In 2019, Dr. Sandhya Vasan became the Principal Investigator representing HJF for EIDB's cooperative agreement (CA) with the DoD. In addition to overseeing HJF components of the CA, she provides key leadership for EIDB's clinical studies. She has been with EIDB since its inception in 2018, and prior to that she was with WRAIR's Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) in Bangkok, Thailand.
Dr. Vasan obtained her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before completing her M.D. at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard Medical School. After a residency in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, she worked as a Henry Luce Foundation Fellow at the Communicable Disease Centre in Singapore, where she studied patterns of tuberculosis and HIV co-infection and worked with the National University of Singapore to conduct public health surveillance studies in rural Indonesia. From 2002-2011, Dr. Vasan conducted clinical trials and nonhuman primate studies of HIV vaccines and adjuvants and related immunology research at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and the Rockefeller University.
Dr. Vasan recently served as MHRP’s Associate Director for HIV Vaccine Research, and prior to that she served MHRP at AFRIMS in Bangkok for seven years as Science Director and head of the Nonhuman Primate Laboratory. At AFRIMS, she conducted preventive vaccine trials in follow-up to the RV144 HIV vaccine clinical trial. She also developed animal models to understand the mechanism of action of these vaccines and pursue novel HIV prevention strategies.
1. Hsu DC, Schuetz A, Imerbsin R, Silsorn D, Pegu A, Inthawong D, Sopanaporn J, Visudhiphan P, Chuenarom W, Keawboon B, Shi W, Robb ML, Mascola JR, Geleziunas R, Koup RA, Barouch DH, Michael NL, Vasan S. TLR7 agonist, N6-LS and PGT121 delayed viral rebound in SHIV-infected macaques after antiretroviral therapy interruption. PLoS Pathogens. 2021 Feb 18;17(2):e1009339.
2. Dearlove B, Lewitus E, Bai H, Li Y, Reeves DB, Joyce MG, Scott PT, Amare MF, Vasan S, Michael NL, Modjarrad K, Rolland M. A SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate would likely match all currently circulating variants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Sep 22;117(38):23652-23662. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2008281117. Epub 2020 Aug 31. PMID: 32868447.
3. Handoko R, Chan P, Jagodzinski L, Pinyakorn S, Ubolyam S, Phanuphak N, Sacdalan C, Kroon E, Dumrongpisutikul N, Paul R, Valcour V, Ananworanich J, Vasan S, Spudich S; SEARCH010/RV254 Study Team. Minimal detection of cerebrospinal fluid escape after initiation of antiretroviral therapy in acute HIV-1 infection. AIDS. 2020 Dec 9. PMID: 33306551.
4. Fischinger S, Shin S, Boudreau CM, Ackerman M, Rerks-Ngarm S, Pitisuttithum P, Nitayaphan S, Kim JH, Robb ML, Michael NL, O'Connell RJ, Vasan S, Streeck H, Alter G. Protein-based, but not viral vector alone, HIV vaccine boosting drives an IgG1-biased polyfunctional humoral immune response. JCI Insight. 2020 Jun 18;5(12):e135057. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.135057. PMID: 32554928; PMCID: PMC7406243.
5. Pitisuttithum P, Nitayaphan S, Chariyalertsak S, Kaewkungwal J, Dawson P, Dhitavat J, Phonrat B, Akapirat S, Karasavvas N, Wieczorek L, Polonis V, Eller MA, Pegu P, Kim D, Schuetz A, Jongrakthaitae S, Zhou Y, Sinangil F, Phogat S, Diazgranados CA, Tartaglia J, Heger E, Smith K, Michael NL, Excler JL, Robb ML, Kim JH, O'Connell RJ, Vasan S; RV306 study group. Late boosting of the RV144 regimen with AIDSVAX B/E and ALVAC-HIV in HIV-uninfected Thai volunteers: a double-blind, randomised controlled trial. Lancet HIV. 2020 Apr;7(4):e238-e248. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3018(19)30406-0. Epub 2020 Feb 6. PMID: 32035516; PMCID: PMC7247755.
6. Easterhoff D, Pollara J, Luo K, Janus B, Gohain N, Williams LD, Tay MZ, Monroe A, Peachman K, Choe M, Min S, Lusso P, Zhang P, Go EP, Desaire H, Bonsignori M, Hwang KK, Beck C, Kakalis M, O'Connell RJ, Vasan S, Kim JH, Michael NL, Excler JL, Robb ML, Rerks-Ngarm S, Kaewkungwal J, Pitisuttithum P, Nitayaphan S, Sinangil F, Tartaglia J, Phogat S, Wiehe K, Saunders KO, Montefiori DC, Tomaras GD, Moody MA, Arthos J, Rao M, Joyce MG, Ofek G, Ferrari G, Haynes BF. HIV vaccine delayed boosting increases Env variable region 2-specific antibody effector functions. JCI Insight. 2020 Jan 30;5(2):e131437. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.131437. PMID: 31996483; PMCID: PMC7098725.
7. D.C. Hsu, P. Sunyakumthorn, M. Wegner, A. Schuetz, D. Silsorn, J.D. Estes, C. Deleage, K. Tomusange, S.K. Lakhashee, R.M. Ruprecht, E. Lombardini, R. Im-Erbsin, Y. Kuncharin, Y. Phuang-Ngern, D. Inthawong, W. Chuenarom, R. Burke, M.L. Robb, L.C. Ndhlovu, J. Ananworanich, V. Valcour, R.J. O’Connell, S. Spudich, N.L. Michael, S. Vasan. Central Nervous System Inflammation and Infection During Early, Non-Accelerated Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Rhesus Macaques. J Virology. 2018; 92(11).
8. S. Rerks-Ngarm, P. Pitisuttithum, J.L. Excler, S. Nitayaphan, J. Kaewkungwal, N. Premsri, P. Kunasol, N. Karasavvas, A. Schuetz, V. Ngauy, F. Sinangil, P. Dawson, A.C. deCamp, S. Phogat, S. Garunathan, J. Tartaglia, C. DiazGranados, S. Ratto-Kim, P. Pegu, M. Eller,C. Karnasuta, D.C. Montefiori, S. Sawant, N. Vandergrift, S. Wills, G.D. Tomaras, M.L. Robb, N.L. Michael, J.H. Kim, S. Vasan*, R.J. O’Connell* for the RV305 Study Team. Randomized, Double Blind Evaluation of Late Boost Strategies for HIV-uninfected Vaccine Recipients in the RV144 HIV Vaccine Efficacy Trial. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2017 Apr 15; 215(8):1255-1263.