By UW School of Public Health
If it weren’t for a teacher who pushed her to pursue science, Rhea Coler could have slipped through the cracks as a young girl in Trinidad. Three degrees and five patents later, Coler is shaping the future of vaccine development and mentoring emerging leaders in global health.
Nestled in a quiet corner east of Seattle’s Lake Union, Coler and a team of scientists at the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) are doing painstaking work to save lives, reduce disease and improve health around the world. They have spent the better part of 10 years designing a tuberculosis (TB) vaccine capable of both preventing and treating the disease, whose pathogen has refined its survival strategy over at least 6,000 years.
Rhea Coler is an Affiliate Professor of Global Health and Senior Vice President of Preclinical and Translational Research at IDRI.