Dr. Polyak is the Associate Director for Clinical Research, Africa at MHRP where she oversees an extensive clinical research portfolio in HIV including cohorts, epidemiologic studies of HIV, and vaccine trials. Dr. Polyak is an internationally recognized leader in HIV and HIV-associated co-infections with particular experience in designing and implementing clinical trials in resource-limited settings.
Dr. Polyak is an infectious diseases physician who received her M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Polyak also earned a Masters of Public Health in epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Currently, she is an assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda. She also holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the University of Washington in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases.
Prior to joining MHRP, Dr. Polyak was based in Kenya (2010-2014) as a visiting scientist with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the University of Washington. Dr. Polyak is active in the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), as a past president of the ASTMH Committee on Global Health. She is an active collaborator with the NIH-sponsored HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN).
Dr. Polyak has published on clinical outcomes of HIV including HIV associated tropical co-infections, such as malaria. Current research focuses on clinical care with active cohorts, treatment and incidence cohorts and clinical trials with preventive vaccine candidates for HIV and other infectious diseases. This wide range of studies involve extensive collaborative networks among academic, military and government researchers, both in the US and internationally.
Bahemana E, Esber A, Dear N, Ganesan K, Parikh A, Reed D, Maganga L, Khamadi S, Mizinduko M, Lwilla A, Mkondoo D, Mwaisanga G, Somi N, Owuoth J, Maswai J, Kiweewa F, Iroezindu M, Ake JA, Crowell TA, Valcour VG, Polyak CS on behalf of the AFRICOS Study Group. “Impact of Age on CD4 Recovery and Viral Suppression Over Time among Adults Living with HIV who Initiated Antiretroviral Therapy in the African Cohort Study.” AIDS Research and Therapy (in press)
Crowell TA, Danboise B, Parikh AP, Esber AL, Dear N, Coakley P, Kasembeli A, Maswai J, Khamadi SA, Bahemana E, Iroezindu M, Kiweewa F, Owuoth J, Freeman J, Jagodzinski LL, Malia JA, Eller LA, Tovanabutra S, Peel SA, Ake JA, Polyak CS for the AFRICOS Study Group. “Pre-Treatment and Acquired Antiretroviral Drug Resistance among Persons Living with HIV in Four African Countries.” Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2020 Aug 12:ciaa1161 [Online ahead of print]
Macicame I, Bhatt N, Matavele Chissumba R, Eller LA, Viegas E, Araújo K, Nwoga C, Li Q, Milazzo M, Hills NK, Lindan C, Michael NL, Robb ML, Jani I, Polyak CS. HIV prevalence and risk behavior among male and female adults screened for enrolment into a vaccine preparedness study in Maputo, Mozambique. PLoS One. 2019 Sep 17;14(9):e0221682. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0221682. eCollection 2019.
Michaud J, Moss K, Licina D, Waldman R, Kamradt-Scott A, Bartee M, Lim M, Williamson J, Burkle F, Polyak CS, Thomson N, Heymann DL, Lillywhite L. Militaries and global health: peace, conflict, and disaster response. Lancet. 2019 Jan 19;393(10168):276-286. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32838-1. Review.
Ake JA, Polyak CS, Crowell TA, Kiweewa F, Semwogerere M, Maganga L, Bahemana E, Maswai J, Langat R, Owuoth J, Otieno 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. 2018 Nov 26. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy981.
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. 2018 Nov 20. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy989.
Ottichilo RK, Polyak CS, Guyah B, Singa B, Nyataya J, Yuhas K, John-Stewart G, Waitumbi JN. Malaria Parasitemia and Parasite Density in Antiretroviral-Treated HIV Infected Adults Following Discontinuation of Cotrimoxazole Prophylaxis. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2016; doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiw495.
Polyak CS, Yuhas K, Singa B, Khaemba M, Walson J, Richardson BA, John-Stewart G. Cotrimoxazole Prophylaxis Discontinuation among Antiretroviral-Treated HIV-1-Infected Adults in Kenya: A Randomized Non-inferiority Trial. PLoS Med 2016 13(1):e1001934.
Asgary R, Pavlin JA, Ripp JA, Reithinger R, Polyak CS. Ebola Policies that Hinder Epidemic Response by Limiting Scientific Discourse. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 2015 Jan;92(2):240-241.
Polyak CS, Macy JT, Irizarry M, Lai JE, McAuliffe J, Popovic T, Pillai S, Mintz ED. Bioterrorism-Related Anthrax: International Response by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Activities. Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 Oct;8(10):1056-9.