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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Mission | Important Events | Legislative Chronology | Director | Programs | Photo Gallery

Mission

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.

Following is a brief description of the major areas of investigation.

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). NIAID conducts and supports research on HIV/AIDS from basic research through clinical evaluation of treatment and prevention modalities, including vaccines and topical microbicides. Since the beginning of the epidemic, NIAID's comprehensive research program has been at the forefront in the fight against HIV/AIDS. NIAID supports a broad array of domestic and international HIV/AIDS research programs and collaborates with more than 40 countries through investigator-initiated research grants and multicenter vaccine, therapeutics, microbicide, and prevention clinical research networks. With a number of research programs and initiatives, NIAID is poised to tackle new global research challenges as well as the changing demographics of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
  • Asthma and Allergic Diseases. NIAID supports programs to examine the causes, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of asthma and allergic diseases. Examples of such programs include the Inner-City Asthma Consortium, the Consortium of Food Allergy Research, and the Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Centers. NIAID operates a pediatric allergy clinic at the NIH Clinical Center that serves as a focal point for translational research conducted in collaboration with NIAID intramural laboratories and clinical trials of novel therapies. In addition, NIAID is the lead agency within HHS for research on food allergies.
  • Biodefense. To meet the challenges posed by biodefense, NIAID conducts and supports research on basic microbiology of and host response to pathogens as well as development of medical countermeasures for potential agents of bioterrorism and naturally emerging infectious diseases. These countermeasures include (1) rapid, accurate diagnostics for natural and bioengineered microbes; (2) effective antimicrobials, antitoxins, and immunotherapeutics to treat those individuals affected; and (3) prophylactic and post-exposure vaccines. NIAID also supports biodefense and emerging infectious disease research through training programs and enhancement of research infrastructure and capacity, and by providing needed research resources and reagents to the scientific community. Basic research provides the essential underpinnings for the other research areas. The program embraces the concept that bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases are related public health issues.
  • Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases. New diseases are arising worldwide, and old diseases are re-emerging as infectious agents evolve or spread and as changes occur in ecology, socioeconomic conditions, and population patterns. NIAID conducts and supports basic research on influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), West Nile virus, malaria, hepatitis C, tuberculosis, and other emerging and re-emerging diseases, as well as translational research to develop new and improved diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.
  • Enteric Diseases. The global burden of enteric disease is second only to respiratory infection as a cause of sickness and death. Enteric diseases range from persistent, low-grade infections to severe, acute epidemic cholera. An additional burden of disease occurs because enteric infection greatly exacerbates the pathogenicity of diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. Multi-drug resistance is a major problem, making Salmonella, Clostridium difficile, and cholera particularly difficult to treat in the settings where it is most likely to develop a fatal outcome. One of the most severe enteric infections is cholera, the most rapidly killing bacterial disease. Cholera is endemic in over 50 countries, and has recently been responsible for explosive epidemics in Africa and Asia. NIAID has been involved in many of the most important advances against cholera and other enteric diseases, including supporting the development of oral rehydration therapy, considered to be one of the most important medical advances of the 20th century. Presently, NIAID supports a robust research program of basic and applied research investigating how enteric pathogens cause illness, and developing appropriate diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics to prevent infection and to treat patients.
  • Fundamental Immunology. NIAID oversees investigator-initiated grants and solicited research programs whose goals are to support a strong program in basic immunobiology and biodefense. Because immue-mediated diseases cross many clinical specialties, a more profound understanding of the normal human immune system and its role in disease are needed to improve the clinical management of people with these disorders. NIAID-supported research has yielded a wealth of new information leading to extraordinary growth in the conceptual understanding of the immune system.
  • Genetics and Transplantation. NIAID's basic immunology and genetics research seeks to define the effects of gene expression on immune function and to determine the manner in which the products of gene expression control the immune response to foreign substances, such as transplanted organs and cells. NIAID supports studies to further develop methods and reagents needed for precise tissue typing to ensure that transplant recipients receive the best-matched donor organs available. Research programs in genetics and transplantation include HLA Region Genetics in Immune-Mediated Diseases, the Genomics of Transplantation, and Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation.
  • Immune-Mediated Diseases. NIAID conducts and supports basic, preclinical, and clinical research on immune-mediated diseases, autoimmune disorders, primary immunodeficiency diseases, and the rejection of transplanted organs, tissues, and cells. Efforts are underway to evaluate the safety and efficacy of tolerance induction strategies for treating immune-mediated diseases, as well as clinical trials to assess the efficacy of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for treating severe autoimmune disorders. Programs include the Autoimmunity Centers of Excellence, the Immune Tolerance Network (http://immunetolerance.org), Autoimmune Diseases Prevention Centers, Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation, the Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases Consortium (http://www.usidnet.org/), and the Clinical Islet Transplantation Consortium. NIAID chairs the NIH Autoimmune Diseases Coordinating Committee (ADCC). Malaria and Other Tropical Diseases. Each year, millions of people worldwide are disabled or killed by tropical diseases such as malaria, filariasis, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis (e.g., Chagas disease and African sleeping sickness), leprosy, and dengue. NIAID supports basic research on the microbes and parasites that cause tropical diseases, as well as the interactions of these organisms with their human hosts and with animal/invertebrate vectors