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The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) conducts and supports research to study the causes of allergic, immunologic, and infectious diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing, and treating these illnesses.
Following is a brief description of the major areas of investigation.
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 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 seven 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 three 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 NIGMS 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.
November 1, 1948 – The National Microbiological Institute was established under authority of section 202 of the Public Health Service 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 Secretary, DHHS, 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, 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.”
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., became the Director of NIAID in 1984. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and 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 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. During his career as a biomedical researcher, Dr. Fauci has authored, co-authored, or edited more than 970 scientific publications. He has served as a visiting professor at medical centers throughout the country and has delivered many major lectures at institutions and conferences all over the world.
Dr. Fauci is a member of many prestigious professional organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, where he is a Council Member. He serves on a number of editorial boards and has received numerous awards for his scientific accomplishments, including 20 honorary doctorate degrees.
Directors of NIAID
NIAID is composed of four extramural divisions: the Division of AIDS; the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation; the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; and the Division of Extramural Activities. In addition, 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 AIDS
The Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (DAIDS) was formed in 1986 to address the national research needs created by the advent and spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Specifically, DAID's mission is to increase basic knowledge of the pathogenesis, natural history, and transmission of HIV disease and to support research that promotes progress in its detection, treatment, and prevention. DAIDS accomplishes this through planning, implementing, managing, and evaluating programs in (1) fundamental basic research, (2) discovery and development of therapies for HIV infection and its complications, and (3) discovery and development of vaccines and other prevention strategies.
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 except HIV. DMID supports a wide variety of projects spanning the spectrum from basic biomedical research, such as studies of microbial physiology and antigenic structure, through applied research, including the development of diagnostic tests, experimental drugs and vaccines, to conduct of clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of new disease prevention strategies. NIAID also funds projects to sequence the full genomes of a number of medically important microbes, which can be exploited in many ways, for example, to trace microbial evolution, to locate targets for vaccine and drug development, and to identify mutations that contribute to drug resistance.
Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation
The Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT) supports research that focuses on enhancing understanding of the important role of the immune system in the pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of many immune-mediated diseases, including: asthma and allergic diseases; autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosis; inherited primary immunodeficiency diseases; and the transplantation of solid organs, tissues, and cells.
Division of Intramural Research
The Division of Intramural Research (DIR) conducts all of the in-house research undertaken by the Institute. DIR is composed of 15 laboratories and 3 branches involved in scientific research programs that cover a wide range of disciplines in biomedical research 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. Thomas Kindt, Ph.D., director
Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center
The Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institutes of Health was established to facilitate research in vaccine development. The VRC is dedicated to improving global human health through the rigorous pursuit of effective vaccines for human diseases. Established by former President Bill Clinton as part of an initiative to develop an AIDS vaccine, the VRC is a unique venture within the NIH intramural research program. Gary Nabel, M.D., Ph.D., director
|This page was last reviewed on July 15, 2002 .|
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