IVD Research

Reducing Human Suffering Due to Infectious Diseases

Immunology and Vaccine Development (IVD) researchers are experts in the molecular underpinnings of the host immune response as well as in host genetics. Our research efforts are focused on all aspects of immunology, including investigating pathogens, studying the basic mechanisms of the immune response to infection, evaluating the molecular underpinnings of immune regulation, and developing and testing vaccines and preventative therapeutics that raise robust immunity in people at risk of cancer and other deadly infectious diseases such as COVID-19, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and Ebola. Researchers in IVD also collaborate extensively with the biostatisticians and clinicians in VIDD and throughout Fred Hutch as well as with international colleagues in major global networks.

Diseases We Investigate

The tools and techniques we have developed and discoveries we have made have broad applicability to many challenging diseases with significant global health impacts. Researchers within our program study a variety of diseases, with new findings in one disease often translating to exciting new avenues of research in another disease.

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Coronanavirus (COVID-19)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Malaria
  • Ebola
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus
  • West Nile Virus
  • Dengue Fever
  • Zika Virus

Leading Global Research Against HIV

For more than a decade, Fred Hutch has led the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, a critical global effort aimed at creating an effective vaccine against HIV. As the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases largest clinical trial network, the HVTN operates over 30 sites on five continents and has collaborations with researchers at numerous internationally renowned research institutes.

More About Immunology and Vaccine Research in Progress

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Improving Care of Vulnerable Patients

Dr. Jim Boonyaratanakornkit studies viruses that afflict vulnerable patients and uses highly sensitive techniques to identify protective immune responses against viruses.

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From South America to Africa, Approaching HIV in Myriad Ways

Dr. Ann Duerr 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 (HVTN). The lab also conducts clinical studies and research in non-human primates and antiretroviral treatment to prevent onward HIV transmission in Peru.

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Studying the Immune Responses to Flaviviruses

Dr. Leslie Goo 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.

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Studying the Interaction Between the Micobiome and Vaccines

Dr. James Kublin 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. His work includes developing discrete microbial consortia to manipulate vaccine responses in gnotobiotic mouse models, as well as investigating microbiome and immunogenicity data from HIV, malaria, and TB clinical trials.

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

Dr. Jennifer Lund investigates the basic mechanisms of immunity in the context of viral infection. She is also focused on the immune correlates of protection from HIV infection among exposed seronegative individuals, and the potential immune modulatory effects of using pre-exposure prophylaxis.

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Preventing Disease Through Partnerships

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

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Understanding Antibodies to Improve Vaccine

Dr. Andrew McGuire studies antibody response to natural infection with viral pathogens of public health importance. Through increased knowledge of protective antibody responses to viral antigens, his group designs and tests safe and effective vaccines.

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Human T Cell Immunology

Dr. Evan Newell develops and applies novel methods for identifying and characterizing antigen-specific human T cells in the context of cancer and chronic infection, with the goal of identifying specific and accurate biomarkers of human health and disease.

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Defining the Functional Plasticity and Potential of T Cells

Dr. Martin Prlic primarily 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. By understanding the molecular basis of cell activation and differentiation, his group hopes to learn how to manipulate the cells for therapeutic purposes and to improve human health.

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Investigating B Cell Responses to Infection and Vaccination

Dr. Leo Stamatatos investigates the activation, survival and maturation of B cell clonal lineages, and develops new immunogens and immunization regimens to target these lineages in vivo. The lab employs diverse experimental approaches, with work spanning the pre-clinical stage to clinical evaluation of candidate vaccines.

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Advancing Basic Science and Vaccine Research

Dr. Roland Strong investigates translational biophysics, structural molecular immunology and vaccinology. His group applies biophysical approaches to understand the recognition mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunoreceptors from a molecular perspective, ultimately furthering vaccine development and engineering targeted immunotheranostics.

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Building a Better Vaccine

Dr. Justin Taylor studies the mechanisms limiting the generation of a protective B cell response using their recently developed enrichment method. These approaches allow for the phenotypic and functional analysis of naive and activated B cells, leading to increased knowledge in effective vaccine design.

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Exploring the Relationship Between Cancer and the Immune System

Dr. Hootie Warren focuses on cancer immunology, with a particular interest in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate cancer regression after immune-based therapy. His group frequently uses preclinical models to study the interaction of human cancer with the immune system.

Enhancing Our Ability to Recruit Study Volunteers

Be The Generation group sitting at  a table

Increasing HIV Awareness

Be The Generation supports our HIV research efforts by educating the community and increasing awareness about HIV that ultimately aides in study volunteer recruitment.

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Recruiting volunteers for HIV, CoVid19 studies

Recruiting for Critical Studies

The Seattle Vaccine Trials Unit plays a critical role in recruiting volunteers for a number of HIV and COVID-19 studies.

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