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 has served as the Principal Deputy to MHRP for the last three years. She also serves as the Deputy Principal for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program.
COL Ake is a physician-scientist who has served the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, MHRP’s parent institute, for 10 years, leading 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 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 in the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) executing in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania that has informed best practices across the entire U.S. Government effort. She also initiated MHRP’s RV368 study with a 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.
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.