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Strategic Plan 2000
NIAID: Planning for the 21st Century

Director's Foreword

Anthony S. Fauci, NIAID Director

Anthony S. Fauci, NIAID Director

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is the component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) charged with conducting and supporting research on immunologic and infectious diseases. During the past 15 years, three factors have prompted NIAID to grow significantly. First, the emergence of HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s shattered the notion that successful new vaccines and therapies had brought an end to infectious diseases. Second, the Institute's historical commitment to basic research in immunology and microbiology paid major dividends with remarkable new insights into the immune system, immunologic disease, the immune response to infection, the physiology and genetics of infectious microbes, and the pathogenesis of infectious disease. Results from this basic research are now driving new approaches to solving clinical and public health problems—the heart of the Institute's mission. Third is the realization that infectious diseases will continue to emerge unpredictably and at times explosively. New transportation modes enable local outbreaks of new infectious diseases to escalate rapidly into global problems. The last decade alone has witnessed several of these outbreaks, such as the resurgence of cholera in the Americas after over a century, the emergence of hantavirus in the continental United States, new influenza viruses, West Nile fever in New York City, and many other threats. In addition, the world now faces the menace of bioterrorism. These problems illustrate just a few of the tremendous challenges facing immunology and microbiology researchers.

Fortunately, these challenges arise at a time when technologies to approach them have never been more powerful. Ironically, these new technologies are creating a different challenge for the Institute. Today, there are more research avenues to invest in, and opportunities to capitalize on, than there were even 5 years ago. Consequently, planning has become a more critical element of the Institute's day-to-day operation. The need to prioritize opportunities to maximize potential advances is among the primary motivations driving our strategic plan.

This plan also stems from the 1998 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report, Scientific Opportunities and Public Health Needs: Improving Priority Setting at the National Institutes of Health, which recommended that the NIH Director receive a strategic plan from each Institute and Center (IC). In response, the NIH Director asked each IC to develop, with public input, a strategic plan targeting members of Congress and the public as its primary audiences.

As the capstone of an ongoing planning process, this document describes broad-based Institute priorities that will guide NIAID programs, policies, and initiatives through the next 3 to 5 years. Two major factors will influence execution of this plan. First is the impact of natural and logical areas of overlap among the plan's four cornerstones on research progress. These overlaps are considered advantageous because they reinforce a clear trend in science toward multidisciplinary research. Second, because unforeseeable circumstances may shift the Institute's priorities, the plan is necessarily a dynamic document that will require reexamination over time.

/c/ Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The NIAID Director

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., became the Director of NIAID in November 1984. He received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1966, completed his internship and residency at Cornell Medical Center, and joined NIAID in 1968 as a clinical associate in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI). In 1980, he was appointed Chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation, a position he still holds.

Dr. Fauci has made many contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of immune-mediated diseases. He is an internationally renowned scientist and has pioneered the field of human immunoregulation by making a number of fundamental scientific observations that serve as the basis for current understanding of the regulation of human immune response. Dr. Fauci has made seminal contributions to the understanding of how the AIDS virus destroys the body's defenses, which leads to its susceptibility to deadly infections. He has also delineated the mechanisms of induction of HIV expression by endogenous cytokines. Furthermore, he has been instrumental in developing strategies for the therapy and immune reconstitution of patients with this serious disease, as well as for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection.

Dr. Fauci is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine (Council Member), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a number of other professional societies and editorial boards.

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Last Updated July 01, 2001