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Center for Immunization Research

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Ruth KarronRuth Karron, MD

Dr. Karron is a Professor in the Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Director of the Center for Immunization Research and of the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative (JHVI). Dr. Karron is a pediatrician, trained in infectious diseases, who has extensive experience in the evaluation of respiratory virus vaccines (including vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza viruses, and avian influenza) in adult and pediatric populations. Her other interests include the epidemiology of respiratory virus infections in resource-poor settings and public policy issues related to vaccine development and distribution. She has served on a number of national and international committees and advisory boards, and chaired the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee from 2006-2008.

Clayton Harro

Clayton Harro, MD, ScM
Associate Scientist

Dr. Harro directs the clinical development and evaluation of enteric vaccines and challenge models for bacterial and viral pathogens associated with infectious diarrhea. Previously, he collaborated with the National Cancer Institute to design and conduct the first ever Phase I/II human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 vaccine trials in North America. He also served as the PI for more than 30 NIH and industry sponsored Phase I/II preventive HIV vaccine studies, establishing the CIR Washington, DC vaccine clinic as part of these efforts.  He has additional industry-sponsored trial experience with S. aureus, influenza, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and anthrax vaccines. Dr. Harro also has interests in the principles of clinical trial conduct and operations and their application in developing country settings.  Since 2000, he has been a site development and Good Clinical Practice training consultant for a variety of governmental and non-governmental organizations building clinical vaccine trial capacity in developing country settings. 

Anna DurbinAnna Durbin, MD
Associate Professor

Dr. Durbin is an Associate Professor in the department of International Health. She is trained in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Durbin has expertise in the evaluation of live attenuated flavivirus vaccines, primary dengue and West Nile virus vaccines, and the early evaluation of malaria vaccines. She has served on national and international advisory boards and committees related to dengue and malaria vaccine safety. An important research interest of hers is studying the immunopathogenesis of dengue infection and disease. In addition to her clinical studies, her laboratory is also developing an animal model of dengue using rhesus macaques.

Kawsar Talaat, MD
Assistant Scientist

Kawsar Talaat

Dr. Talaat has experience in clinical and basic research investigating the impact of coinfections. She joined the faculty at the Center for  Immunization Research in July 2007. The Principal Investigator and lead site of a large Phase II study evaluating an inactivated H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine, she has also been involved in evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of live attenuated influenza vaccine candidates targeting strains with pandemic potential. An Infectious Disease physician, she also has interest in tropical medicine and international health and is working with Dr. Durbin on the evaluation of malaria vaccines.


Karen Charron, BSN, RN, MPH, CCRC
Associate Lecturer

Karen Charron is an Instructor on the faculty of the Global Disease Epidemiology and Control program in the Department of International Health where she coordinates the Master in Health Science Program. She has served as co-investigator for numerous Phase I/II adult and pediatric vaccine trials of hepatitis B vaccines, preventive and therapeutic HIV vaccines, respiratory syncytial virus vaccines, rotavirus vaccines, and influenza virus vaccines. Since 2001, Ms. Charron has directed an international training program in vaccine trial conduct and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) in multiple developing country settings.  She created an eight-week online course, Clinical Vaccine Trials and Good Clinical Practice, in 2000, through which she has trained over 700 professionals. Additionally, she is a consultant to International AIDS Vaccine Initiative for several educational and training projects.

Bhavin Thumar, MS
Research AssociateThumarB_2.jpg

Mr. Thumar's primary responsibility is to develop new laboratory assays to assess the systemic, mucosal and cellular immunogenic responses to the variety of experimental vaccines tested at the CIR. He has developed serologic assays for immune responses against influenza viruses, Q fever, canary pox-rabies, vaccinia-HIVgp160 recombinant viruses, and RSV. Currently, Mr. Thumar is developing assays for use in avian recombinant influenza, parainfluenza type III and dengue vaccine trials. He also coordinates all functions of the CIR laboratories, including screening volunteers for antibody, virus cultures, and serological assays, as well as preparing vaccines for administration.

Beulah Sabundayo, PharmD, MPH
Research AssociateSabunday0B 092009.jpb

Dr. Sabundayo joined the faculty of the Center for Immunization Research in July 2008, serving as manager of pharmaceutical services for multiple vaccine protocols and quality manager for CIR policy, procedures and guidelines. She initially joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University in 1998, where she has served as co-investigator and program manager for multiple HIV/AIDS studies and HIV/HCV co-infection studies with a focus in patient and provider education as well as adherence to complex therapies. She founded the HIV Pharmacotherapy Clinic in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Moore Clinic in 2002 where she continues her clinical responsibility as a clinical pharmacist.

Amber Bickford Cox, MPH, CCRCAmber Cos4R_4_092009.jpg
Research Associate

Amber Bickford Cox is a Research Associate with the Centers for Immunization Research (CIR). She is the co-instructor of JHSPH Clinical Vaccine Trials and Good Clinical Practices (GCP) course offered through the CIR and co-instructor for the JHSPH Vaccine Science and Policy Certificate and Special Topics in Vaccine Science Seminar. She serves as Clinical Monitor for the JHSPH Enterics Monitoring Group. She also served as the Project Coordinator for the Clinical Vaccine Trials Training Program providing novel GCP training workshops in the US, Africa, Asia and Europe.