involved in disease transmission. NIAID also supports translational and clinical research to develop new and improved diagnostics, drugs, vaccines, and vector management strategies for tropical diseases. These efforts are conducted by U.S. and foreign investigators receiving Institute support and by NIAID intramural scientists and their collaborators around the world. In addition, the International Centers for Excellence in Research (ICER) program promotes and sustains research programs in developing countries through partnerships with local scientists. The current ICER sites are located in Mali, India, and Uganda. While the ICER program is focused on clinical research in infectious diseases such as malaria and filariasis, each center has the capability to address the research and training needs of greatest relevance to the local population. Clinical research on tropical diseases is largely dependent upon access to populations of patients, vectors, and pathogens/parasites in countries where these diseases are endemic; thus, an important complementary objective of NIAID's program is to strengthen international research capacity through research resources and support, scientific collaborations, and research training.
  • Influenza. NIAID has supported a focused research program on influenza infections for many years. In response to the emergence and spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 and the persistent threat of pandemic influenza, NIAID greatly expanded its influenza program. A broad range of research activities are supported through individual grants and contracts, collaborations with industry partners and investigators in several research networks, including the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs) for the clinical evaluation of candidate products, including several 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines. NIAID also supports the Centers of Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance network. This program conducts animal influenza surveillance domestically and internationally and focuses on basic research to enhance our understanding of influenza pathogenesis, transmission, evolution, and host response. NIAID also supports activities to develop the next generation of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics and antivirals. NIAID resources and services are available to support early stage development of new vaccine and therapeutic candidates to help advance them through the product development pipeline. Ongoing projects include research to develop a "common epitope" influenza vaccine and therapeutics that protect against all medically important influenza strains; systems biology approaches to identify host factors required for influenza infection to expand the number of potential targets for new drug development; and clinical research.
  • Pathogen Genomics. NIH is working to sequence the entire genomes of microbial pathogens and invertebrate vectors of infectious diseases. Efforts to sequence pathogen genomes are enabling scientists to identify genes that may lead to potential new vaccine candidates and drug targets so that infectious diseases can be prevented or be accurately diagnosed and treated. Furthermore, knowing a pathogen's genetic sequence will help researchers better understand how mechanisms of pathogenesis and pathogen mutations contribute to drug resistance. In addition to supporting sequencing projects, NIAID provides genomics, bioinformatics, and proteomics resources and tools to the scientific community.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). More than 15 million Americans each year acquire infectious diseases other than AIDS through sexual contact. STIs such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, genital herpes, and human papillomavirus can have devastating consequences, particularly for young adults, pregnant women, and newborn babies. NIAID-supported scientists in STI Cooperative Research Centers, NIAID laboratories, and other research institutions are developing better diagnostic tests, improved treatments, and effective vaccines for STIs.
  • Vaccine Development. Effective vaccines have contributed enormously to improvements in public health in the United States during the last century. Research conducted and supported by NIAID has led to new or improved vaccines for a variety of serious diseases, including rabies, meningitis, whooping cough, hepatitis A and B, chickenpox, and pneumococcal pneumonia, to name a few. NIAID supports vaccine evaluation units for the clinical testing of new vaccines and vaccine technologies at a number of U.S. medical centers. Many vaccines are currently under development in NIAID labs, including vaccines to prevent AIDS, pandemic influenza, childhood respiratory diseases, dengue, and malaria.
  • Drug Research and Development. The development of therapies to treat infectious and immunologic diseases is a key component of NIAID's mission. In collaboration with industry, academia, non-profits, and other government agencies, NIAID has established research programs to facilitate drug development, including screening programs to identify compounds with potential for use as therapeutic agents, facilities to conduct preclinical testing of promising drugs, and clinical trials networks to evaluate the safety and efficacy of drugs and therapeutic strategies in humans.
  • Antimicrobial Resistance. NIAID funds a diverse portfolio of grants and contracts to study antimicrobial resistance in major viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic pathogens. Projects include basic research on the disease-causing mechanisms of pathogens, host-pathogen interactions, and the molecular mechanisms responsible for drug resistance, as well as translational research to develop and evaluate new or improved products for disease diagnosis, intervention, and prevention. NIAID supports clinical trials that assess new and existing antimicrobials and new vaccines relevant to drug-resistant infections through NIAID-targeted initiatives and clinical trial networks, which include the Collaborative Antiviral Study Group, the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Groups, and the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units.
  • Minority and Women's Health. Some of the diseases studied by NIAID disproportionately affect women and minority populations. The Institute remains committed to the inclusion of minorities and women in every aspect of its scientific agenda, from recruitment of special populations into clinical studies to the conduct of biomedical research by minority researchers. NIAID's Office of Special Populations and Research Training sponsors activities aimed at eliminating the continuing health disparities among these populations. Through the Office's efforts, activities are developed to encourage scientific advances in sex and gender differences research. The Office also develops innovative training initiatives to increase the number of minority scientists by supporting undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate research training in immunologic and infectious diseases. NIAID research results are disseminated to underserved minority communities through the Institute's outreach activities, which have focused on HIV/AIDS, asthma, sexually transmitted infections, and autoimmune diseases.

