Julie E. Ledgerwood, D.O.

Chief, Clinical Trials Program

Major Areas of Research

  • Clinical evaluation of candidate vaccines and monoclonal antibodies targeting HIV, Influenza, Ebola, Zika, Chikungunya, Malaria, and other emerging infectious diseases
  • Translational immunology and vaccine research
  • Advanced clinical development including strategic planning, facilitation, support, implementation and oversight of external clinical trials​

Program Description

The VRC conducts basic, translational, and clinical research. The primary mission of the VRC Clinical Trials Program (CTP) is to carry out the clinical research component of this triad both through intramural conduct of clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center and through a broad range of support for external trials conducted by VRC collaborators and partners. These trials include evaluation of candidate vaccines and monoclonal antibodies targeting HIV, influenza, and other emerging infections. A secondary mission of the CTP is to conduct translational immunology research.

Since 2001, the CTP has launched over 50 research protocols involving candidate vaccines and monoclonal antibodies targeting HIV, smallpox, influenza, West Nile virus, Ebola, Marburg, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), malaria, chikungunya, and Zika involving over 10,000 clinical trial volunteer enrollments.

The CTP has also advanced vaccine candidates into both domestic and international Phase Ib, II, and IIb trials. Advanced product development and larger clinical trials require partnership with external clinical trial networks operated or supported by other federal agencies, academia, non-profit organizations, or the private sector. The CTP plays an important role in the planning, conduct, oversight, and analysis of external network clinical trials.

Featured Research

DNA Vaccine Approach

DNA Vaccine Approach

Credit: AS Fauci/NIAID

VRC DNA Vaccines for Emerging Infections

VRC DNA Vaccines for Emerging Infections

Credit: J. Ledgerwood/NIAID VRC



Julie E. Ledgerwood, D.O., is the Chief Medical Officer and Chief of the Clinical Trials Program for the Vaccine Research Center, NIAID. Dr. Ledgerwood has 16 years of clinical research experience and is responsible for VRC clinical research strategic planning, research activities, regulatory strategy, compliance and regulatory operations. She leads a team of 64 clinical researchers and regulatory experts and has conducted more than 60 Phase 1-2b clinical trials studying vaccines and monoclonal antibodies targeting pathogens such as HIV, influenza, Ebola, malaria, Chikungunya, and Zika in over 13 countries. She has authored more than 85 publications and received numerous awards for her work.  Dr. Ledgerwood completed her internship at Oklahoma State University Medical Center, residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore and fellowship in allergy and immunology at the NIH. She is board-certified in allergy and immunology by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

Research Group

Charla A. Andrews, ScM, MS (RAC-US)
Scientific Advisor

Preeti J. Apte, M.H.A.
Recruitment and Outreach Specialist

Allison Beck, PA-C
Medical Officer

Nina Berkowitz, M.P.H.
Team Lead Protocol Operations

Catina R. Boyd, C.P.T., R.M.A, C.A.N.
Clinical Research Technician/Phlebotomist

Cristina Carter, M.D.
Clinical Fellow

Maria Claudia Burgos Florez, M.Sc.
Protocol Specialist

Grace Chen, M.D.
Deputy Chief

Emily Coates, Ph.D.

Josephine Cox, Ph.D.
Clinical Laboratory Coordinator

Pamela Costner, R.N., B.S.N., C.D.E.
Research Nurse/Study Coordinator

Jennifer Cunningham, B.S.N.
Research Nurse

Aba Mensima Eshun, R.N., B.S.N.
Research Nurse

Martin Gaudinski, M.D.
Medical Director

Ingelise Gordon, R.N.
Clinical Operations Manager

Carmencita Graves, M.Sc, M.B.A.
Management Analyst

Mercy Guech, Ph.D.
​​Scientific Advisor

Somia Hickman, PhD
Protocol/Regulatory Specialist

Cynthia Starr Hendel, C.R.N.P., C.C.R.C.
Nurse Practitioner

Renunda T. Hicks
Recruitment & Outreach Specialist

LaSonji Holman, R.N., M.S.N., F.N.P.
Nurse Practitioner

Katherine Houser, PhD
Scientific Advisor

Brenda D. Larkin, R.N., B.S.N., C.C.R.C.
Strategic Advisor for Special Projects

Rebecca Lampley, MS
Project Manager

Lam Ngan Le, M.B.A., C.C.R.P.
IRB specialist​

Floreliz Mendoza, R.N.
Research Nurse/Study Coordinator

Laura Novik, R.N., B.S.N., M.A.
Senior Study Coordinator

Mark O’Callahan, BS
Project Manager

Abidemi Ola, R.N., MSN., F.N.P.
Nurse Practitioner

Iris R. Pittman, B.A., C.C.R.P.
IRB Specialist

Sarah H. Plummer, R.N., M.S.N., N.P.
Chief, Clinical Development Unit

Ro Shauna S. Rothwell, Ph.D.
Protocol Specialist

Jamie Saunders, R.N., B.S.N.
Research Nurse/Study Coordinator

Ellie Seo
Clinical Trials Pharmacist

Sandra Sitar, M.S.
Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Stephanie Taylor, B.A.
Management Analyst

