Dr. Julie Ake, a Colonel in the U.S. Army and infectious diseases specialist, is the Director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP).
COL Ake has been with MHRP since 2010 and previously served as the Principal Deputy for MHRP for five years. She also represents MHRP to the Department of State Office of the Global AIDS coordinator as the WRAIR DoD Deputy Principal for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
COL Ake is the protocol chair for a number of multi-site international HIV clinical trials and cohort studies and also serves as the co-PI of the MHRP Clinical Trials Unit participating in HVTN, ACTG and CoVPN studies.
Her work in HIV vaccines 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 U.S. and East Africa. She was involved at the strategic and investigator level in the clinical development of the Janssen Ad26 Mosaic HIV vaccine program. She also works with MHRP’s acute infection cohorts, leading RV398, an ongoing Phase 1 trial administering VRC01 in acute HIV infection in Thailand and East Africa, evaluating its impact on viremia and the reservoir.
COL Ake has worked extensively with treatment and incidence cohorts, spearheading the 12-site African Cohort Study (AFRICOS), a novel cohort study executed in PEPFAR supported clinics in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania that has informed best practices across the entire U.S. Government program. She also initiated MHRP’s RV368 study with a high-risk Nigerian MSM cohort and launched the Joint West Africa Research Group. At the advisory level, she contributes to the P5 partnership and represents the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council. COL Ake currently serves as a clinical trial advisor on the vaccine development team of Operation Warp Speed for COVID-19 response.
COL Ake completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford, a master's in Health Policy at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, her medical degree at the University of Washington, and Internal Medicine training at Madigan Army Medical Center, where she also served as Chief of Residents prior to completing her Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Ake JA, Schuetz A, Pegu P, Wieczorek L, Eller MA, Kibuuka H, Sawe F, Maboko L, Polonis V, Karasavva N, Weiner D, Sekiziyvu A, Kosgei J, Missanga M, Kroidl A, Mann P, Ratto-Kim S, Eller LA, Earl P, Moss B, Dorsey-Spitz J, Milazzo M, Ouedraogo LG, Rizvi F, Yan J, Khan AS, Sardesai NY, Michael NL, Ngauy V, Marovich M, Robb ML. Safety and Immunogenicity of PENNVAX®-G DNA Prime Administered by Biojector® 2000 or CELLECTRA® Electroporation Device with Modified Vaccinia Ankara-CMDR Boost. J Infect Dis. 2017 Nov 27;216(9):1080-1090.
Baden LR, Walsh SR, Seaman MS, Cohen YZ, Johnson JA, Licona JH, Filter RD, Kleinjan JA, Gothing JA, Jennings J, Peter L, Nkolola J, Abbink P, Borducchi EN, Kirilova M, Stephenson KE, Pegu P, Eller MA, Trinh HV, Rao M, Ake JA, Sarnecki M, Nijs S, Callewaert K, Schuitemaker H, Hendriks J, Pau MG, Tomaka F, Korber BT, Alter G, Dolin R, Earl PL, Moss B, Michael NL, Robb ML, Barouch DH; IPCAVD006/RV380/HIV-V-A002 Study Group. First-In-Human Randomized Controlled Trial of Mosaic HIV-1 Immunogens Delivered via a Modified Vaccinia Ankara Vector. J Infect Dis. 2018 Jul 13;218(4):633-644.
Milanini B, Paul R, Bahemana E, Adamu Y, Kiweewa F, Langat R, Owuoth J, Allen E, Polyak C, Ake J, Valcour V, AFRICOS Study Team. Limitations of the International HIV Dementia Scale in the current era. AIDS. 2018 Nov 13;32(17):2477-2483.
Letizia A, Eller MA, Polyak C, Eller LA, Creegan M, Dawson P, Bryant C, Dohoon K, Crowell TA, Lombardi K, Rono E, Robb ML, Michael NL, Maswai J, Ake JA. Biomarkers of Inflammation Correlate with Clinical Scoring Indices in HIV-Infected Kenyans. J Infect Dis. 2019 Jan 7;219(2):284-294.
