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Remarks of the Director, NIAID

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

 


Dr. Fauci opened the Council session by welcoming visitors to the meeting, including four new Council members: Dr. Richard Insel, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Dr. Martin Myers, University of Texas Medical Branch; Dr. Shelley Payne, University of Texas; and Dr. Gary Schoolnik, Stanford University Medical Center.

Dr. Fauci introduced two ad hoc Council members: Dr. Maria Freire, the TB Alliance and Dr. Alan Aderem, Institute for Systems Biology.

Consideration of Minutes of Previous Meeting:
The minutes of the September 27, 2004, meeting were considered and approved as written.

Staff and Organizational Changes
Dr. Fauci announced several staff changes in the Institute. Dr. Cliff Lane is serving as the acting deputy director of NIAID, in addition to his usual duties as clinical director of NIAID and director of the Office of Clinical Research. Dr. John McGowan has assumed many management tasks in the Institute while continuing his role as director of the Division of Extramural Activities.

Dr. Peter Jahrling has been appointed chief scientist of the new Integrated Research Facility for NIAID’s biodefense program at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland.

In the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation, Ms. Natasha Watson has been appointed the chief of project management in the Office of Clinical Applications.

Mr. Charles Grewe was appointed director of the Contract Management Program in the Division of Extramural Activities.

Budget Update
The NIAID budget for FY 2005 is $4.4 billion, an increase of $100,000,000 or 2.3 percent from FY 2004. The NIH increase is $714,000,000 or 2.6 percent over FY 2004. The NIAID FY 2005 budget includes across-the-board rescissions of $37 million by Congress, $99.2 million for the Global Fund for AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and $14.4 million for the Extramural Virtual Vaccine Research Center.

Legislative Update
Dr. Fauci reported that Congress continues to follow the Institute’s activities with great interest. This is expected to continue since authority to the Institute under the Project BioShield Act of 2004 facilitates expansion of Biosafety Level 3 and 4 laboratories around the country. There is also Congressional interest in averting a repeat of this year’s influenza vaccine shortage and in national efforts to prepare for other public health threats from infectious and emerging diseases such as avian flu.

This fall, Dr. Fauci testified at four congressional hearings on influenza vaccine. The topics of these hearings included the safety of childhood influenza vaccinations, the nation’s influenza vaccine shortage, and NIH’s role in ensuring that the nation has a reliable supply of safe and effective influenza vaccine. Other congressional testimony highlighted NIAID research programs to develop new vaccines and treatments for West Nile virus.

Dr. Pamela McInnes represented NIAID at a hearing on how influenza affects seniors and Dr. Gary Nabel hosted a briefing at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center for the minority staff of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Other Information Items
Dr. Fauci reported that a comprehensive strategic plan was developed through the hard work of people throughout the country and the world who are part of the global AIDS vaccine enterprise.

He also presented a detailed history and timeline of events concerning the conduct of the HIVNET 012 trial of single-dose nevirapine in preventing mother-to-infant transmission of HIV.

Dr. Fauci concluded by commenting on the unexpected death of NIAID Deputy Director Dr. John La Montagne and acknowledging his numerous accomplishments, many of which are in vaccinology. Some of his major achievements include the highly successful acellular pertussis vaccine trials, the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria, and his role as a leader in the field of influenza.

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Last Updated June 23, 2010