Herpes Scientists Give Impacted Communities a Voice

The University of Washington Virology Division and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at Fred Hutch Cancer Center have announced a new initiative for members of the communities affected by herpes simplex virus infection to join a new Community Advisory Board that will potentially inform future scientific research and/or clinical trials.

Led by renowned herpes simplex virus experts, Drs. Anna Wald and Keith Jerome, this initiative will inform, support and strengthen future research efforts into HSV prevention, treatment and cure. Outputs from this board may also include socio-behavioral research to reduce mental health struggles such as depression, trauma, substance use, or other socio-behavioral impacts that may impact HSV impacted communities.

Dr. Anna Wald is Professor in the Department of Medicine, Epidemiology and Laboratory Medicine & Pathology at the University of Washington and in the Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Division at Fred Hutch. Currently, she is the Head of the Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington. Dr. Wald directs the University of Washington Virology Research Clinic, a clinic dedicated to the study of epidemiology, natural history and therapeutics for viral infections. Her research has focused on genital herpes infections, including infections in pregnant women and immunocompromised hosts. Dr. Wald has been an investigator in many clinical trials for novel antiviral agents and prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for HSV infection.

Keith Jerome, M.D., Ph.D. is a renowned virologist whose research focuses on viruses such as herpes simplex, HIV and hepatitis B that persist in their hosts. He studies the ways in which these viruses evade the immune system and potential therapies for these infections. His team studies the uses of precision gene-editing tools like CRISPR/Cas9 to remove damaging viral genes that have tucked themselves into a person’s genetic code or to insert genes that can protect cells from invading viruses.

Applications for membership are due by April 30, 2022. Further details below.

Advisory board members may provide input regarding areas of HSV research that are important to the community. Specifically:

  • Advocate for and assist in the planning and development of new HSV research projects.
  • Ensure community concerns inform the rollout of HSV clinical research studies and
  • related community engagement activities.

Community Advisory Board members will include diverse community members willing to share their lived experiences as people living with or affected by HSV or as research participants. Membership may be appropriate for community activists and advocates, representatives of local agencies or professionals associated with infectious disease prevention and services delivery, religious or community leaders, and other professionals with relevant research and/or scientific experience.


Mr. Michael Louella


One thought on “Herpes Scientists Give Impacted Communities a Voice

  1. Hello,

    With the latest news regarding Gene Editing, I would be interest in joining as a research participant.

    Thank you,

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