Linda Oseso, MPH – HVTN Social and Behavioral Sciences Project Manager
HVTN Core, Seattle, WA, USA
I immigrated to the United States from Kenya with my family in 2001 and did my undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2016, I earned a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from the University of Washington.
As an undergraduate, I was a Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training fellow, working in South Africa to examine the potential effects of diseases spreading between wildlife, livestock and people. I also worked as a volunteer for the sex worker outreach program in Nairobi, Kenya, providing health education and medical services to sex workers. As a graduate student, I worked with Dr. Anna Wald at the University of Washington Virology Research Clinic where we designed and conducted a mixed methods study to assess the interest of persons with genital herpes in finding a herpes cure and their willingness to take on the risks associated with experimental therapy to completely clear or inactivate their infection. I also worked with Dr. Michele Andrasik at the HVTN, where I coordinated the development of animated educational videos for the AMP study.
I was a collegiate and post-collegiate track and field athlete (Hammer Throw). I was encouraged to do track and field by a friend I played basketball with in high school. As a post-collegiate athlete, I competed for Kenya at two Commonwealth Games (India and Scotland), 3 African Championships (Kenya, Benin and Morocco), and the World University Games (China). I was voted co-captain of four of these teams. I am currently the Kenyan record holder in the Women’s Hammer.
As a young child in Kenya, my dream was to find the cure for HIV. I imagined myself as a lead scientist of a lab that would discover a cure. Every paper I wrote in middle school, high school and university was in one way or another linked to HIV. Working at the HVTN is a dream come true! I am proud to be a member of an organization that is conducting cutting edge research to fully characterize the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of HIV vaccine candidates. I appreciate working in an environment with like-minded people who are collaborative, passionate and committed to working toward an HIV/AIDS-free generation. Thank you for the opportunity to make my small contribution to our mission of finding a safe and effective vaccine for HIV prevention globally.