Esber A, Polyak C, Kiweewa F, Maswai J, Owuoth J, Maganga L, Adamu Y, Hickey P, Ake J, Crowell TA. Persistent low level viremia predicts subsequent virologic failure. Is it time to change the 3rd 90? Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Aug 16;69(5):805-812.
Ake JA, Polyak CS, Crowell TA, Kiweewa F, Semwogerere M, Maganga L, Bahemana E, Maswai J, Langat R, Owuoth J. Oteino S, Keshinro B, Esber AL, Liu M, Eller LA, Ganesan K, Parikh AP, Hamm TE, Robb ML, Hickey PW, Valcour VG, Michael NL, AFRICOS Study Team.Noninfectious Comorbidity in the African Cohort Study (AFRICOS). Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Aug 16;69(5):805-812.
Nowak RG, Mitchell A, Crowell TA, Liu H, Ketende S, Rhamadhani HO, Ndembi N, Adebajo S, Ake J, Michael NL, Blattner WA, Baral SD, Charurat ME, TRUST/RV368 Study Group. Individual and sexual network predictors of HIV incidence among men who have sex with men in Nigeria. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2019 Apr 1;80(4):444-453.
Billings E, Kijak GH, Sanders-Buell E, Ndembi N, OʼSullivan AM, Adebajo S, Kokogho A, Milazzo M, Lombardi K, Baral S, Nowak R, Ramadhani H, Gramzinski R, Robb ML, Michael NL, Charurat ME, Ake J, Crowell TA, Tovanabutra S; MHRP Viral Sequencing Core and the TRUST/RV368 Study Group. New Subtype B Containing HIV-1 Circulating Recombinant of sub-Saharan Africa Origin in Nigerian Men who have Sex with Men. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2019 Aug 15;81(5):578-584.
Korencak M, Byrne M, Richter E, Schultz BT, Juszczak P, Ake JA, Ganesan A, Okulicz JF, Robb ML, de los Reyes B, Winning S, Fandrey J, Burgess TH, Esser S, Michael NL, Agan BK, Streeck H. Effect of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy on immune cellular functions. JCI Insight, 2019 Jun 20;4(12).
Tapia MD, Sow SO, Ndiaye BP, Mbaye KD, Thiongane A, Ndour CT, Mboup S, Ake JA, Keshinro B, Akintunde GA, Kinge TN, Vernet G, Bigna JJ, Oguche S, Koram KA, Asante KP, Hogrefe WR, Günther S, Naficy A, De Ryck I, Debois M, Bourguignon P, Jongert E, Ballou WR, Koutsoukos M, Roman F; Zaire EBola Research Alliance group. Safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of a chimpanzee adenovirus vectored Ebola vaccine in adults in Africa: a randomised, observer-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial. Lancet Infect Dis. 2020 Jun;20(6):707-718
Golin R, Godfrey C, Firth J, Lee L, Minior T, Phelps BR, Raizes EG, Ake JA, Siberry GK. PEPFAR’s Response to the Convergence of the HIV and COVID-19 Pandemics in Sub-Saharan Africa. J Int AIDS Soc. 2020 Aug;23(8):e25587.
Crowell TA, Danboise B, Parikh A, Esber A, Dear N, Coakley P, Kasembeli A, Maswai J, Khamadi S, Bahemana E, Iroezindu M, Kiweewa F, Owuoth J, Freeman J, Jagodzinski LL, Malia JA, Eller LA, Tovanabutra S, Peel SA, Ake JA, Polyak CS; AFRICOS Study Group. Pre-treatment and Acquired Antiretroviral Drug Resistance among Persons Living with HIV in Four African Countries. Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Aug 12. Online ahead of print.
Lee EH, Ganesan K, Khamadi S, Meribe S, Njeru D, Adamu A, Magala F, Crowell TA, Akom E, Agaba P, Desai P, Hamm T, Teyhen D,Ake JA, Polyak C, Shaffer D, Sawe F, Hickey PW. Attaining 95-95-95 through implementation science: Fifteen years of insights and best practices from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Nov 9. Online ahead of print.