|Anthony S. Fauci Awarded Lasker Award for Public
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes
of Health (NIH), has been awarded the 2007 Mary Woodard Lasker
Award for Public Service for his role in developing two major U.S.
public health programs, in AIDS and biodefense. The award will
be presented on Friday, September 28th during a luncheon ceremony
in New York City.
Dr. Fauci is honored for his role in helping develop the President's
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest public health
program in history devoted to a single disease, as well as Project
Bioshield, designed to accelerate the research, development, purchase
and availability of medical countermeasures against the effects
of biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear agents.
"In nearly four decades of service to NIH, Tony Fauci has
made innumerable scientific contributions that have improved the
health of millions of people in this country and abroad," says
NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. "As a clinician, researcher,
and scientific leader, Dr. Fauci has channeled his intellect, compassion,
and vision into discoveries and research programs that have transformed
medicine and public health."
Earlier this year, Dr. Fauci received two other major honors:
the George M. Kober Medal of the Association of American Physicians
for his work in clinical medicine, and the National Medal of Science,
for his research into the pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency
virus (HIV) disease.
Dr. Zerhouni adds, "It is fitting to have Tony recognized
with a 'trifecta' of awards related to the three fundamental NIH
missions: basic research, clinical research, and public service.
It is hard to think of anyone more deserving of this award."
Dr. Fauci's tenure as NIAID director began in 1984. For nearly
23 years, he has overseen the extensive NIAID research portfolio
of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious
and immunologic diseases. The NIAID budget for fiscal year 2007
is approximately $4.4 billion. He has advised several administrations
on global HIV/AIDS issues and other emerging disease threats. These
issues have also been the subject of his numerous congressional
testimonies and briefings.
"It is a remarkable privilege as a physician/scientist to
be given the opportunity to help formulate policies and programs
that protect and improve global health," says Dr. Fauci. "I
am fortunate to have been in position to help bridge the gap between
the biomedical research and policymaking communities, and to assist
our leaders in developing programs predicated on the scientific
advances made by NIH, our sister agencies within the Department
of Health and Human Services, and our many collaborators worldwide."
In addition to Dr. Fauci's Lasker award, the 2007 Lasker Award
for Basic Medical Research honors long-time NIAID grantee Ralph
M. Steinman of Rockefeller University for his discovery of dendritic
cells, immune system cells that trigger other components of the
immune system to thwart microbial invaders. Further information
about the awards and their recipients is available at www.laskerfoundation.org.
The Lasker Awards were first presented in 1946, and are administered
by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. The late Mary Woodard
Lasker is widely recognized for her singular contribution to the
growth of the National Institutes of Health and her unflagging
commitment to government funding of medical research in the hope
of curing diseases. Her support for medical research spanned five
decades, during which she was the nation's foremost citizen-activist
on behalf of medical science.
"It remains critical that the medical and public health communities
channel the spirit of Mary Lasker and argue cogently for medical
research, and for adequate attention and sustained support for
the delivery of the fruits of that research to the people who need
them most," Dr. Fauci notes in an invited commentary in the
journal Nature Medicine, available online at www.nature.com/nm,
beginning Sept. 17, 2007.
Dr. Fauci received his M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical
College and then completed an internship and residency at The New
York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. He came to NIH in 1968 as
a clinical associate in the NIAID Laboratory of Clinical Investigation.
In 1974, he became head of the laboratory’s Clinical Physiology
Section, and in 1980 was appointed chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation
a position he still holds. In 1984, he was named NIAID director.
Dr. Fauci, a pioneer in the field of human immunoregulation, has
received acclaim for developing effective therapies for the formerly
fatal rheumatological diseases polyarteritis nodosa and Wegener's
granulomatosis. With the recognition of AIDS 26 years ago, he switched
his laboratory's focus to the new disease, and subsequently has
made numerous significant contributions to the understanding of
AIDS pathogenesis. A ScienceWatch survey indicated that Dr. Fauci
was the 13th most-cited scientist in the world in the 20-year period
from 1983 to 2002 (http://www.sciencewatch.com/sept-oct2003/sw_sept-oct2003_page2.htm),
and he was the world's 10th most-cited HIV/AIDS researcher from
1996 to 2006 (http://www.esi-topics.com/hiv-aids/interviews/AnthonyFauci.html).
The recipient of 32 honorary doctorates, Dr. Fauci is a member
of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts
and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine (Council Member), the American
Philosophical Society, and the Royal Danish Academy of Science
and Letters, as well as a number of other professional societies
including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the
Association of American Physicians, the Infectious Diseases Society
of America, the American Association of Immunologists, and the
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. He serves on
the editorial boards of many scientific journals; as an editor
of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine; and as author, coauthor
or editor of more than 1,100 scientific publications, including
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.