Cora Trelles Cartagena, B.S.W.
Recruitment and Outreach Specialist​

Olga Trofymenko, M.D.
QA/QC Specialist

Olga Vasilenko, M.S., C.C.R.P.
Clinical Research Information Specialist

Xiaolin Wang, R.N., B.S.N.
Clinical Research Nurse

William Whalen, R.N., B.S.N.
Research Nurse

Pernell V. Williams
Clinical Operations Research Assistant

Galina Yamshchikov, M.S.
Senior Project Manager​


Selected Publications

Lynch RM, Boritz E, Coates EE, DeZure A, Madden P, Costner P, Enama ME, Plummer S, Holman L, Hendel CS, Gordon I, Casazza J, Conan-Cibotti M, Migueles SA, Tressler R, Bailer RT, McDermott A, Narpala S, O'Dell S, Wolf G, Lifson JD, Freemire BA, Gorelick RJ, Pandey JP, Mohan S, Chomont N, Fromentin R, Chun TW, Fauci AS, Schwartz RM, Koup RA, Douek DC, Hu Z, Capparelli E, Graham BS, Mascola JR, Ledgerwood JE; VRC 601 Study Team. Virologic effects of broadly neutralizing antibody VRC01 administration during chronic HIV-1 infection. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Dec 23;7(319):319ra206.  

Ledgerwood JE, Coates EE, Yamshchikov G, Saunders JG, Holman L, Enama ME, DeZure A, Lynch R, Gordon I, Plummer S, Hendel CS, Pegu A, Conan-Cibotti M, Sitar S, Bailer RT, Narpala S, McDermott A, Louder M, O'Dell S, Mohan S, Pandey JP, Schwartz RM, Hu Z, Koup RA, Capparelli E, Mascola JR, Graham BS; VRC 602 Study Team. Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Neutralization of the Broadly Neutralizing HIV-1 Human Monoclonal Antibody VRC01 in Healthy Adults. Clin Exp Immunol. 2015 Dec;182(3):289-301.

Ledgerwood JE, DeZure AD, Stanley DA, Novik L, Enama ME, Berkowitz NM, Hu Z, Joshi G, Ploquin A, Sitar S, Gordon IJ, Plummer SA, Holman LA, Hendel CS, Yamshchikov G, Roman F, Nicosia A, Colloca S, Cortese R, Bailer RT, Schwartz RM, Roederer M, Mascola JR, Koup RA, Sullivan NJ, Graham BS; the VRC 207 Study Team. Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vector Ebola Vaccine - Preliminary ReportN Engl J Med. 2014 Nov 26.

Kibuuka H, Berkowitz NM, Millard M, Enama ME, Tindikahwa A, Sekiziyivu AB, Costner P, Sitar S, Glover D, Hu Z, Joshi G, Stanley D, Kunchai M, Eller LA, Bailer RT, Koup RA, Nabel GJ, Mascola JR, Sullivan NJ, Graham BS, Roederer M, Michael NL, Robb ML, Ledgerwood JE; the RV 247 Study Team. Safety and immunogenicity of Ebola virus and Marburg virus glycoprotein DNA vaccines assessed separately and concomitantly in healthy Ugandan adults: a phase 1b, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lancet. 2014 Dec 22.

Chang LJ, Dowd KA, Mendoza FH, Saunders JG, Sitar S, Plummer SH, Yamshchikov G, Sarwar UN, Hu Z, Enama ME, Bailer RT, Koup RA, Schwartz RM, Akahata W, Nabel GJ, Mascola JR, Pierson TC, Graham BS, Ledgerwood JE; VRC 311 Study Team. Safety and tolerability of chikungunya virus-like particle vaccine in healthy adults: a phase 1 dose-escalation trial. Lancet. 2014 Dec 6;384(9959):2046-52.

Seder RA, Chang LJ, Enama ME, Zephir KL, Sarwar UN, Gordon IJ, Holman LA, James ER, Billingsley PF, Gunasekera A, Richman A, Chakravarty S, Manoj A, Velmurugan S, Li M, Ruben AJ, Li T, Eappen AG, Stafford RE, Plummer SH, Hendel CS, Novik L, Costner PJ, Mendoza FH, Saunders JG, Nason MC, Richardson JH, Murphy J, Davidson SA, Richie TL, Sedegah M, Sutamihardja A, Fahle GA, Lyke KE, Laurens MB, Roederer M, Tewari K, Epstein JE, Sim BK, Ledgerwood JE, Graham BS, Hoffman SL; VRC 312 Study Team. Protection against malaria by intravenous immunization with a nonreplicating sporozoite vaccine. Science. 2013 Sep 20;341(6152):1359-65.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

Content last reviewed on January 16, 2019