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National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Friday, May 2, 1997

Media Contact:
James Hadley
(301) 402-1663

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HHS Secretary Names Four to NIAID Advisory Council

HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala today announced four appointments to the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council, the principal advisory body of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a component of the National Institutes of Health within the Department of Health and Human Services.

The council provides recommendations on the conduct and support of research, including training young scientists and the dissemination of health information derived from NIAID research. The council is composed of physicians, scientists and representatives of the public who contribute their time and expertise for a four-year term.

The new council members are: Robert B. Couch, M.D., chairman of the department of microbiology and immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas; Stephan E. Lawton, J.D., a partner in the law firm of Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C.; Emily J. Spitzer, J.D., vice president of research for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International in New York City; and Lowell Sung-yi Young, M.D., director of the Kuzell Institute for Arthritis & Infectious Diseases at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco, Calif.

NIAID supports investigators and scientific studies at U.S. universities, medical schools and research institutions that will help prevent, diagnose and treat such illnesses as AIDS, tuberculosis, Lyme disease, allergies and asthma.

Dr. Couch serves as director of the respiratory pathogens research unit at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also a distinguished service professor. He received his medical degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. An expert in viral and mycoplasmal diseases, Dr. Couch has published numerous articles in scientific journals and has authored many book chapters. Certified in internal medicine, he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Lawton earned his law degree from George Washington University National Law Center in Washington, D.C. He specializes in health law and provides counsel to medical specialty societies, public health organizations and biotechnology companies on legislative, public health and regulatory matters.

A resident of Washington, D.C., Spitzer has been active since 1989 in the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International. She became a member of the board of directors and later vice president for government of the Washington, D.C. chapter. She currently sits on several committees at the headquarters in New York City. She holds a law degree from Georgetown University Law School and graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in history.

Dr. Young is chief of the division of infectious diseases at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. He also serves as an adjunct professor of pharmacy at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. An infectious diseases expert, he has written extensively in scholarly journals as well as book chapters. In 1992, he received the Garrod Medal of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. He has a medical degree from Harvard Medical School.

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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NIAID Archive

Important note: Information on this page was accurate at the time of publication. This page is no longer being updated.

Last Updated May 02, 1997