Dr. John Mascola was appointed as 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, in October 2013. Prior to that time, he served as Deputy Director of the VRC from 2000-2012, and as Acting Director between December 2012 and his permanent appointment. Dr. Mascola’s background is in infectious diseases, viral immunology, and vaccine research.
Dr. Mascola graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and earned his 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, Maryland, followed by a fellowship in retroviral diseases at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Dr. Mascola is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He also holds concurrent appointments as an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In 2015, Dr. Mascola was elected to Fellowship in the American Academy for Microbiology.
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; oversees program operations; recommends or develops new or revised research programs to meet public health needs; allocates VRC physical and financial resources; and develops and recommends policies for the execution of multi-disciplinary research. He also serves as a principal advisor to the director, NIAID, on vaccines and related biomedical research affairs. In addition, he serves as an expert consultant and advisor both nationally and internationally on the development of novel vaccine strategies against HIV, influenza, and other vaccines of high public health importance.
In addition to his role as Director, Dr. Mascola also serves as Chief of the Virology Laboratory, and directs basic and applied research on the structure-based design and testing of novel vaccines for HIV and influenza and on optimization of immune responses and identification of correlates of immune protection. His research also focuses on antibody-mediated protective immune responses through studies of both the plasma antibody and B-cell compartments, including studies to understand the genetic and immunological characteristics that guide the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1.