|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 26, 2001
Office of the Director, NIAID
Fauci Presents Roadmap for Infectious Disease Research in 21st Century
- The threat of emerging and re-emerging diseases. Recent examples include the HIV/AIDS pandemic, West Nile virus in the United States, "mad cow" disease and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in Europe, and the ever-present threat of pandemic influenza
- The spread of drug resistance seen in all classes of microbial pathogens
- The need for a better understanding of certain chronic diseases once considered to be "non-infectious," such as ulcers and certain cancers, which are actually caused directly or indirectly by infectious microbes
- The threat of bioterrorism
Fortunately, Dr. Fauci writes, "Interest in global health has led to increasing levels of financial support, which, combined with recent technological advances, provide extraordinary opportunities for infectious disease research in the 21st century."
In the 21st century, the technological advances that will serve as the foundation for the control of established, emerging, and re-emerging diseases will include:
- Genomics and proteomics
- Synthetic chemistry/robotics
- Computer/mathematical modeling
- Molecular epidemiology
- Genetic epidemiology
- Information technology
In particular, Dr. Fauci notes that "the sequencing of human and microbial genomes and advances in functional genomics will underpin significant progress in many areas, including understanding human predisposition and susceptibility to disease, microbial pathogenesis, and the development new diagnostics, vaccines, and therapies."
Dr. Fauci's article, entitled "Infectious Diseases: Considerations for the 21st Century" is a shortened and edited version of an address Dr. Fauci delivered at the 38th annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America on September 7, 2000 in New Orleans. Video of the lecture is available at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/director/director.htm.
Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is a component of the National Institutes of Health,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Service.