Barb Carste, MPH


“Vaccines are one of the most effective public health preventative measures to save lives, and I am continually inspired by our vaccine trial volunteers at Kaiser — without them we couldn’t do our work.”

Barb Carste, MPH

Director, Clinical Research Trials
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Barb Carste has managed clinical research trials for over 20 years at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI).

As KPWHRI’s director of Clinical Research Trials, she oversees research clinic operations, strategic planning, and clinical trial programs. Since 2007, she has managed KPWHRI’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU), a clinical trials team funded by the National Institutes of Health that evaluates investigational vaccines of public health importance. In March 2020, KPWHRI’s VTEU gave the world’s first-ever injection of an investigational vaccine for COVID-19 in a phase 1 clinical trial led by Senior Investigator Lisa A. Jackson, MD, MPH. The VTEU team has also led trials to develop new vaccines against other infectious diseases such as pandemic influenza, smallpox, malaria, anthrax, and meningitis. Most recently, the study team administered the world’s first-ever injection of an investigational schistosomiasis vaccine.  

Ms. Carste has bachelor’s degrees in biology and German from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. After one of her college roommates died during an outbreak of meningococcal disease on campus, she was inspired to pursue her master’s degree with a focus on epidemiology, which ultimately led her to pursuing a career in clinical research in Seattle.  

Read more about KPWHRI's Vaccines & Infectious Diseases research.


1st vaccine trial


‘Fighting back’ against COVID-19: Remembering a historic trial

Lisa Jackson, MD, MPH, Kaiser Permanente Washington senior investigator, recounts the genesis of a groundbreaking vaccine.