Tribute to Dr. Stephaun E. Wallace
The HIV community has lost a thoughtful leader and esteemed colleague. The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) has announced the passing of Dr. Stephaun Elite Wallace, Director of External Relations for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center’s (Fred Hutch) HVTN, on August 5, 2023. Dr. Wallace was a research epidemiologist and public health and social justice leader. In addition to serving as HVTN’s Director of External Relations, he had faculty appointments at Fred Hutch, the University of Washington, and Yale as a staff scientist, clinical assistant professor, and affiliate professor, respectively. Throughout all aspects of his work, he focused on increasing positive health outcomes for members of racial/ethnic and gender/sexual minority groups in the United States and internationally. As HVTN noted in their announcement, “he built bridges, made connections, and lifted people up.”
“Stephaun was always available to help with strategic planning, presenting, and providing support to ensure we aggressively addressed HIV in an equitable manner. He advocated for the needs of all marginalized people and transgender and non-binary people in particular. The joy he brought to his work and his commitment to ending health disparities made us all better,” said Timothy Harrison, PhD, Principal Deputy Director, Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Carl Dieffenbach, PhD, Director, Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health echoed these sentiments. “Stephaun had an indefatigable commitment to community and equity, and a passion for advancing HIV vaccine research. We will all remember his larger-than-life personality and wonderful sense of humor. His laugh filled the room and helped advance conversations in a most productive way. My NIH colleagues and I share our devastation to lose his generous and insightful leadership far too soon.”
Information regarding opportunities to honor Dr. Wallace will be shared by HTVN as soon as it is available.