Important Events in NIAID History

1948—The National Microbiological Institute was established November 1. The Rocky Mountain Laboratory and the Biologics Control Laboratory, both dating to 1902, were incorporated into the new institute, together with the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Division of Tropical Diseases of NIH.

1951—An institute-supported grants program was initiated, and a branch was established to administer research, training, and fellowship grants. Grant applications were reviewed by the National Advisory Health Council until 1956.

1953—The Clinical Research Branch was renamed the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation.

1955—The National Microbiological Institute became the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on December 29. The Biologics Control Laboratory was detached from the institute and expanded to division status within NIH.

1956—The first meeting of the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council was held March 7-8.

1957—The Laboratory of Immunology was established in January to meet the growing need for research on the mechanisms of allergy and immunology.

The Middle America Research Unit was established in the Canal Zone jointly by NIAID and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research as a temporary field station, made permanent in 1961. Important tropical diseases studies were done there for 15 years. NIAID transferred its part of the program to the Gorgas Memorial Institute in 1972.

1959—The Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases was established, formerly a part of the Division of Tropical Diseases.

1962—A collaborative research program funded mainly by contracts was established within the institute to plan, coordinate, and direct nationwide projects on infectious diseases, vaccine development, transplantation immunology, research reagents, and antiviral substances.

1967—The Laboratory of Viral Diseases was established.

1968—With the dissolution of NIH's Office of International Research (OIR) and creation of the Fogarty International Center on July 1, 1968, programs formerly managed by OIR were transferred to NIAID to be administered by the Geographic Medicine Branch. These included the U.S.-Japan Cooperative Medical Science Program—initiated in 1965 by the President and the Japanese Prime Minister to explore the health problems of Asia—and the International Centers for Medical Research and Training, a 1960 congressional initiative to advance the status of U.S. health sciences through international research.

1971—The first 7 Allergic Disease Centers were established to translate basic concepts of the biomedical sciences into clinical investigations.

1974—The first centers for the study of sexually transmitted diseases and of influenza were established.

1977—The NIAID Extramural Research Program was reorganized into 3 areas: Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; Immunology, Allergic and Immunologic Diseases; and Extramural Activities. An intramural Laboratory of Immunogenetics was formed.

1978—The first maximum containment facility (P4) for recombinant DNA research was opened in Frederick, Md. International program project grants and international exploratory/development research grants programs were established. Centers were created for interdisciplinary research on immunologic diseases.

1979—The Office of Recombinant DNA Activities was transferred from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to NIAID. The International Collaboration in Infectious Diseases Research Program superseded the International Centers for Medical Research and Training established in 1960.

The Rocky Mountain Laboratory was reorganized into the Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, to deal with both host and viral mechanisms leading to slow or persistent viral infections; the Laboratory of Microbial Structure and Function, directed at bacterial diseases, particularly sexually transmitted diseases; and an Epidemiology Branch.

1980—The Laboratory of Immunoregulation was established to provide a means for applying new knowledge in immunology to the clinical diagnosis and treatment of patients with immunological disorders.

1981—The Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology was created to exploit new techniques in recombinant DNA methodology and other molecular studies to expand the institute's interests in both bacterial and viral pathogenesis and virulence.

1984—The Office of Tropical Medicine and International Research (OTMIR) was established to coordinate NIAID's intramural and extramural research activities in tropical medicine and other international research. OTMIR works with other Federal agencies and international organizations active in these areas.

1985—The Laboratory of Immunopathology was established. At Rocky Mountain Laboratories, the Epidemiology Branch was renamed the Laboratory of Pathology.

1986—An Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Program was established in January to coordinate the institute's extramural research efforts in HIV/AIDS.

1987—The Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology was established.

1988—The Immunology, Allergic and Immunologic Diseases Program was reorganized and renamed the Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Program.

The Office of Recombinant DNA Activities transferred from NIAID to the NIH Office of the Director.

1989—NIAID's programs became divisions: Intramural Research; Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; and Extramural Activities.

1990—At Rocky Mountain Laboratories, a section of the Laboratory of Microbial Structure and Function became the Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites. The name of the Laboratory of Pathobiology was changed to the Laboratory of Vectors and Pathogens.

1991—The Laboratory of Host Defenses was established.

1994—The Laboratory of Allergic Diseases was established.

The Office of Research on Minority and Women's Health was created.

At Rocky Mountain Laboratories, the Laboratory of Vectors and Pathogens was renamed the Microscopy Branch.

1999—The Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center was launched—a research program jointly funded by NIAID, NCI, and the NIH Office of AIDS Research.

2000—The Children's Health Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-310) codified the NIH Autoimmune Diseases Coordinating Committee in law. ADCC is chaired by NIAID.

2001—Malaria Vaccine Development Unit was dedicated.

2002—Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases was reorganized; Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research was established.

The Office of Biodefense Research Affairs was established within the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) to coordinate the planning, implementation, and evaluation of DMID-wide biodefense research.

NIAID awarded its first Partnership grants to support collaboration between private industry, academia, and government to accomplish critical infectious disease and biodefense research goals.

2003—NIAID established an intellectual and physical infrastructure for biodefense research through awards to support National and Regional Biocontainment Laboratories (NBLs and RBLs) and Regional Centers of Excellence (RCEs) for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases.

2004—The Laboratory of Molecular Immunology was established.

2005—The Laboratory of Zoonotic Pathogens was established.

The Laboratory of Bacterial Diseases was established.

NIAID made its first awards using authorities granted under Project Bioshield legislation to support development of new therapeutics and vaccines against some of the most deadly agents of bioterrorism including anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola virus, pneumonic plague, smallpox, and tularemia.

2006—The Division of Clinical Research was established.

The Laboratory of Virology was established.

The C.W. Bill Young Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (Building 33) was launched to carry out NIAID's mission in emerging infectious disease research, including the development of medical countermeasures for biodefense.

NIAID Legislative Chronology

November 1, 1948—The National Microbiological Institute was established under authority of section 202 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as implemented by General Circular No. 55, Organization Order No. 20, dated October 8, 1948.

December 29, 1955—NIAID was established (replacing the National Microbiological Institute) under authority of the Omnibus Medical Research Act (P.L. 81-692, 64 Stat. L. 443) as implemented by PHS Briefing Memorandum of November 4, 1955, from the Surgeon General to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.

November 4, 1988—NIAID was provided with additional authorities under title II of the Health Omnibus Programs Extension Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-607), the first major law to address AIDS research, information, education, and prevention.

August 14, 1991—The PHS act (P.L. 102-96), the "Terry Beirn Community Based AIDS Research Initiative Act of 1991" reauthorized NIAID's Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS (CPCRA) for another 5 years.

