Wayne Koff, Ph.D., is the founding President and CEO of the Human Vaccines Project. Prior to joining the Project, Koff served as chief scientific officer and senior vice president of research and development at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) in New York City (1999-2016), leading IAVI’s research and development program. At IAVI, his accomplishments included developing multiple HIV vaccines through clinical trials; establishing state-of-the-art laboratories in the U.S., Europe, India and Africa; conducting the first HIV vaccine trials in India, Kenya and Rwanda; establishing the Neutralizing Antibody Consortium, which identified new, broad and potent neutralizing antibodies against HIV that led to the discovery of novel targets for vaccine design; and establishing a clinical research network in Africa that has conducted seminal studies on HIV pathogenesis, incidence and acute infection.
Koff served as vice president of vaccine research and development at United Biomedical Inc. (UBI), where he was responsible for its vaccine R&D program. During his tenure at UBI (1992-1998), the company conducted the first AIDS vaccine clinical trials in the developing countries of the People’s Republic of China, Thailand, and Brazil.
He served as chief of the Vaccine Research and Development Branch, Division of AIDS, at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where he led the team that established the pre-clinical and clinical AIDS vaccine development programs for the National Institutes of Health (1988-1992).
He received his B.A. from Washington University and his Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine. Koff has published more than 100 scientific papers and edited eight books on vaccine development. An internationally recognized viral immunologist in the field of AIDS vaccine research and development, he has been twice honored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the Special Act of Service Award for developing innovative strategies for accelerating global efforts in AIDS vaccine development.
In 2020, Koff was appointed adjunct professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Additionally, he is the President and CEO of the long-term partnership between the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and HVP, the Human Immunomics Initiative.