School of Public Health

Chu, Helen

Helen Y. Chu

Associate Professor, Medicine - Allergy and Infectious Dis.
Adjunct Associate Professor, Epidemiology
Adjunct Associate Professor, Global Health


MPH Epidemiology, University of Washington, 2012
MD Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 2005
BA Cornell University, 2001

Contact Info

Box 359779
R&T Bldg, 300 9th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
Tel: 206-685-8702

Research Interests

Dr. Chu's research is focused on maternal immunization, in particular vaccines against influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). She studies the virologic and immunologic correlates of protection from respiratory viral infections in pregnant women, infants, and older adults, and performs clinical trials of vaccine candidates in both domestic and international sites, including Nepal and Bangladesh. She has developed immunologic assays to study transplacental transfer and decay kinetics of RSV antibody, and nosocomial and household transmission of respiratory viruses by genotypic analysis and molecular sequencing.


Chu HY, Englund JA, Starita LM, Famulare M, Brandstetter E, Nickerson DA, Rieder MJ, Adler A, Lacombe K, Kim AE, Graham C, Logue J, Wolf CR, Heimonen J, McCulloch DJ, Han PD, Sibley TR, Lee J, Ilcisin M, Fay K, Burstein R, Martin B, Lockwood CM, Thompson M, Lutz B, Jackson M, Hughes JP, Boeckh M, Shendure J, Bedford T. Early Detection of Covid-19 through a Citywide Pandemic Surveillance Platform. N Engl J Med. 2020 May 1; PubMed PMID: 32356944; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7206929.

Seydoux E, Homad LJ, MacCamy AJ, Parks KR, Hurlburt NK, Jennewein MF, Akins NR, Stuart AB, Wan YH, Feng J, Whaley RE, Singh S, Boeckh M, Cohen KW, McElrath MJ, Englund JA, Chu HY, Pancera M, McGuire AT, Stamatatos L. Analysis of a SARS-CoV-2-Infected Individual Reveals Development of Potent Neutralizing Antibodies with Limited Somatic Mutation. Immunity. 2020 Jul 14;53(1):98-105.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2020.06.001. Epub 2020 Jun 8. PMID: 32561270; PMCID: PMC7276322.

Atyeo, C, Fischinger S, Zohar T, Slein M, Burke J, Loos C, McCulloch DJ, Newman KL, Wolf C, Shuey K, Ryan E, Charles R, Schimdt A, Suscovich TJ, Linde C, Chen B, Lauffenburger D, Chu HY*, Alter G*, Distinct serological signatures track with SARS-CoV-2 outcome, Immunity, In Press
*Co-senior author

McCulloch DJ, Kim AE, Wilcox NC, Logue JK, Greninger AL, Englund JA, Chu HY. Comparison of Unsupervised Home Self-collected Midnasal Swabs With Clinician-Collected Nasopharyngeal Swabs for Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Infection. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Jul 1;3(7):e2016382. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.16382. PMID: 32697321; PMCID: PMC7376392.

In The News

Vaccine questions linger as Biden puts forth plan to tackle pandemic
WBUR, 01/15/2021

Existing vaccines should work against new coronavirus variants — for now
National Geographic, 01/15/2021

Dr. Helen Chu named Washingtonian of the Year
KIRO Radio, 01/08/2021