Julie Overbaugh, PhD is a virologist who is recognized for her focus on interdisciplinary studies that bridge basic science and population-based studies to understand HIV infection and immunity. She is also known as one of the first lab-based HIV researchers to work closely with global partners, both in research and training. She grew up in Hanover, Pennsylvania and attended college at University of Connecticut, where she studied chemistry. She received a PhD in Biochemistry at University of Colorado and did her postdoctoral studies at Harvard before moving to Seattle. She is currently a Professor and Endowed Chair for Graduate Education and Director of the Office of Education and Training at Fred Hutch. She has served in a variety of leadership positions in the field, including twice as Chair of NIH study sections and as Chair of CROI and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund awards. She has received multiple mentoring awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award for Mentoring from the journal Nature. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Research Interests

Research in Julie Overbaugh's laboratory focuses on HIV transmission and the study of HIV immunity and its impact on HIV infection risk and disease. This research has been a long-standing collaboration with the Seattle/Kenya research program. A focus of this collaborative work is on defining correlates of infection and disease in population that are most vulnerable to HIV. Her early work defined a transmission bottleneck in HIV infection and viral and host factors that shape this process. In other studies, the Overbaugh team discovered settings where notably broad and potent antibody responses to HIV occur, including in infected infants and in cases of HIV reinfection. A current emphasis is on characterizing these responses and how they evolve. In addition, the lab continues the elusive search for immune correlates of protection against HIV, leveraging the setting of vertical exposure. More recently, her team has built on lessons learned from HIV immunity to help characterize the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2, including the potential pathways of viral escape.

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Primary Section

Section 44: Microbial Biology

Secondary Section

Section 43: Immunology and Inflammation