Susceptible Populations

The Pergam Group studies the prevention of infections in cancer patients, transplant recipients and other immunocompromised populations. They investigate risk factors for healthcare and community-acquired infections in these groups.

Warren Phipps, M.D., M.P.H.

Investigating HIV-Associated Malignancies

The Phipps Group focuses on human herpesvirus-8 virology and the pathogenesis of Kaposi sarcoma (KS). Specific areas of investigation include factors associated with KS presentation and treatment outcomes, as well as host and viral gene expression in KS tumors.

Joshua Schiffer, M.D., M.Sc.

Models and More: Various Approaches to Fighting Infectious Disease

The Schiffer Group uses mathematical models to generate novel hypotheses that inform the design and implementation of clinical and laboratory experiments for the human microbiome and viral infections in persons undergoing stem cell transplantation.

Anna Wald, M.D., M.P.H.

Controlling Chronic Viral Infections

The Wald Lab studies the epidemiology and natural history of chronic viral infections in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts leading to the development of clinical trials of antiviral therapeutics and prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for viral pathogens.

Networks, Centers and Laboratories

VIDD plays a key role in several large-scale research networks, centers and laboratories dedicated to the elimination of infectious diseases. Our faculty members lead administrative and scientific efforts within organizations. Through these collaborations, VIDD is leveraging comprehensive and efficient approaches to eliminate or reduce the morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases: