Seattle Vaccine Trials Unit

Imagine a World Without Diseases

There’s no doubt the world is desperately in need of vaccines. Seattle Vaccine Trials Unit (VTU) is leading the fight against major diseases of today such as COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS. We pursue innovative research strategies to promote heathier protected communities.

You can make an impact by joining one of our research studies for COVID-19 or HIV.

Volunteers Help Us Make Discoveries

We need volunteers to help move science toward more discoveries. Sign up now to see if you can help with one of our studies.

Volunteer For a Study

Left: A research technician in the McElrath Lab works with COVID-19 samples. Right: COVID Cohort study team prepares for study volunteers to arrive.
Left: A research technician in the McElrath Lab works with COVID-19 samples. Right: COVID Cohort study team prepares for study volunteers to arrive.

Photos by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Studies

We are enrolling COVID-negative first responders as well as anyone who is confirmed COVID-positive. Our COVID studies will help us gain an understanding of how the immune system works in response to COVID. This knowledge will enable us to find better ways to prevent COVID and develop a vaccine or treatment.

At this time all our COVID studies are observational, no medication or vaccines are given. Learn more about our current study the Seattle COVID-Cohort Study.  

Sign Up For a COVID Study

HIV Preventive Vaccine and Observational Studies

We are enrolling healthy, HIV-negative volunteers for HIV vaccine studies that are being coordinated by networks such as the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. The products used in all our studies are NOT produced from live HIV or from HIV-infected human cells. These study vaccines cannot cause HIV infection.

Additionally, we have a number of observational HIV studies to help us learn more about the immune system in people who have HIV but are able to naturally control the virus. There are no medications or vaccines given in our observational studies.

Sign Up For a Study for HIV-negatives Volunteers
Community Partnerships
Steve DeRosa, M.D., presents VIDD research to community members.

Our Invaluable Community Partnerships

Our work would not be possible without a dedicated community of collaborating organizations, donors and volunteers.

A History of Collaboration — Some of our longstanding partners include African American Reach and Teach Ministries, Entre Hermanos, Gay City, POCAAN and Lifelong. As well as many of our HIV vaccine studies, are from networks such as the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Additional collaborators include members of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

Donor-powered — We are especially grateful for the generous philanthropic support from individual donors and companies that has allowed Fred Hutch to rapidly deploy leading-edge research efforts to control COVID-19. Our COVID-Cohort study appreciates our local first responders and COVID positive community members who have joined our study, moving science forward towards a vaccine or treatment for COVID.

Inspired by Community — The VTU is committed to fostering and maintaining meaningful, collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships with our community partners and study volunteers. We respect cultural values and diversity, and we maintain diverse perspectives among our staff and advisors.

Meet the Team

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.

— Julie McElrath, Principal Investigator, Seattle VTU

Media Coverage

Immunology institute founded by Paul Allen shifts focus to tackle coronavirus
Dr. Julie McElrath discussed the benefits of working with the Allen Institute for COVID-19 research.
The Seattle Times | Aug. 15, 2020

Fred Hutch and Allen Institute launch study of milder COVID-19 cases, aiming for unique insights
Dr. Julie McElrath’s work with the Allen Institute to understand the characteristics of an effective COVID-19 immune response was covered by GeekWire. 
GeekWire | Aug. 13, 2020

Everett Firefighters joining Fred Hutch COVID-19 study
Fred Hutch researchers tested firefighters for acive COVID-19 to understand first responders exposure
KIRO7 | August 3, 2020

Fred Hutch studies immune response to COVID-19 needs participants
Dr. Julie McElrath is recruiting volunteers who have had coronavirus to look at immune response.
KIRO7 | June 28, 2020

Seattle Vaccine Trials Unit Social Media