Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division

2011

December

New employees

Laura Matrajt, PhD joined Infectious Disease Sciences on December 1st as a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Joshua Schiffer on mathematical modeling of herpes viruses.

Promotions

Steve Pergam, MD was promoted from associate in VIDD to assistant member, effective 12/1/11.

Awards, honors

Cristine Cooper, PhD became the associate director for the HVTN Statistical and Data Management Center (SDMC) activities in October 2011. The associate director is a new position for the HVTN and is responsible for overseeing SCHARP activities and serving as a point of contact for Core and Lab Program Directors/Associate Directors. 

Margaret Pollack, MD, an infectious disease fellow in VIDD/IDS, received the prestigious Astellas Postdoctoral Fellowship in Transplant Infectious Diseases from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Pollack’s research focuses on the transmission of CMV from hematopoietic stem cell recipients to naïve individuals.

Several VIDD scientists attended and presented at this year’s IDSA meeting in October, in Boston. Steve Pergam, MD, David Fredricks, MD and Warren Phipps, MD were invited speakers, and Pergam was also an invited speaker at the "Top 10 Papers in Transplant Infectious Diseases" session. In addition, Corey Casper, MD was a panelist in the interactive session "Approach to Clinical Syndromes in the Transplant Patient."

HPTN 052: Science Breakthrough of the Year, 2011

Every year, Science announces the Breakthrough of the Year, an honor bestowed to research that impacts a wide array of scientists and has far-reaching and profound implications. The winner of Breakthrough of the Year, 2011 went to “HIV Treatment as Prevention,” the HPTN 052 clinical trial that reported a 96% reduction in HIV transmission between discordant couples after early antiretroviral treatment (Cohen et al. NEJM Aug 2011). Read the announcement of this prestigious honor on the Science website, and don’t miss the editorial by Science Editor-in-Chief, Bruce Alberts. Breakthrough of the Year, 2011.

General announcements

Anna Wald, MD, MPH conducted a 3-day manuscript writing workshop in mid-December for VIDD faculty, postdocs, fellows, and research associates working with VIDD faculty. Due to an overwhelming response for the class, Michael Boeckh, MD is planning on offering the class this spring. As details become available, they will be posted to the CenterNet events page.

VIDD affiliate investigator David Koelle, MD collaborated with Coridon on a herpes virus type 2 vaccine study. Read more in this online article: http://www.lifescientist.com.au/article/403643/.

October

New employees

The following scientists have recently received VIDD faculty appointments:  Sujatha Srinivasan, PhD, VIDD staff scientist; Reena Gulati, MD, VIDD staff physician; Michael Arnold, PhD, MPH, MSW, VIDD staff scientist. Welcome new faculty! Drs. Henry Ddungu, Emmanuel Seremba, Joan Mutyoba, Adriane Kamulegeya, and Anthony Natif joined VIDD this month as senior fellows with the Uganda Program on Cancers and Infectious Diseases (UPCID).

Promotions

Martine Aubert, PhD and John Hural, PhD were recently promoted to VIDD senior staff scientist.

New affiliates

Mac Cheever, MD, a professor of Medicine and associate head, Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington, is now an affiliate investigator in VIDD. Yang Yang, PhD has accepted a position as assistant professor of Biostatistics at the University of Florida, Gainesville and as of November 2011 will be an affiliate assistant member of VIDD.

Awards, honors

Josh Schiffer, MD has been endorsed by both the Hutchinson Center and University of Washington for application to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund 2011 Career Award for Medical Scientists national competition.

Tobias Hohl, MD, PhD was endorsed by the Hutchinson Center Internal Awards Committee as a Center nominee to apply for the Burroughs Wellcome Fund 2011 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease competition at the University of Washington.

Staff scientist Tomer Hertz, PhD was recently featured in Microsoft Research Connections, an institution that stimulates collaboration between Microsoft Research and academic science. The article can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/researchconnections/science/stories/coevolution-hiv.aspx.

David Fredricks, MD was elected as a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in August 2011 for his outstanding contributions to the field.

Associate member Rafael Gottardo, PhD has been appointed to represent VIDD on the Center’s Scientific Communications Advisory Board, a newly formed committee that will provide recommendations about Center science to communicate to internal and external audiences.

Announcements

The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to cancer treatment and medical training, a collaboration between the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Uganda Cancer Institute, occurred on October 4, 2011 in Kampala, Uganda. This is the first comprehensive cancer center coordinated by the US and sub-Saharan Africa, and many thanks are given to the numerous VIDD members that helped spearhead this project. The complete article and link to multimedia coverage can be found here: https://centernet.fhcrc.org/CN/center_news/cnweekly/2011/2011-10/uganda_groundbreaking.html.

September

New employees

Dr. Daniel Stone joined Keith Jerome’s lab on September 6th, 2011, as a postdoctoral scientist. Dr. Cindy Fisher is now a second-year ID fellow working with Tobias Hohl. In collaboration with Dr. Boeckh, Dr. Sachiko Seo is a visiting investigator from South Korea. Dr. Maggie Pollack joined VIDD/IDS in August as a research associate and acting instructor.

