Meet The Team
Rachel Bender Ignacio, MD, MPH
Director (UWPR) and
Clinical Lead for the TLC-ART Program
Rachel Bender Ignacio is an infectious disease physician-scientist and Director of UW Positive Research since 2020. She takes care of folks living with HIV and those seeking HIV prevention care at the Madison clinic since 2013 and also cares for hospitalized patients with infectious disease concerns at Harborview and on UW Medical Cancer-Montlake’s organ transplantation service. She completed medical school and an MPH in epidemiology at the UW. She trained in Internal Medicine at Mass General Hospital/Harvard and briefly held a faculty appointment there prior to returning to UW for Infectious Diseases fellowship. She has been conducting HIV research since 2005, and has worked with partners across in several countries in Latin America, Africa, and in India. The majority of her patient care and research has been focused on the intersection of co-infections, immune activation, and HIV outcomes, and cancer. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has also taken on significant leadership on COVID-19 treatment research, also serving as the Medical Director of the COVID-19 Clinical Research Center at the Fred Hutch. As part of her leadership at UW Positive Research, she is Co-Director of the TLC-ART Program with Rodney Ho; the TLC-ART program aims to develop long-acting injectable HIV treatments that can be used globally. In addition to her work as a clinician and scientist, she is a passionate advocate for HIV and people impacted by it and other infections. She previously served as a Director on the HIV Medicine Association Board and currently is the Chair of the Advocacy Captains sub-committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America/HIVMA. In her new role, she hopes to advance policy needs for these populations.
Chris Jonsson, HeMBA
Program Operations Manager
(UWPR and TLC-ART Program)
Raised south of Seattle in Portland, Oregon, Chris started working at Harborview five day after she graduated high school in 1998. A few months later she started at the ACTU (UWPR) four days before she turned 18. During high school, Chris often volunteered in the Madison Clinic helping her mom who was the dietician as well as pharmacy and the front desk. During her time as a volunteer, Chris witnessed the announcement of the first protease inhibitor results at a Madison Clinic community meeting, and it was there when she fell in love with the mood and energy that circulated throughout the room. Although Chris has always been interested in the science behind HIV/AIDS research and enjoys hearing early information released in the clinic, her true passion is in business. She has recently graduated from Seattle University with a Healthcare Executive MBA, Chris runs the business end of UW Positive Research as the Clinic Manager, working on the grants, budgets, regulatory information, data, and helps coordinate the clinic’s staff.
Katrina Puckett, Ph.T.
Regulator Coordinator and
Lead Pharmacy Technician
A lifelong Seattle-ite, Katrina works at UW Positive Research as the Lead Pharmacy Technician and an Investigational Pharmacy Technician. She started working in Harborview’s pharmaceutical department in 1991 and, after two years, was recruited by her supervisor for an opening at the UWPR/ACTU pharmacy. She turned down the job at first but her keen interest in research reminded her that this was a prime opportunity. Katrina accepted the job in ’93 when only two anti-retroviral therapy treatments were on the market. She has steadily seen new drugs come through her pharmacy and help better the health of patients. Since she has started, Katrina has been a valued member of the team and was sent to Peru to oversee the opening of a clinic pharmacy. She is motivated by her co-workers and the progress she has seen over her career in AIDS research.
Eli P. Burnham, PA-C
Eli Burnham, PA-C, is a clinical researcher at the University of Washington Positive Research. They are also physician assistant in Infectious Disease who performs High-Resolution Anoscopy (HRA). Eli believes in a collaborative approach to care between patients, providers, and care teams: Ideally, patients should be given the information, tools, and support they need to make the decisions that align with their lives and goals. Eli is a member of the International Anal Neoplasia Society and was trained in HRA in accordance with their model. They are passionate about using HRA as a tool for anal cancer detection and prevention.
Eli loves to read, go on long-distance backpacking trips, and play with their two dogs.
Clay Youngblood, BSN, RN
Hello, my name is Claborne, but please call me Clay. I have been an RN since 2006 and I am originally from Dallas, Texas, but have called Seattle/King County home for the past 11 years. I have worked in many areas of nursing including surgery, gastroenterology, HIV and infectious disease, healthcare in housing for the DESC and most recently COVID and HIV research at UW Positive Research. I also have a masters from the School of Public Health from the University of Washington in information management and informatics.
Phoebe Bryson-Cahn, PA-C
Phoebe (they/them) originally hails from Berkeley, California, but landed in Seattle in 2016 and never looked back. They attended the University of Washington MEDEX for their Physician Assistant training. With a background in community health and colorectal surgery, they are so excited to have joined the UW Positive group as a research clinician and to have the privilege of serving the LGBTQ+ community on a daily basis. When they're not in the clinic, you can find them cooking an elaborate meal or hiking with their pup, Snack.
