NIH News Release
Office of the Director

Friday, Oct. 3, 1997

Wendy Wertheimer, OAR
(301) 496-0357
Anne Thomas, OD
(301) 496-4461

OAR Director Dr. William Paul to Leave Office of AIDS Research
and Return to Laboratory Science

William Paul, M.D., the director of the Office of AIDS Research (OAR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has announced that he will leave the OAR. He has directed OAR since February, 1994. Dr. Paul, an immunologist who also heads the Laboratory of Immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will return full-time to his lab, redirecting his scientific efforts to searching for a safe and effective HIV vaccine and for new approaches to vaccine development in general.

In announcing his move, Dr. Paul said, "It has been an honor and a challenge to lead the NIH AIDS research effort at a time at which real progress in AIDS research and treatment have been made. My departure must not be interpreted to indicate that I believe the OAR's work is done or that its mandate is any less important. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Formidable obstacles lie ahead, not only for my successor, but for all of us dedicated to finding solutions to the challenge posed by HIV. We must find better modalities of treatment and develop strategies to avoid drug-resistance. We must find solutions, both in the form of therapies and prevention methods, that will be useful and available to everyone, including those in developing nations. Above all, we must find a preventive vaccine."

NIH Director Harold Varmus, M.D., said, "Dr. Paul has provided exemplary scientific leadership for the NIH AIDS research programs, reinvigorating this effort and redirecting resources to catalyze scientific opportunities. Now, as he returns full-time to the laboratory to pursue vitally important research in immunology and in vaccine development work, we will continue to benefit from his scientific expertise and enthusiasm."

The OAR, which is located within the Office of the Director of NIH, is responsible for the scientific, budgetary, legislative, and policy elements of the NIH AIDS research program, as well as the promotion of collaborative research activities in domestic and international settings. During his tenure, Dr. Paul has guided the OAR in its efforts to reexamine AIDS research priorities and to set a new AIDS research agenda:

A search committee for a new director for the OAR is being established. The Office will continue in its work to find solutions to the challenges posed by HIV. The NIH remains dedicated to the goal of preventing and curing AIDS.