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Leadership Transition at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center

November 14, 2012


Statement of Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institutes of Health


I extend my congratulations and best wishes for continued success to Gary J. Nabel, M.D., Ph.D., on his new roles at Sanofi, a multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris. On December 3, Dr. Nabel will become Deputy to the President for Global Research and Development, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Sanofi.  He will be based in Cambridge, Mass.  

Dr. Nabel joined NIAID in March 1999 as the director of the newly created Vaccine Research Center (VRC), providing overall direction and scientific leadership concerning the basic, clinical and translational research activities at the VRC. Additionally, he has served as chief of the VRC’s Virology Laboratory and Vector Core Section. In these capacities, Dr. Nabel has been extraordinarily productive and successful in guiding the development of novel vaccine strategies against HIV and other emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Specifically, under his stewardship, NIAID:

  • Initiated a Phase I HIV/AIDS vaccine study within the first year of the VRC’s opening, and progressively developed an HIV vaccine candidate that is currently being tested in a Phase II clinical trial involving more than 2,000 people.
  • Developed and began clinical trials of investigational vaccines to prevent human infection with H5N1 avian influenza, Ebola, Marburg, SARS, West Nile, and Chikungunya viruses.
  • Identified two potent human antibodies capable of preventing the majority of known HIV strains from infecting human cells when tested in a laboratory setting—a landmark discovery that could lead to the design of improved HIV vaccine candidates.
  • Developed a vaccine that elicited broadly neutralizing antibodies to influenza virus in experimental animals and began phase 1 testing in humans. This research along with other basic science findings at the VRC has helped to lay the groundwork for the potential development of a universal influenza vaccine capable of providing vaccinated individuals with decades-long protection against all influenza strains.

Dr. Nabel’s scientific contributions to ending some of the world’s worst infectious diseases and causes of human suffering are extraordinary. While I will continue to value his friendship, I will greatly miss his leadership and counsel here at NIAID.   I know he will continue to make a significant impact in the scientific research arena, and I wish him the greatest success in this new chapter of his career. 

Following Dr. Nabel’s departure, Dr. John Mascola, current Deputy Director of the VRC, will be serving as acting VRC director pending a nationwide search for a permanent replacement. 


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 www.niaid.nih.gov.

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 www.nih.gov.

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Last Updated November 14, 2012

Last Reviewed November 14, 2012