Sher Storey, PA-C
In the early 80’s I was working for IBM fixing computers in Los Angeles. I remember a 1981 New York Times article about “Gay Cancer” and then many of my gay friends began to show symptoms. We didn’t have an HIV test for a while, we didn’t have treatment, and I saw it as a war, which we were losing. I quit IBM and went to the USC PA program. After graduation I practiced as a PA in cardiac surgery in Los Angeles while I looked for work closer to my heart. I was offered a position to create and teach the PA HIV curriculum at USC in 1992 and as part of my position, a percentage of my time was spent seeing HIV patients at the L.A. County Hospital HIV/AIDS clinic 5P21. After a couple of years, I figured out I was strongly drawn to HIV clinical care, and my heart was 100% devoted to working with HIV patients. At that time the medical community had no effective HIV antiretrovirals. AIDS research was in its early days, and in very early 1996 ACTG 320 showed that using Indinavir in combination with AZT and 3TC was better than using AZT and 3TC alone. I clearly remember a visit with a patient I had been seeing for about three years as he was being destroyed by this horrible virus. He’d gone from being a vibrant healthy person to being unable to walk into the visit, he was brought in by wheelchair by his cousin. My director dropped by my desk and suggested that I try Indinavir with AZT and 3TC. I sent him home with the new ‘cocktail’ as they called it then and thought that I’d probably not see him again. For all my life I will never forget the moment he bounded into my clinic at the next visit. I don’t say this lightly, but it was miraculous. I was stunned, then I was driven to find out where I could help with research. I have been here, in HIV research with University of Washington at Harborview since 1997 and I am so incredibly grateful for this wonderful opportunity to spend my life working with people I love and respect in the community that I call mine.
Janine Maenza, MD
Research Investigator (UWPR)
Clinic Director (VTU)
Janine Maenza is an infectious disease physician who has spent her career working in HIV clinical research. She completed infectious disease fellowship training at Johns Hopkins, where she then remained on faculty providing HIV clinical care and working at the Hopkins ACTU. She moved to Seattle in 1999, focusing her work on acute HIV at the Primary Infection Clinic, and continuing to work on ACTG studies. She currently serves as the medical director of the Seattle HIV Vaccine Trials Unit (VTU) and as a staff physician at UWPR, with a specific focus on studies of acute infection and HIV eradication.
Born nearby in Bremerton, Mel has worked at the UWPR/ACTU since 2001. As a graphic arts major, Mel decided to shift directions when she found an opportunity for an opening here. Mel moved into the job as the ACTU’s Lab Manager. Aside from the serious side of research, Mel finds it hilarious here. The few patients she knows along with her co-workers and her great boss have kept Mel enjoying each day of her work at the UWPR/ACTU.
Ally Angeldekao, MPH
Allysson, pronouns she/they, received a Masters of Public Health in Public Health Practice at the Oregon Health and Science University and Portland State University (OHSU-PSU) duel program. There, she helped organize the Department of Social Justice as a graduate research assistant for the Anti-Racism Initiative. They previously attended PSU for a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Chemistry where she worked as a health educator at the student health center and aided in the development of the traveling health information hut and the health and wellness podcast. With experience ranging from community advisory boards to national campaigns, Allysson is passionate about health equity, community development, preventative healthcare, and resiliency among low-income B/IPoC (Black, and/or Indigenous, and People of Color) populations. Allysson’s research experience primarily focuses on health equity for low-income families, and developing and accessing anti-racist, multicultural, and accessibility initiatives to provide historically marginalized communities with safe and quality health resources.
Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Gabby made her way to Seattle to attend University of Washington, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a minor in bioethics. During her junior year of college, Gabrielle joined the team at UW Positive Research as an assistant and quickly became passionate about the work done here and was thrilled to be able to take on a bigger role of Research Coordinator once she graduated with her undergraduate degree. Gabby loves connecting with our participants and has a deep appreciation for the science involved in our studies. Currently pursuing her Master’s in Medical Science, Gabby is driven by a long-term vision of contributing to the medical field. Her aspiration is to attend medical school and become a physician, inspired by the positive impact she has witnessed UWPR making in the community. With a trajectory focused on making a significant and positive difference in healthcare Gabby places a strong emphasis on equitable care and compassion for patients, aligning her goals with the values upheld by UWPR. Outside of the UWPR and her studies, Gabby loves spending time with friends and family, traveling and exploring the beauty Washington has to offer.
Nate Gebremariam, MPH
I'm Nate Gebremariam, a passionate public health professional with a Master of Public Health from the University of Washington. My expertise includes roles such as Research Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where I focused on sleep apnea research, and contributing to methamphetamine disorder studies and HIV/AIDS research at the University of Washington. In the Tesfa Program, I dedicated my efforts to connecting Ethiopian immigrants and refugees in Washington with crucial resources and information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bilingual in English and Amharic, I am committed to improving health outcomes and supporting community well-being through impactful research.
