Professor M. Juliana McElrath, MD, PhD

Professor M. Juliana McElrath, MD, PhDev.owa

·     Professor of Medicine

·     University of Washington

·     Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center


Professor McElrath is a world leader in HIV immunology and vaccination, and has played a central role in dissecting the immune responses to the recent successful HIV vaccination trial in Thailand. She has total of over 200 publications, and an H-index of 49.

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.

Specific questions under current investigation include:

1.     What components of T cell immunity elicited early in HIV-1 infection contribute to the control of HIV-1 disease?

2.     Do T cell immune responses play a role in resistance to HIV-1 infection in persons repeatedly exposed by sexual contact?

3.     What is the contribution of antigen-specific mucosal T cells in protecting against HIV-1 exposure?

4.     What elements of immunity correlate with protection against HIV-1 infection by vaccination?

5.     How can innate immunity contribute to improved vaccine design?


Selected Publications

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.