June 10, 1993—The PHS act was amended by P.L. 103-43, the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993. This comprehensive legislation required NIAID to include research on tropical diseases in its mission statement and directed the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure that individuals with expertise in chronic fatigue syndrome or neuromuscular diseases are appointed to appropriate NIH advisory committees.

December 14, 1993—The Preventive Health Amendments of 1993 were passed, which included provisions requiring the Director of NIAID to conduct or support research and research training regarding the cause, early detection, prevention, and treatment of tuberculosis. (The institute already had authority to conduct such research under its authorities in Title IV, PHS act.)

October 7, 1998—Rep. Anne Northup (Ky.), on behalf of herself and Rep. Bill Young (Fla.), introduced H.C.R. 335, a resolution recognizing NIAID's 50th anniversary. On October 9, Sen. Richard Durbin (Ill.), on behalf of himself and Sen. Connie Mack (Fla.), introduced a companion measure, S.C.R. 127. Both pieces of legislation were submitted to "demonstrate the support of the U.S. Congress for the NIAID, the NIH and all of the dedicated professionals who have devoted their lives to improving the quality of the Nation's health."

October 17, 2000—The Children's Health Act (P.L. 106-310) required the Directors of NIAID and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to expand and intensify the activities of their Institutes with respect to research and related activities concerning juvenile arthritis and related conditions.

November 13, 2000—The Public Health Improvement Act (P.L. 106-505) authorized the NIAID Director to establish a program of clinical research and training awards for sexually transmitted diseases.

July 21, 2004—The Project BioShield Act (P.L. 108-276) authorized the NIAID Director to provide grants for the modernization and construction of biomedical and behavioral research facilities and increased the Federal share of such NIAID-funded projects. The law also authorized the HHS Secretary to employ other procedures to respond to pressing needs in the research and development of countermeasures against biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear threats, including expediting peer review procedures in certain instances, contracting with experts or consultants, and appointing professional and technical employees to positions at NIH.

July 30, 2008—The Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-293) authorized the NIAID Director, acting through the head of the Division of AIDS and in accordance with the NIH peer-review process, to carry out research on, and development of, safe and effective methods for use by women to prevent the transmission of HIV, which may include microbicides.

Biographical Sketch of NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., became the Director of NIAID in 1984. He received his undergraduate degree from Holy Cross College in 1962 and his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1966. He completed his internship and residency at The New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center and joined NIAID in 1968 as a clinical associate in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation. In 1980, Dr. Fauci became Chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation, a post he continues to hold. Dr. Fauci serves as one of the key advisors to the White House and Department of Health and Human Services on global AIDS issues, and on initiatives to bolster medical and public health preparedness against emerging infectious disease threats such as pandemic influenza.

Dr. Fauci has made many contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of immune-mediated and infectious diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease. In 2003, an Institute for Scientific Information study indicated that in the 20-year period from 1983 to 2002, Dr. Fauci was the 13th most-cited scientist among the 2.5 to 3 million authors in all disciplines throughout the world who published articles in scientific journals during that time frame. Dr. Fauci was the world's 10th most-cited HIV/AIDS researcher in the period 1996 to 2006.

Dr. Fauci has received 35 honorary doctorate degrees from universities in the United States and abroad, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science, the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, and other major awards. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and many other professional organizations, Dr. Fauci is the author, coauthor, or editor of more than 1,100 scientific publications, including several textbooks.

Directors of NIAID

Name In Office from To
Victor H. Haas November 1, 1948 April 1957
Justin M. Andrews April 1957 October 1, 1964
Dorland J. Davis October 1, 1964 August 1975
Richard M. Krause August 1975 July 1984
Anthony S. Fauci November 1984 Present

Research Programs

NIAID is composed of 7 research divisions: the Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation; the Division of Clinical Research; the Division of Extramural Activities; the Division of Intramural Research; the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; and the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center. NIAID scientists conduct intramural research in laboratories located in Bethesda, Rockville, and Frederick, Maryland, and in Hamilton, Montana. More information on NIAID programs, committees, and initiatives can be found on NIAID's web site at www.niaid.nih.gov.

Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

The Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (DAIDS) was formed in 1986 to develop and implement the national research agenda to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Today, with the ever-changing demographics of the epidemic, DAIDS is expanding its focus to a more global research agenda with an emphasis on an integrated prevention and therapeutics agenda. The mission of DAIDS is to help ensure an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. DAIDS accomplishes its mission through planning, implementing, managing, and evaluating programs in (1) fundamental basic research; (2) discovery, development, and optimization of therapies and treatment strategies for HIV infection and its complications and co-infections; and (3) discovery and development of preventive vaccines, topical microbicides, and other biomedical prevention strategies. Carl W. Diffenbach, Ph.D. Director.

Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation

The Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT) promotes and supports a broad range of research that seeks to further our understanding of the immune mechanisms underlying immune-mediated diseases and translating this basic knowledge to clinical applications that will benefit individuals affected by these diseases. DAIT supports preclinical and clinical development of new tolerogenic and immunomodulatory approaches for the treatment and prevention of many immune-mediated diseases, and is the lead NIH component for research on transplantation. The ultimate goal of DAIT's research program is the development of effective approaches for the treatment and prevention of immune-mediated diseases. Daniel Rotrosen, M.D., Director.

Division of Clinical Research

The Division of Clinical Research (DCR) plays an integral role in facilitating the efficient and effective performance of NIAID research programs on both the domestic and the international level. This is accomplished through a multi-faceted approach to the provision and support of services vital to the research infrastructure that include oversight and management of intramural clinical research, program planning and management, regulatory monitoring and compliance, statistical consultation and research methodology, and clinical research capacity building. H. Clifford Lane, M.D., Director.

Division of Extramural Activities

The Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) serves NIAID's extramural research community and the Institute in several key areas: overseeing policy and management for grants and contracts; managing NIAID's research training, small business, and international programs; and conducting initial peer review for funding mechanisms with Institute-specific needs. In addition to providing broad policy guidance to Institute management, DEA also oversees all of NIAID's chartered committees, including the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council; disseminates information to its extramural community through its large Internet site; and develops extramural staff training and communications through the NIAID intranet. Marvin Kalt, Ph.D., Director.

Division of Intramural Research

The Division of Intramural Research (DIR) is composed of 20 laboratories and 4 branches that conduct biomedical research programs covering a wide range of disciplines relating to immunology, allergy, and infectious diseases. This includes the subdisciplines of virology, microbiology, biochemistry, parasitology, epidemiology, mycology, molecular biology, immunology, immunopathology, and immunogenetics. In addition, DIR supports a large clinical effort to conduct patient-centered research in allergy, immunology, and infectious diseases. Kathryn C. Zoon, Ph.D., Director.

Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

The Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) supports extramural research to control and prevent diseases caused by virtually all human infectious agents, including bacterial, viral, parasitic, and prion diseases, but not HIV. DMID supports a wide variety of projects spanning the spectrum from basic biology of human pathogens and their interaction with human hosts, through translational and clinical research toward the development of new and improved diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines for infectious diseases. DMID's Biodefense Research Program supports basic research on organisms on the NIAID Category A to C list of priority pathogens for biodefense and emerging infectious diseases, as well as translational and clinical research to develop medical countermeasures for diseases caused by these agents. Carole A. Heilman, Ph.D., Director.

Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center

The Vaccine Research Center (VRC) conducts research that facilitates the development of effective vaccines for human disease. The primary focus of activities at the VRC is the development of an effective HIV/AIDS vaccine. In addition to its work on HIV, the VRC has expanded the scope of its activities to include research on developing improved smallpox vaccines; effective vaccines for Ebola and other viral hemorrhagic fevers; vaccines for West Nile virus and for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)-associated coronavirus; and improved influenza vaccines protective against both seasonal influenza and avian influenza strains with the potential for pandemic outbreaks. Goals of the VRC include (1) determining whether a T-cell based vaccine can protect against acquisition of HIV-1 infection or delay disease progression; (2) developing an HIV-1 vaccine candidate that elicits neutralizing antibodies to circulating viral isolates and advancing such a vaccine into clinical trials; (3) identifying improved T-cell vaccines that optimize HIV-1-specific immunity and are independent of anti-vector immunity; and (4) advancing vaccine candidates into efficacy trials for Ebola, Marburg, and influenza viruses. Gary Nabel, M.D., Ph.D., Director.

This page last reviewed on October 12, 2011

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