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Connie Celum ImageConnie Celum, M.D., M.P.H., is professor of global health and director of the International Clinical Research Center at the University of Washington in Seattle. In addition, she is an affiliate investigator in the Vaccine & Infectious Disease Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  At the Pittsburgh-based Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) – an HIV/AIDS clinical trials network established in 2006 by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Dr. Celum is an integral part of the Leadership and Operations Center (LOC), which is critical to successful implementation of MTN’s clinical trials. 

Dr. Celum has spearheaded several international, multi-center efficacy trials focused on both behavioral and biomedical interventions to reduce the acquisition and transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, with the goal of identifying effective strategies to reduce the burden and scope of the infections worldwide.  She has served as principal investigator of studies evaluating methods for improving levels of HIV testing and linkage to care in South Africa and Uganda, and has developed HIV research clinical trial units in Seattle and Lima, Peru.

Major biomedical HIV prevention studies led by Dr. Celum include: HPTN 039 – a trial with women and men who have sex with men in the U.S., Peru and Africa that found treatment with acyclovir for genital herpes did not reduce the likelihood of HIV acquisition; the Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study, which evaluated herpes suppression treatment among HIV serodiscordant couples in East and southern Africa and found that treatment of infected partners did not result in a reduced risk of HIV transmission in uninfected partners; and the Partners PrEP Study – a landmark study that found tenofovir-based pre-exposure antiretroviral prophylaxis significantly reduced HIV infection among serodiscordant couples in Kenya and Uganda compared to a placebo. 

Her many honors include the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association Achievement Award, the Dr. Bob Wood Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention from the Department of Public Health – Seattle & King County, and Distinguished Faculty Lecturer at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Her work on the Partners PrEP Study was included in Time Magazine’s list of Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs of 2011, and in 2012, she was included in POZ magazine’s list of 100 people who are making significant contributions to speeding up the end of AIDS.

Dr. Celum is a reviewer for numerous prestigious scientific and medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, AIDS and the Journal of Virology, among others.  She received her medical training at the University of California, San Francisco, and epidemiology training at University of Washington, where she completed a fellowship in infectious diseases and has served on the faculty since 1992.

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