November 2, 2020
Dear MTN Friends and Family,
It is with some sadness that I am writing to share the news that effective October 29, Jared Baeten has stepped down as co-Principal Investigator of the MTN – a position he has filled with exceptional skill, vision and enthusiasm. Of course, we have benefited from his stalwart leadership as protocol chair of the ASPIRE (MTN-020) and HOPE (MTN-025) studies as well. No doubt, these qualities will ensure his success as Vice President of Clinical Research, at Gilead Sciences, where he will be leading efforts to bring the next generation of HIV prevention and treatment products through clinical trials to potential licensure. This is a truly exciting opportunity for Jared, and I wish him all the best.
All of you who know Jared have witnessed his astonishing organizational skills and his passion for doing research that will have an impact, and this new opportunity is perfectly suited for him to apply his gifts. And while we want to congratulate Jared for his many contributions to the MTN over the past decade, this is not goodbye. He has promised to continue to work with both us and the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) as it prepares to submit an application to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval of the monthly dapivirine vaginal ring.
Jared wanted me to share the following message with all of you:
Dear MTN friends,
This is a very hard note to write, because I truly cannot imagine my world without MTN emails and calls every day. Of course, I am stepping away from the MTN Co-PI role but not from this work, from the people we serve in doing what we do, or from all of you. I have had a single goal in my career – to contribute as best I can to seeing off HIV – and working with all of you has made that goal many steps closer. Thank you all for everything you have taught me – about working across continents and cultures, listening fully to communities and individuals, and growing and succeeding as a team. In this next job, I’ll be working harder than ever to get prevention and treatment options that work in people’s lives – exactly what I tried to do every day for the last many years in the MTN. The MTN has held a truly special place in my heart and will continue to hold that place. I look forward to seeing, working with, learning from, and laughing with all of you in the years to come. And, of course, if you are working on a HOPE or ASPIRE paper with me, never fear because we will get it done! Please reach out and keep doing your great work – I value you all tremendously and you are all incredibly important in this world.
Jared’s departure as co-PI comes at a logical juncture for the MTN. Thanks to NIAID, we have been granted a one-year extension, which means we can continue operating as a network until 30 November 2021. We have much to accomplish in the year ahead, but we are well positioned for success. We have achieved so much together, and we will continue to do so in our final year as well.
The time will come when we all must move on. For Jared, that time is now. Please Join me in congratulating Jared, clinical trialist extraordinaire, consummate cheerleader and energy dynamo, on his new position. And thanks to all of you for your untiring commitment to completing the MTN mission.
All my best,
P.S. For anyone wishing to contact Jared, you can still do so using his UW email address, which should be valid for at least another three to six months.