John R. Mascola, M.D.

John R. Mascola, M.D.

John R. Mascola, M.D.
Director, Vaccine Research Center (VRC)


Dr. John Mascola is Director of the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health. He joined the VRC in 2000 as a founding investigator and served as its Principal Deputy Director from 2000-2013. Dr. Mascola’s background is in infectious diseases, viral immunology, and vaccine research. 

As the Scientific Director and Center Director, Dr. Mascola provides overall direction and scientific leadership to the basic, clinical, and translational research activities of the VRC. He oversees program operations, and recommends or develops research programs to meet public health needs, including the development of vaccine and antibody-based research programs for diseases of public health importance, including HIV, Influenza, Ebola/Marburg, Malaria, Zika, and COVID-19.

Dr. Mascola also serves as a principal advisor to the director NIAID/NIH on vaccines and related biomedical research affairs and as an expert consultant and advisor both nationally and internationally on the development of novel vaccine and prevention strategies. After the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Mascola led an interagency team of US government scientists who oversaw phase 3 vaccine trials which facilitated the successful development and authorization of COVID-19 vaccines in record time.

In addition to his role as Director and Advisor, Dr. Mascola serves as Chief of the Virology Laboratory at the VRC. His laboratory research focuses on structure-based vaccine design and antibody-mediated protective immune responses, including studies to understand the genetic and immunological characteristics that guide the development of protective antibodies against viral pathogens. He also holds a concurrent appointment as an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Dr. Mascola earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University and a Medical Degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego and a fellowship in infectious diseases at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, followed by a fellowship in retroviral diseases at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). From 1993 to 2000, Dr. Mascola was a research physician at WRAIR where he began his studies on HIV immunology and vaccine development.  Dr. Mascola has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and Fellowship in the American Academy for Microbiology, and in 2017, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. 

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