|Dr. Carl Dieffenbach Appointed Director of the
NIAID Division of AIDS
Carl W. Dieffenbach, Ph.D., has been appointed Director of the
Division of AIDS (DAIDS) of the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes
"It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment
of Dr. Carl Dieffenbach as the director of the NIAID Division of
AIDS," says NIAID director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "Dr.
Dieffenbach has been instrumental in implementing and sustaining
important and innovative research programs that have significantly
improved our understanding of HIV disease."
Dr. Fauci adds, "Dr. Dieffenbach is a proven leader who has
fostered a culture of scientific rigor, productivity and open communication
in his previous roles at NIAID. His scientific acumen and leadership
ability promise to advance AIDS science as he takes on this important
position within the Institute."
Dr. Dieffenbach has served as the acting director of DAIDS since
January 2007, and prior to that had served as the acting principal
deputy director of that Division since July 2006. In these two
vital leadership roles, Dr. Dieffenbach developed, directed and
coordinated DAIDS program activities and served as a senior advisor
to Dr. Fauci on HIV/AIDS research opportunities and directions.
Dr. Dieffenbach played a key role in restructuring the DAIDS-supported
clinical trials research networks, and has actively fostered collaboration
and partnerships with other federal agencies, international research
organizations, professional societies, foundations, community advocacy
groups and industry.
From 1994 to 2007, Dr. Dieffenbach served as associate director
of the DAIDS Basic Sciences program. Under his guidance, the Basic
Sciences Program supported key studies on the basic mechanisms
of HIV disease, developed new approaches in prevention and therapy,
and defined on a population level the long-term consequences of
HIV disease in people receiving treatment.
"I am honored to lead the Division of AIDS at this critical
time in HIV/AIDS research," notes Dr. Dieffenbach. "In
carrying out this role, my priorities will be to articulate and
address the most important scientific questions in AIDS science,
provide the leadership needed to implement a dynamic scientific
agenda, and position NIAID to respond nimbly to emerging scientific
needs and opportunities."
Dr. Dieffenbach joined NIAID in 1992 as chief of the Developmental
Therapeutics Branch within the Division of AIDS. In this position,
he oversaw studies on pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis using
tenofovir and helped advance several novel therapeutic agents into
Since joining NIH, Dr. Dieffenbach has served as an adjunct associate
professor of pathology at the Uniformed Services University of
the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Md. In 1999, he was elected
chair of the Gordon Research Conference on AIDS Therapeutics. He
is co-author of the first and second editions of PCR Primer,
published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press in 1995 and 2003,
Dr. Dieffenbach earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics
in 1984 from Johns Hopkins University and continued his research
career studying host-virus interactions in the Department of Pathology
at USUHS. While at USUHS, he helped clone the cellular receptor
for mouse hepatitis virus, and he showed that when infected with
HIV, frontline immune cells known as macrophages have a defect
in interferon alpha production, indicating an early breakdown in
this critical innate immune response to HIV.
NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health. NIAID
supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat
infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted
infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential
agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on basic immunology,
transplantation and immune-related disorders, including autoimmune
diseases, asthma and allergies.
News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials
are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (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. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.