IDCRC Profile: Jeffrey Lennox, MD


Jeffrey Lennox, MD is the co-director of the IDCRC Clinical Operations Unit and will be retiring, effective June 30, 2024, after a three-decade long career at Emory University and the Grady Health System in Atlanta, GA. 

"It’s been great working with Jeff in the COU over the past 5 years.  He’s been a great partner, and we’re really going to miss him.  I wish him the best in his retirement," shares Robert Atmar, MD, IDCRC COU co-director.

The IDCRC thanks him for his many contributions to infectious disease research and to the IDCRC network over the years.

Read the full announcement

Dr. Lennox describes his background in vaccine research.

Prior to my coming to Emory, I was in the U.S. Army for 11 years. During that time, I was involved in researching antibody responses to conserved epitopes of HIV, as part of potential vaccine development. Subsequently, I was an investigator on a large, multicenter HIV vaccine immunotherapy study. After arriving at Emory, I was a co-investigator on a Phase I animal protocol testing DNA vaccination to prevent HIV. In addition, as part of the ACTG, I was the site investigator for a protocol utilizing an HIV vaccine to determine if immunization prior to interruption of therapy would prolong the time off of antivirals. Since joining the IDCRC, I have worked with various sites, units, and protocol teams helping to develop their studies, including vaccine trials.

Please describe the importance of the VTEUs. 

The IDCRC and VTEUs are a critical part of the NIH-sponsored clinical trials team investigating the treatment and prevention of critical infectious diseases. Their studies usually involve products or diseases that the industry is either unable or unwilling to address. The network also offers the opportunity to initiate multicenter studies that involve the different and complementary expertise of multiple different VTEU investigators.

What has been the most impactful or highlight of your IDCRC work?

Prior to helping prepare the IDCRC network application, I was only prayerfully involved in the work of the VTEU at Emory. Within the first six months of the network’s creation, multiple VTEUs had participated in pivotal studies leading to the approval of the first COVID-19 vaccines. Other trials, such as MOMIVax, expanded upon our knowledge of protecting infants from infection. Working with the other members of the COU on this large and varied spectrum of COVID-19-related studies was one of the highlights of my career. 

What are your plans for the future? 

I will have retired from Emory University at the time that this newsletter appears. My plans are to continue to expand my involvement in prospecting and digging for minerals and crystals. I have had a love for this activity since I was a young child, hiking in the mountains of Colorado. For over 30 years, I did not pursue this passion, based on the needs of my career. I have since found that being out in nature practicing focused observation, doing strenuous physical activity, and discovering beautiful specimens brings me great joy. I encourage others to also take time away from their busy lives to do similar joyful activities. I wish the best of luck to all of you!