• Affiliate Professor, Global Health
  • Senior Investigator/Scientist, Seattle Children's

Seattle Children's Research Institute
307 Westlake Ave N, Suite 500, (Office 411), 
Seattle, WA 98109-5219
United States

Phone Number: 
206-884-3336 OFFICE
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Rhea Coler is an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington and a Senior Investigator at SCRI. Her research focuses on biomarker discovery and on developing vaccines or host-directed therapies for pandemic infectious diseases caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, nontuberculous mycobacteria, and positive strand RNA viruses. Studies currently in progress in the Coler lab aim to elucidate mechanisms of protection mediated by various prophylactic and therapeutic approaches including the application of novel adjuvants, mRNA vaccine delivery and combinatorial regimens to further improve these outcomes. As a member of the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC) and a Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs) site, Dr. Coler is also working on clinical trials of therapeutics and prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for a variety of infectious disease pathogens including SARS-CoV-2, TB and schistosomiasis. Results from our work has resulted in several patents, three start-up biotechnology companies, and translation of several infectious disease vaccines from preclinical to clinical development.

Dr. Coler serves on the Global Health Undergraduate Programs Advisory Board, and the Boards of the Washington Global Health Alliance (WGHA) and the ARCS Foundation Seattle Chapter. Her work has been funded by NIH/NIAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Paul Allen G. Family Foundation, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, European Commission, and PATH. She has published more than 90 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Coler began her infectious disease career with field work on malaria control in Tanzania, followed by research on arboviruses, entomology and parasitology at the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) in Trinidad, West Indies. She received her BSc from McGill University, MSc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and PhD from the University of Washington.

Dr. Coler received a new grant in 2023; $558,000 for performing Endpoint Immunological Assays for CyanVac’s CVXGA35 Intranasal COVID-19 Vaccine Phase 2a Trial. She received two new NIH-funded supplemental awards related to her IMPAc-TB contract, in 2023; supplemental awards were in the amounts of $1.4 million and $1.3 million. Dr. Coler also received a M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Grant # SR-202220367 $481,000 for purchase of a FACSymphony A5.

  • PhD, University of Washington
  • MSc, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK)
  • BSc, McGill University (Canada)
Country Affiliations 
Health Topics 
  • Biodefense Infectious Diseases
  • Burden of Disease
  • Clinical Mentoring
  • Drug and Vaccine Development
  • Education and Training
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Immunizations
  • Implementation Science
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Influenza
  • Innate Immunity
  • Laboratory Strengthening
  • Leadership and Organizational Development
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Malaria
  • Molecular Immunology
  • Neglected Diseases, Tropical Medicine (incl. Parasites)
  • Pathobiology
  • Pathogenesis
  • Poverty
  • Prevention
  • Pulmonary Diseases and Pneumonia
  • Research
  • Respiratory Disease
  • TB
  • Trop. Med (incl. Parasites)
  • Viruses
  • Waterborne Diseases
  • Zoonotic Diseases and Animal Health
Pathobiology research areas 
DGH Centers, Programs and Initiatives and Affiliated Organizations 

Candidate vaccines for tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, malaria, HIV, West Nile virus, anthrax and influenza.


Coler RN, Day TA, Ellis R, Piazza FM, Beckmann AM, Vergara J, Rolf T, Lu L, Alter G, Hokey D, Jayashankar L, Walker R, Snowden MA, Evans T, Ginsberg A, Reed SG, Team T-S. The TLR-4 agonist adjuvant, GLA-SE, improves magnitude and quality of immune responses elicited by the ID93 tuberculosis vaccine: first-in-human trial. NPJ Vaccines. 2018;3:34. doi: 10.1038/s41541-018-0057-5. PMID: 30210819.

Van Hoeven N, Wiley S, Gage E, Fiore-Gartland A, Granger B, Gray S, Fox C, Clements DE, Parks DE, Winram S, Stinchcomb DT, Reed SG, Coler RN. A combination of TLR-4 agonist and saponin adjuvants increases antibody diversity and protective efficacy of a recombinant West Nile Virus antigen. NPJ Vaccines. 2018;3:39. doi: 10.1038/s41541-018-0077-1. PMID: 30302281.

Baldwin SL, Larsen SE, Ordway D, Cassell G, Coler RN. The complexities and challenges of preventing and treating nontuberculous mycobacterial diseases. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2019;13(2):e0007083. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007083.PMID: 30763316. PMC6375572.

Baldwin SL, Hsu FC, Van Hoeven N, Gage E, Granger B, Guderian JA, Larsen SE, Lorenzo EC, Haynes L, Reed SG, Coler RN. Improved Immune Responses in Young and Aged Mice with Adjuvanted Vaccines against H1N1 Influenza Infection. Front Immunol. 2018 Feb 19;9:295. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00295. eCollection 2018. PMID: 29515589.

Bertholet S, Ireton GC, Ordway DJ, Windish HP, Pine SO, Kahn M, Phan T, Orme IM, Vedvick TS, Baldwin SL, Coler RN, Reed SG. A defined tuberculosis vaccine candidate boosts BCG and protects against multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Science translational medicine. 2010;2(53):53ra74. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001094. PMID: 20944089.


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