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Thor A. Wagner, MD

Thor A. Wagner, MD

Infectious Disease

On staff since July 2008

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Research Center: Center for Global Infectious Disease Research

"My research is inspired by patients that I meet and directed at the problems that they face. There are exciting opportunities to adapt current biotechnology to help our patients' needs, and it's great motivation to know that the research we do has the potential to directly benefit our patients."


Board Certification(s)
Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Medical/Professional School
Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia
Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of New York, CHN-517, New York
Infectious Disease, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle
Clinical Interests

General pediatric infectious diseases, pediatric HIV Mechanism of persistent HIV infection despite effective treatment, improving HIV diagnostics for the low resource settings

Research Description

My research is focused on pediatric HIV infection, which accounts for 15percent of all HIV deaths.

My primary interest is understanding chronic HIV infection during antiretroviral therapy. Specifically, why doesn't antiretroviral therapy eradicate HIV infection? Is there ongoing viral replication? Is there proliferation of cells with viable proviral HIV? Can we identify the remaining infected cells? Is immune tolerance to HIV a barrier to curing HIV? Answers to these questions should help design new treatment strategies more likely to cure HIV.

My other research interest is improving infectious disease diagnostics in low resource settings. Specifically, I am working to develop a point-of-care diagnostic test for infant HIV. Currently there is no simple test to diagnose infants with HIV, and 50percent of HIV-infected children die before they can be diagnosed. To accomplish this we are utilizing state-of-the-art monoclonal antibody screening technology to optimize the sensitivity of immunoassays to detect HIV antigens.

Research Focus Area

Infectious Disease

Awards and Honors

Award NameAward DescriptionAwarded ByAward Date
Young Scientist Scholarship - XVIII HIV International Drug Resistance WorkshopXVIII HIV International Drug Resistance WorkshopJan. 1, 2009
Young Investigator Award15th Conf. on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections 2008
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Tropical Infectious DiseaseBurroughs Wellcome Fund, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2008 - 2010
Department of Pediatrics Fellows' Research Day AwardSeattle Children's Research Institute 2007


Proliferation of cells with HIV integrated into cancer genes contributes to persistent infection.
Science (New York, N.Y.) , July 2014
An increasing proportion of monotypic HIV-1 DNA sequences during antiretroviral treatment suggests proliferation of HIV-infected cells.
Journal of virology , Feb. 2013: 87(3)1770-8
Quantification of mitochondrial toxicity in HIV-infected individuals by quantitative PCR compared to flow cytometry.
Cytometry. Part B, Clinical cytometry , Jan. 2013: 84(1)55-8
Monitoring of HIV type 1 DNA load and drug resistance in peripheral blood mononuclear cells during suppressive antiretroviral therapy does not predict virologic failure.
AIDS research and human retroviruses , Aug. 2012: 28(8)780-8
Yet Another Reason to Treat HIV Infection.
Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America , April 2012: 54(7)1010-2
A global health opportunity: the potential of multiplexed diagnostics in low resource settings
Journal of Global Health , 2011: 1(2)136-139
Epidemiology and aetiology of maternal bacterial and viral infections in low and middle income countries
Journal of Global Health , 2011: 1(2)169-185
Epidemiology and aetiology of parasitic maternal infections in low- and middleincome countries
Journal of Global Health , 2011: 1(2)187-198
Emerging Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Severe Neonatal Infections Applicable to Low Resource Settings
Journal of Global Health , 2011: 1(2)208-221
Antiretroviral treatment for HIV-infected infants exposed to nevirapine.
JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association , Dec. 2010: 304(23)2589; author reply 2589-90
Astrovirus encephalitis in boy with X-linked agammaglobulinemia.
Emerging infectious diseases , June 2010: 16(6)918-25
Association between detection of HIV-1 DNA resistance mutations by a sensitive assay at initiation of antiretroviral therapy and virologic failure.
Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America , May 2010: 50(10)1397-404
Detection of HIV-1 drug resistance in women following administration of a single dose of nevirapine: comparison of plasma RNA to cellular DNA by consensus sequencing and by oligonucleotide ligation assay.
Journal of clinical microbiology , May 2010: 48(5)1555-61
Increased mutations in Env and Pol suggest greater HIV-1 replication in sputum-derived viruses compared with blood-derived viruses.
AIDS (London, England) , May 2009: 23(8)923-8
Assessment of mitochondrial toxicity by analysis of mitochondrial protein expression in mononuclear cells.
Cytometry. Part B, Clinical cytometry , May 2009: 76(3)181-90
Potential limitation of CCR5 antagonists: drug resistance more often linked to CXCR4-utilizing than to CCR5-utilizing HIV-1.
AIDS (London, England) , Nov. 2008: 22(17)2393-5
Anti-inflammatory properties of macrolides.
The Pediatric infectious disease journal , Jan. 2007: 26(1)75-6
Clinical Significance of HIV-1 Drug Resistance Mutations
J. of Lab. Medicine , 2006: 37: 554-561
Effects of azithromycin on clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from cystic fibrosis patients.
Chest , Aug. 2005: 128(2)912-9

Research Funding

Grant TitleGrantorAmountAward Date
"Mechanisms of Formation and Persistence of Active HIV Reservoirs" - R01 AI111806 (PI: Mullins)NIH $10,720 subcontract annual direct costsMarch 15, 2014 - Feb. 28, 2019
Systematic High-Throughput Screening of B-cell Repertoires to Identify Antibodies Specific for HIV-Infected CellsBill and Melinda Gates Foundation $, $Nov. 1, 2011 - April 30, 2013
HIV Persistence Despite Therapy due to Proliferation of Infected CellsFraternal Order of EaglesOct. 1, 2009 - Sept. 30, 2014
Novel microcapillary immunoassay methodology to enable point-of-care infant HIV-1 diagnosisSeattle Children’s HospitalJan. 1, 2009
Persistent HIV-1 Replication in the Respiratory Tract Despite Antiretroviral TreatmentNIH-NIAIDSept. 1, 2008 - Nov. 30, 2013
Improving Pediatric HIV-1 Diagnostics in an Effort to Avoid Antiretroviral Treatment Failure in Tamilnadu, IndiaBurroughs Wellcome Fund/American Society of Tropical Medicine and HygieneJuly 1, 2008 - June 30, 2014

Primary Office

Seattle Children's Research Institute
JMB - 8 - Infectious Disease
1900 - 9th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

Additional Offices

Seattle Children's
MA.7.226 - Infectious Disease Clinic
4800 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

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