HIV Vaccine Program Team

Principal Investigator

Spyros Kalams, MD headshotSpyros Kalams, MD is the Principal Investigator of the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Trials Unit, and is interested in evaluating the immune responses generated by HIV vaccine candidates in HIV seronegative subjects.  As part of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group he is also interested in evaluating ways to augment HIV-specific immunity through therapeutic immunization of subjects infected with HIV.

Co-Investigator

Gregory Wilson, MD headshotGregory Wilson, MD studies HIV infection in children and is director of the Vanderbilt Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Subunit. He also is the Co-Investigator of the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Trials unit. His HIV research interests are non-cytotoxic CD8 lymphocyte control of viral replication and the design of treatment strategies for children who develop resistance to combination antiretroviral therapy. On-going research in Dr. Wilson's laboratory includes analysis of wild-type and mutant 3 proteins to identify specific regions in 3 that influence disassembly of reovirus virions.

Clinic Coordinator

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Kyle Rybczyk, MSN, FNP is the Clinic Coordinator for the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program. He has been working with the program in the clinical setting since 1992. Additional research efforts have focused on the social implications of vaccine trial participation, the study of mucosal antibody in HIV, and community advocacy in HIV vaccine trials. He is also the clinic coordinator representative on the Vaccine-Induced Seropositivity taskforce.

Nursing staff

Our friendly nursing staff will guide you through the entire process of volunteering for HIV vaccine clinical trials.

KatieKatie Crumbo is a Family Nurse Practitioner and has been working with the HIV Vaccine Trials unit since 1994.



ShondaShonda Sumner is a registered nurse with 12 years experience. She graduated with an Associate Degree in Nursing in 1998 and completed her BSN in 2012. Her work experience includes ICU, CCU, and Pre-op/Recovery units.


NaomiNaomi Prashad completed her BSN at Queens University and her MSN at Vanderbilt. Naomi has a passion for research, health education and global health and has been a part of numerous international volunteer outreaches. Her work experience includes, HIV/AIDS, Internal Medicine, ICU and Hematology/Oncology.

Amanda HeadshotAmanda Langlois, originally from New Jersey, is a Registered Nurse who graduated from Ramapo College with a BSN. Although Amanda is new to research, she brings several years of experience as a certified medical-surgical nurse and a passion to help make a difference. 

Laboratory Personnel

Rita Smith headshotRita Smith is Laboratory Director for the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program. She provides supervision and coordination of laboratory assays and shipping for clinical vaccine trials.


Gwendolyn Rees headshotGwendolyn Rees is a senior laboratory technician for the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program. Her skills include cell separation and freezing, database management, and a wide variety of molecular biology skills.

Dana KingDana King, Research Assistant II, is no stranger to Vanderbilt. She's worked in many departments off and on since 1990 including the Vision Research center, the Leukemia Lab, and even the very beginning of embyonic stem cells research.

Community Engagement Team

Vic Sorrell headshotVic Sorrell , Community Engagement Manager, brings to his role several years of experience in service to the Nashville LGBTQI community. Beginning as HIV Prevention Education Coordinator at Nashville CARES in 2008, Vic played a primary role in recruiting over 100 men and Transwomen in Nashville for the nationwide "Hope Takes Action" HIV vaccine study with the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program. Vic was named "Nashville's Inspirational Person of the Year" in 2013 by BNA Talent and Out & About Magazine and received the HIV Vaccine Trials Network "Service Award" later that same year for outstanding and creative contribution to HIV vaccine study recruitment in Nashville. Contact him at (615) 343-8140.

Keith Richardson HeadshotKeith Richardson, Community Engagement Coordinator, brings several years of work experience in the nonprofit arena with corporations such as HCA Healthcare and Baptist Hospital. He’s worked tirelessly in the community and volunteers his time to organizations that matter. Keith has planned and executed  major events around Middle Tennessee including The Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure,” and has served the March of Dimes in conjunction with Baptist Hospital, Second Harvest Food Bank, and The American Cancer Society. Contact him at 615-343-2878.