Promotions

VIDD assistant member Dr. Ying Huang is now a member of the FH/UW Cancer Consortium. Dr. Ying Chen has been promoted to member in VIDD and PHS. Dr. Cristine Cooper-Trenbeath has been promoted to senior staff scientist in VIDD and PHS as of March, Dr. Michele Peake Andrasik has been appointed staff scientist in VIDD as of March, and Dr. Christine Johnston was promoted to affiliate investigator in VIDD in March. Dr. Christine Cooper is now a senior staff scientist.  

Moving on

Dr. Ira Longini, member, VIDD/PHS, and professor, Department of Biostatistics, UW, is leaving the Center for new opportunities in the sunshine state!  He has accepted an appointment as professor of biostatistics in the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida, Gainesville effective July 1, 2011. He will continue to have research affiliations with faculty at the Center. VIDD wishes Dr. Longini all the best in his new role.

Awards

Cheryl Callais and Erica Sessle from VIDD were awarded funds from the Peggy Means Leadership Development Fund for 2011.

Announcements

Scientists See Breakthrough in the Global AIDS Battle The Wall Street Journal

SCHARP scientists, including Drs. Ying Chen, Thomas Fleming and Lei Wang were noted in an article published in The Wall Street Journal on May 12, 2011 regarding the efficacy study Prevention of HIV-1 infection with early antiretroviral therapy, which is the first to show that early antiretroviral therapy results in a considerable reduction in the risk, 96%, of HIV transmission between serodiscordant couples and progression to late-stage disease. For a summary of this article, see Early versus delayed: the timing of HIV treatment

The Faculty Affairs Office is pleased to announce that the VIDD Appointments, Reviews and Promotions Guidelines can be found on the CenterNet,  https://centernet.fhcrc.org/CN/depts/directors_office/faculty_policies/index.html. These guidelines explain the composition and responsibilities of the A&P Committee and outline the various faculty categories. It also offers a plethora of information about faculty appointments, reviews and promotions. These policies are intended to supplement the Center’s Academic Policies for faculty and scientific staff and to provide Division-specific policy as indicated in the document. If there is a conflict between the terms of the Center Policy and this policy, the terms of the Center Policy will supersede this policy. Please do not hesitate to contact the Faculty Affairs Office at ext. 1858 if you have any questions.

Check out the HIV Vaccine electronic (e) resource, HIVe, a global electronic clearinghouse of information for the HIV vaccine research community, developed by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise. In addition to providing the latest HIV vaccine research news, the website serves as a forum for discussions and exchanging information about HIV research. Funding opportunities are also posted on the website. HIVe offers valuable information to both young and early-career investigators as well as veteran scientists.  Thanks to Nicole Frahm, a member of the Enterprise’s “Young and Early Career Investigator Committee,” for bringing this new resource to the attention of VIDD faculty. http://www.vaccineenterprise.org/hive/features

March

VIDD associate members Dr. Corey Casper and Dr. David Fredricks, member Dr. Peter Gilbert, and Principal Staff Scientist Dr. Deborah Donnell were elected by VIDD to form the division’s Strategic Planning Committee.  Fredricks was also elected as VIDD’s Ombudsman Consultant.

Dr. Holly Janes has been promoted to Associate Member in VIDD/PHS as of March 1.

Dr. Tobias Hohl has been appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Washington, as of Feb 1.

Associate Member Dr. Elizabeth Brown now has her primary appointment in VIDD/PHS.

Hutchinson Center Director and former VIDD co-director Dr. Larry Corey received the Ned Behnke Leadership award on Feb. 24 from Seattle’s Lifelong AIDS Alliance.  Read more in the Center News article here.

January

Martin Prlic, PhD is a new Assistant Member in the Immunology and Vaccine Development program of VIDD as of Jan. 3.  His work focuses on understanding immunopathogenesis and innate immunity related to infections of public health importance.

As of Dec. 1, Anna Wald MD, MPH and Rhoda Morrow, PhD, are now Full Members in VIDD, and Stephen De Rosa, PhD, is a VIDD Associate Member (all are external joint appointments with UW).  Dr. Roland Strong is also now a joint Full Member with VIDD (his primary appointment is in the Basic Sciences Division).

Drs. Gary Chan, Ruanne Barnabas, and Ajit Limaye were appointed Affiliate Investigators in VIDD.  Dr. Chan is an Assistant Professor in the UW Department of Biostatistics.  Dr. Barnabas is an Acting Clinical Instructor in the UW Department of Global Health.  Dr. Limaye is an Associate Professor in the UW Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

Dr. Erica Andersen-Nissen was appointed Staff Scientist in the Immunology and Vaccine Development program of VIDD Jan. 18.

The VIDD Holiday Party in December raised $4900 for the Dzama Community through its basket raffles, bringing the total raised by VIDD and SCHARP for the Dzama Community in 2010 to $5700.  The Dzama Community is an Orphan Care Center in Malawi providing daily feeding programs to malnourished children from poverty stricken homes impacted by HIV/AIDS.

VIDD Assistant Member Dr. Martin Prlic is now a Member of the FH/UW Cancer Consortium, and Associate in VIDD Dr. Steven Pergam is now an Affiliate Member in the FH/UW Cancer Consortium.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.