Meredith Potochnic, Pharm.D.
Pharmacist of Record (UWPR and VTU)
Meredith has worked in the ACTU pharmacy since 1997. During her residency at John Hopkins University, Meredith developed an interest in HIV care and investigational drugs. In her training, she was working with early studies looking at AZT as a means to treat HIV. Meredith stayed at John Hopkins to work with investigational drugs and HIV for a few years then decided it was time for a new city with both opportunities and a rock music scene. Meredith moved to Seattle and found her job here as a Pharmacist of Record. Working as a pharmacist for both UW Positive Research and the Madison Clinic, Meredith gets to see strides forward in HIV/AIDS treatment. To Meredith, it is a privilege to be a part of someone’s care and to try to find answers to questions unsolved. Working in an environment where people truly care about the well-being of their patients is also a big bonus for Meredith.
Ji Eun Lee, Pharm.D., BCPS
Pharmacist (UWPR and VTU)
Ji is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy and a Clinical Pharmacist at the Madison Clinic, Harborview Medical Center. She graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. She has worked at Madison Clinic since 2005 and joined the VTU in 2017.
Jordan G Graff, MPH
Regulatory Coordinator (UWPR) and
Program Manager (CFAR)
Jordan G. Graff is the Research Program Manager at the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Translational Research Subcore (TRS) as well as a Regulatory Coordinator for UW Positive Research (formerly the ACTU). CFAR TRS is in Harborview Medical Center’s 2 West Clinic where the Madison Clinic and UW Positive Research are housed. He helps investigators by promoting translational HIV research using the HIV Specimen Repository, which contain plasma, serum and PBMC specimens linked to extensive clinical data. He also supports the screening and recruitment of people living with and without HIV into clinical, laboratory and socio-behavioral studies through a dedicated research nurse. Core duties include program, team, and budget management as well as coordination of regulatory tasks through human subjects research applications and reports.
Jordan received his MPH from the University of Iowa with a departmental focus on Community and Behavioral Health and a BA in Global Health. His professional experience includes working with diverse populations, qualitative research, data analysis, health behavior, implementation analysis, and state level evaluation research. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, and astronomy.
Tanya Jacobs, Ph.T.
Born and raised in Seattle, I have been a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT) for over 25 years. I previously worked for Bartell Drugs for over 33 years (until 2020) and currently work part-time at Costco, in addition to my work at Harborview.
In May 2022, I started work at Harborview and became of member of the 2 West Clinic faculty in January 2024. I love working at various pharmacies around the campus. As a pharmacy technician at UW Positive Research, I fill prescriptions for participants in the studies and do the related record keeping.
I have also been a certified Veterinary Assistant for 7 years. I worked for 2 years at a small animal practice clinic here is Seattle, and currently care for horses at an Equine facility at Gold Creek Equestrian in Woodinville. I am an avid horse rider/instructor and teach children (4 and up) on the safety of caring for horses, grooming, tacking, and riding. I have been teaching for over a year and a rider there since 1983.
Jeffrey Schouten, MD, JD
Jeffrey Schouten, MD, JD, is a clinical investigator at UW Positive Research and Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery and Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. He is also the former Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Network Coordination (HANC), based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, where he provided leadership and strategic direction for all of the cross-network coordination activities that the HANC project encompasses. Jeff worked closely with the Network Leaders of the NIH HIV/AIDS Clinical Trial Networks and the Division of AIDS to develop and implement strategies to coordinate activities and optimize collaboration between the networks and DAIDS and other funding and operational partners. He is a former general surgeon with a focus on surgical oncology. He has been involved in HIV clinical research and HIV primary care for more than two decades. Jeff also has a strong interest in HIV public policy and the prevention of anal cancer.
Ann Collier, MD
Born in Michigan, Dr. Collier attended Wellesley College for her undergraduate education and completed her degree at Dartmouth Medical School. She went on to intern at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill before finishing her medical residency and infectious disease fellowship at the University of Washington. In 1981, Dr. Collier saw her first AIDS patient in New Hampshire, who she assumed to be her last; she never thought she would see another patient the same symptoms. When Dr. Collier moved out to Seattle to complete her fellowship, she started to see an increasing number of patients with AIDS-related symptoms. From then on, she felt compelled to devoting her work to increasing the quality of treatments so that patients with this newly discovered disease could live their life with ease. Dr. Collier moved into research and helped start the UW AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (ACTU) in 1987. Her motivation to better the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS can be seen in the various articles, journals, and studies she has authored. Seeing the feedback loop that starts from her work and is then seen in a patient’s progression keeps her in this particular field of research. Dr. Collier is a Professor at the UW School of Medicine and serves as the Director Emerita of UW Positive Research.