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National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 1998

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: Jorge L. Benach, Ph.D., professor of pathology in the School of Medicine at State University of New York in Stonybrook, N.Y; Janis V. Giorgi, Ph.D., professor of medicine in the division of hematology/oncology at the University of California in Los Angeles, Calif.; Thomas J. Lawley, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.; and Emil R. Unanue, M.D., chairman of the department of pathology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.

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. Benach holds a doctorate in microbiology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. He chairs the Scientific and Advisory Board of the Tick-Borne Disease Institute of the New York State Department of Health. In 1993, Dr. Benach was a Fulbright Research Fellow and lecturer in Madrid, Spain; London, England; and Vienna, Austria. In 1988, he was elected to the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The author of numerous scientific articles and book chapters, Dr. Benach serves on the editorial board of Infection and Immunity, published by the American Society for Microbiology.

Dr. Giorgi received her doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She serves as director of the flow cytometry facility within UCLA’s Johnsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Center for AIDS Research. An expert in AIDS immunology, Dr. Giorgi has published numerous articles in scientific journals and has authored many book chapters. She is on the editorial boards of several journals including AIDS, Journal of Immunology, and Cytometry. She holds memberships in various scientific societies, such as the American Association of Immunologists, the Clinical Cytometry Society, and the International Society for Analytic Cytology.

Dr. Lawley earned his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Certified in dermatology and dermatological immunology, he is formerly a senior investigator in the dermatology branch of the National Cancer Institute at NIH. Dr. Lawley is a frequent contributor to the scientific literature and has given several important guest lectures, including the Von Hebra Lecture at the Austrian Dermatology Society. His professional memberships include the Association of American Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American Federation for Clinical Research, and the Society for Investigative Dermatology. In 1995 he was honored with the Marion Sulzberger Professor of the Year Award from the American Academy of Dermatology.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Dr. Unanue has a medical degree from the University of Havana. In addition to being department chair, he is the Mallinckrodt Professor of immunopathology at Washington University School of Medicine. He served in that same professorship at Harvard Medical School from 1984 to 1994. Dr. Unanue has written extensively in scholarly journals as well as book chapters, and he lectures frequently throughout the United States and abroad. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1987, is a past president of the American Association of Pathology, and is a member of the American Association of Immunologists.

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 February 25, 1998