Director, US Military HIV Research Program
Julie Ake, a Colonel in the US Army and infectious diseases specialist, is the Director of the US Military HIV Research Program (MHRP). She has been with MHRP since 2010 and previously served as the Principal Deputy for MHRP for five years. She also represents MHRP in the Department of State Office of the Global AIDS coordinator as the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Department of Defense Deputy Principal for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Julie is the protocol chair for several multi-site international HIV clinical trials and cohort studies and serves as the co-PI of the MHRP Clinical Trials Unit participating in HVTN, ACTG and CoVPN studies. Her work has included directing the Rockville Vaccine Assessment Clinic and serving as principal investigator and protocol chair for RV262, a DAIDS-sponsored Phase 1b study that evaluated a DNA/MVA prime-boost regimen in the US and East Africa. She was involved in the clinical development of the Janssen Ad26 Mosaic HIV vaccine programme. She also works with MHRP’s acute infection cohorts, leading RV398, an ongoing Phase 1 trial administering VRC01 in acute HIV in Thailand and East Africa, evaluating its impact on viremia and the reservoir.
She has worked extensively with treatment and incidence cohorts, spearheading the 12-site African Cohort Study (AFRICOS), a novel cohort study in PEPFAR-supported clinics in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania that has informed best practices across the US government programme. She also initiated MHRP’s RV368 study with a cohort of Nigerian men who have sex with men and launched the Joint West Africa Research Group. At the advisory level, she contributes to the P5 partnership and represents the US Department of Defense on the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council. She currently serves as a clinical trial advisor on the vaccine development team of Operation Warp Speed for the COVID-19 response.
Julie completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford, a Master's in Health Policy at the London School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, her medical degree at the University of Washington, and internal medicine training at Madigan Army Medical Center. At the latter, she served as Chief of Residents before completing her Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.