IDCRC Profile: Natalia Jimenez-Truque, MSCI, PhD


Natalia Jimenez-Truque, MSCI, PhD is a research assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU). Her work is focused on vaccine research, epidemiology and clinical trials.

How long have you worked with a VTEU?  

I have officially been with the Vanderbilt VTEU since 2013, but I have worked with C. Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, VTEU principal investigator, since 2007, when I first joined his lab.

Briefly describe the IDCRC-supported trials you’ve worked on

Our team has worked on Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial 1 (ACTT 1), Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial 2 (ACTT 2), Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine, The COVE Study™ (CoVPN 3001), The ENSEMBLE Study with Janssen’s Ad26.COV2.S Investigational Vaccine (CoVPN 3003), Moderna’s mRNA-1273.351 Variant vaccine (DMID 21-0002) and Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine, the KidCOVE Study (mRNA-1273-P204). We are also overseeing our sub-contracting sites for SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines in Pregnancy and Postpartum, the MOMI-Vax Study (DMID 21-0004) and Heterologous Prime Boost, Mix and Match Study (DMID 21-0012). Learn more about IDCRC Studies

Of these trials, what has been the most impactful or highlight of the work?

For me, the ACTT-1 and ACTT-2 studies have been a highlight of the last year. The early success of remdesivir in treating patients with COVID-19 was an all-around accomplishment, since one of our research groups, led by Mark Denison, MD (IDCRC Coronavirus Expert Working Group member), played a critical role in the development and evaluation of remdesivir in the years preceding the pandemic. After animal models confirmed the activity of remdesivir against SARS-CoV-2, and after we enrolled our first patient in ACTT-1, we all felt a remarkable sense of accomplishment seeing the fruit of basic discovery in our own intensive care unit. Leading those efforts was truly an honor for all of us in the Vanderbilt community.

What is a strength or example of the importance of the IDCRC during the pandemic and beyond?

The IDCRC is able to get an amazing group of experts in infectious diseases and vaccines to work together to tackle some of the most pressing issues in the field. The myriad of studies that have been launched and conducted in response to the pandemic, highlight the good things that can come when great minds come together with a common goal.