This is unpublished

Juliana M.

Infectious Diseases
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
Adjunct Professor, Department of Global Health
Adjunct Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
Senior Vice President & Director, Vaccine & Infectious Disease Division (VIDD), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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Dr. McElrath's laboratory research is focused on the identification and characterization of cellular immune responses that may provide protection against HIV infection or disease. Her studies entail understanding immune responses in persons who demonstrate unique control of infection through cohort studies in Seattle and internationally. A major aspect of her studies is to apply these mechanisms of HIV control to HIV vaccine development. Additional projects include immune correlates research in TB and malaria vaccine development

Specific questions under current investigation include:

What components of T cell immunity elicited early in HIV-1 infection contribute to the control of HIV-1 disease?
Do T cell immune responses play a role in resistance to HIV-1 infection in persons repeatedly exposed by sexual contact?
What is the contribution of antigen-specific mucosal T cells in protecting against HIV-1 exposure?
What elements of immunity correlate with protection against HIV-1 infection by vaccination?
How can innate immunity contribute to improved vaccine design?

These studies are performed in collaboration with Drs. Connie CelumLawrence Corey, Steve Self, Tuofu Zhu, James Mullins, Florian Hladik, Nicole Frahm, Jennifer Lund, Martin Prlic, Michael Gale, Thomas Hawn and Steve De Rosa.

research interests

Current studies include:

education & training

MD, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

PhD, Pathology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC


NIH Postdoctoral Traineeship (1985-1986)

NIH Merit Award (1997-2007)

Burroughs Wellcome Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research (2000-2006)

Puget Sound Business Journal Woman of Influence (2013)



McElrath M, Smythe K, Randolph-Habecker J, et al for the NIAID HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Comprehensive assessment of HIV target cells in the distal human gut suggests increasing HIV susceptibility toward the anus. Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2013; 63(3):263-71.
• PubMed Abstract

Zak DE, Andersen-Nissen E, Peterson ER, Sato A, Hamilton MK, Borgerding J, Krishnamurty AT, Chang JT, Adams DJ, Hensley TR, Salter AI, Morgan CA, Duerr AC, De Rosa SC, Aderem A, McElrath MJ. Merck Ad5/HIV induces broad innate immune activation that predicts CD8⁺ T-cell responses but is attenuated by preexisting Ad5 immunity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2012; 109(50):e3503-12.
• PubMed Abstract

Hensley TR, Easter AB, Gerdts SE, De Rosa SC, Heit A, McElrath MJ, Andersen-Nissen E. Enumeration of major peripheral blood leukocyte populations for multicenter clinical trials using a whole blood phenotyping assay. J Vis Exp. 2012; 67:e4302.
• PubMed Abstract

Janes H, Frahm N, DeCamp A, Rolland M, Gabriel E, Wolfson J, Hertz T, Kallas E, Goepfert P, Friedrich DP, Corey L, Mullins JI, McElrath MJ, Gilbert P. MRKAd5 HIV-1 Gag/Pol/Nef vaccine-induced T-cell responses inadequately predict distance of breakthrough HIV-1 sequences to the vaccine or viral load. PLoS One. 2012; 7(8):e43396.
• PLoS One Abstract

McElrath MJ, Walker BD. Is an HIV vaccine possible? J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2012; 60(Suppl 2):S41-3.
• PubMed Abstract

Defawe OD, Fong Y, Vasilyeva E, Pickett M, Carter DK, Gabriel E, Rerks-Ngarm S, Nitayaphan S, Frahm N, McElrath MJ, De Rosa SC. Optimization and qualification of a multiplex bead array to assess cytokine and chemokine production by vaccine-specific cells. J Immunol Methods. 2012; 382(1-2):117-28.
• PubMed Abstract

Haynes BF, Gilbert PB, McElrath MJ, et al. Immune-correlates analysis of an HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trial. N Engl J Med. 2012; 366(14):1275-86.
• PubMed Abstract

Frahm N, DeCamp AC, Friedrich DP, Carter DK, Defawe OD, Kublin JG, Casimiro DR, Duerr A, Robertson MN, Buchbinder SP, Huang Y, Spies GA, De Rosa SC, McElrath MJ. Human adenovirus-specific T cells modulate HIV-specific T cell responses to an Ad5-vectored HIV-1 vaccine. J Clin Invest. 2012; 122(1):359-67.
• PubMed Abstract

Andersen-Nissen E, Heit A, McElrath MJ. Profiling immunity to HIV vaccines with systems biology. Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2012; 7(1):32-37. 
• PubMed Abstract

Frahm N, DeCamp A, Friedrich DP, Carter DK, Defawe OD, Kublin J, Casimiro DR, Duerr A, Robertson MN, Buchbinder S, Huang Y, Spies G, De Rosa SC, McElrath MJ. Adenovirus-specific T cells target regions conserved across multiple serotypes and modulate insert-specific immunity following MRKAd5 HIV-1 vaccination. J Clin Immunol. 2012; 122(1):359-67.
 JCI Abstract

Ballweber L, Robinson B, Kreger A, Fialkow M, Lentz G, McElrath MJ, Hladik F. Vaginal Langerhans cells non-productively transporting HIV-1 mediate infection of T cells. J Virol. 2011; 85(24):13443-7.
• PubMed Abstract

Pine SO, Kublin JG, Hammer SM, Borgerding J, Huang Y, Casimiro DR, McElrath MJ. Pre-existing adenovirus immunity modifies a complex mixed Th1 and Th2 cytokine response to an Ad5/HIV-1 vaccine candidate in humans. PLoS ONE. 2011; 6(4):e18526.
 PubMed Abstract