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LTC(P) Julie Ake Named New Director of MHRP

July 2, 2020

We are pleased to announce that LTC(P) Julie Ake has been selected as the next Director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), effective June 30. LTC(P) Ake has been with MHRP at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research since 2010 and has served as the Principal Deputy Director for MHRP the last three years. Most recently, she has also been serving as WRAIR’s Deputy Principal for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program.

LTC(P) Ake is a physician-scientist who has led the development of substantial and novel programs in HIV and Ebola in West Africa, including the launch of the Joint West Africa Research Group. She has served as the principal investigator on a number of HIV and emerging infectious diseases vaccine and cohort studies in the U.S., Africa, Asia and Europe.

Her work in HIV vaccines has included directing the former Rockville Vaccine Assessment Clinic and serving as principal investigator and eventual protocol chair for RV262, a DAIDS-sponsored Phase 1b HIV vaccine study in the U.S. and East Africa. She has participated at the strategic and investigator level in the clinical development of the Janssen Ad26 Mosaic HIV vaccine program, and led the 7-site RV456/EBL2003 Janssen Ad26/MVA Phase 2 Ebola vaccine trial.  She also works with MHRP’s acute infection cohorts, chairing 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.

LTC(P) Ake has worked extensively with treatment and incidence cohorts, spearheading the 12-site African Cohort Study (AFRICOS), a novel cohort study in the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) executing in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania that has informed best practices in HIV service delivery. She is also a founding investigator for the RV368/TRUST high-risk Nigerian MSM cohort. 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.  She also currently serves as a clinical trial advisor to the DoD component of Operation Warp Speed for COVID-19 vaccine development.

LTC(P) Ake completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford, a masters in Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, her medical degree at the University of Washington, and internal medicine training at Madigan Army Medical Center, where she also served as Chief of Medical Residents prior to completing her infectious diseases fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at USUHS, a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit, carries the A designator as an Infectious Diseases Officer and will be promoted to Colonel this fall.