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

Currently, we are only enrolling people with confirmed COVID-positive results from the last 30 days. Our COVID observational studies will help us gain an understanding of how the immune system works in response to COVID, and enable us to find better ways to prevent and treat the virus.

At this time all our COVID studies are observational, no medication or vaccines are given. Learn more about 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 An HIV Study
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 volunteers and donors.

A History of Collaboration — Some of our longstanding partners include African American Reach and Teach Ministries, Entre Hermanos, Gay City, POCAAN and Lifelong. Many of our HIV vaccine studies are in partnership with global networks such as the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and many local public health officials and service organizations helped to establish a foundation for our COVID-19 research during the pandemic.

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 are especially grateful to the many people who have helped move our research forward, and for the insights and partnership of our Community Advisory Board members. We respect cultural values and diversity, and we maintain broad-minded perspectives among our staff and advisors.

Donor-powered — During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fred Hutch was able to rapidly deploy leading-edge research efforts to control the virus, thanks in part to the generous philanthropic support from individual donors and companies. Our COVID-Cohort study appreciates our local first responders and community members who joined our study and helped us to better understand how COVID impacts immune systems.

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

Latest VTU News

New HIV vaccine trial to launch in U.S., Latin America and Europe ‘Mosaico’ will enroll 3,800 transgender people and men who have sex with men July 17, 2019
Fred Hutch begins experimental COVID-19 vaccine efficacy trial Phase 3 study will determine the efficacy of AstraZeneca vaccine candidate November 9, 2020
How Fred Hutch is using science to get back to doing science Physical distancing, masks, testing and lots of research drive 'back-to-campus' strategy May 19, 2020
HIV vaccine trials are complicated by the availability of PrEP World AIDS Day 2020: Vaccine researchers still find ways to run trials amid growing use of HIV-prevention drugs December 1, 2020

VTU Media Coverage

More VTU Media Coverage>

Translating the Language of Immunity
An advocate for equitable representation in science, doctoral student Nick Maurice was awarded the 2021 Graduate School Medal
UW Graduate School | May 26, 2021

People who have had COVID should get single vaccine dose, studies suggest
New studies show that one shot of a vaccine can greatly amplify antibody levels in those who have recovered from the coronavirus.
New York Times | Feb. 19, 2021

IAVI and Moderna partner to tackle broad global health priorities using mRNA for vaccines and antibodies
IAVI | News Release | April 7, 2022

Trial of innovative HIV vaccine using mRNA technology enrolls first participant
HVTN | New Release | March 14, 2022