National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.

Following is a brief description of the major areas of investigation.

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). NIAIDis the leading U.S. government institute for biomedical HIV/AIDS research and is committed to conducting research to prevent new transmissions, end HIV-related deaths and complications, and discover a cure. Since the beginning of the epidemic, NIAID's comprehensive research program has been at the forefront in the fight against HIV/AIDS. NIAID supports a broad array of domestic and international HIV/AIDS research programs through investigator-initiated research grants and multicenter vaccine, therapeutics, microbicide, and prevention clinical research networks. With an abundance of research programs and initiatives, NIAID is poised to tackle new global research challenges as well as the changing demographics of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
  • Asthma and Allergic Diseases. NIAID is committed to reducing the burden of asthma and other allergic diseases, which can disproportionately affect minorities and families living at or below the poverty line. NIAID supports programs to examine the causes, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of asthma and allergic diseases, including the Inner-City Asthma Consortium, the Consortium for Food Allergy Research, the Atopic Dermatitis Research Network, the Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Centers, and the Allergen Epitope Research and Validation Centers. NIAID operates a pediatric allergy clinic at the NIH Clinical Center that serves as a focal point for translational research conducted in collaboration with NIAID intramural laboratories and clinical trials of novel therapies. In addition, NIAID is the lead agency within HHS for research on food allergies.
  • Radiation and Nuclear Countermeasures. NIAID has developed a robust program to accelerate the research and develop­ment of radiation/nuclear medical countermeasures (MCMs) for the Strategic National Stockpile. The NIAID program supports early- to mid-stage research and development to develop medical prod­ucts that can diagnose, mitigate, or treat injuries that can result from radiation exposure from a public health emergency incident. NIAID-sponsored activities focus on MCMs and biodosimetry devices to be used in mass casu­alty radiation/nuclear. The research priority areas of the program are to develop the following: drugs or biologics that can mitigate and/or treat radiation injury when administered at least 24 hours after radiation exposure, drugs that can remove internally contaminated radioactive materials from the body, and biodosimetry methods or devices that can rapidly and accurately distinguish people who have been exposed to radiation.
  • Biodefense and Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases. NIAID research provides the foundation for developing medical products and strategies to diagnose, treat, and prevent a wide range of infectious diseases, whether those diseases emerge naturally or are deliberately introduced as an act of bioterrorism. In response to the unprecedented threat of SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic, NIAID launched its biomedical research response to safeguard the health of people in the United States and around the world. Working with U.S. government agencies, academia, industry, and community partners, NIAID rapidly mounted a comprehensive effort to characterize the virus and develop effective biomedical tools to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and treat COVID-19.

    Since the 2001 anthrax attacks, NIAID has vastly expanded its portfolio in biodefense and emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. The research targets pathogens that pose high risks to public health and national security. NIAID conducts and supports research on basic microbiology of and host response to these pathogens as well as development of medical countermeasures. These countermeasures include (1) rapid, accurate diagnostics for natural and bioengineered microbes; (2) effective treatments such as antimicrobials, antitoxins, and immunotherapeutics; and (3) prophylactic and post-exposure vaccines. NIAID also supports biodefense and emerging infectious disease research through training programs and enhancement of research infrastructure and capacity, and by providing needed research resources and reagents to the scientific community.
  • Enteric Diseases. The global burden of enteric disease is second only to respiratory infection as a cause of sickness and death. Enteric diseases range from persistent, low-grade infections to severe, acute epidemic cholera. An additional burden of disease occurs because enteric infection greatly exacerbates the pathogenicity of diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. Multi-drug resistance is a major problem, making Salmonella, Clostridium difficile, and cholera particularly difficult to treat in the settings where it is most likely to develop a fatal outcome. One of the most severe enteric infections is cholera, the most rapidly killing bacterial disease. NIAID has been involved in many of the most important advances against cholera and other enteric diseases, including supporting the development of oral rehydration therapy, considered to be one of the most important medical advances of the 20th century. Presently, NIAID supports a robust research program of basic and applied research investigating how enteric pathogens cause illness, and developing appropriate diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics to prevent infection and to treat patients.
  • Fundamental Immunology. Through both a robust intramural program and investigator-initiated grants and solicited research programs, NIAID supports research to understand basic immune mechanisms, conduct immune profiling, and identify/characterize novel immune cell subsets, pathways, phenomena, or mechanisms. Examples of NIAID-supported programs include the Human Immunology Profiling Consortium, the Immune Epitope Database, Cooperative Centers on Human Immunology, and Modeling Immunity for Biodefense. NIAID-supported research has yielded a wealth of new information leading to extraordinary growth in the conceptual understanding of the immune system.
  • Transplantation. NIAID supports research that focuses on understanding the role the immune system plays in the success or failure of transplanted cells, tissues, and organs. Researchers are studying ways to selectively control or eliminate unwanted immune responses with the ultimate goal of enhancing long-term transplant survival. Examples of NIAID-supported programs in transplantation include Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation, Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation in Children, Clinical Trials in Islet Transplantation, and the Immune Tolerance Network.
  • Immune-Mediated Diseases. NIAID conducts and supports basic, preclinical, and clinical research on immune-mediated diseases, autoimmune disorders, primary immunodeficiency diseases, and the rejection of transplanted organs, tissues, and cells. Efforts are underway to evaluate the safety and efficacy of disease-modifying and tolerance induction strategies for treating immune-mediated diseases, as well as clinical trials to assess the efficacy of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for treating severe autoimmune disorders. Programs include the Autoimmunity Centers of Excellence, the Immune Tolerance Network, Autoimmune Diseases Prevention Centers, Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation, the Primary Immune Deficiency Treatment Consortium, the Primary Immunodeficiency Deficiency Clinic, the Clinical Islet Transplantation Consortium and the U.S. Immunodeficiency Network. NIAID chairs the NIH Autoimmune Diseases Coordinating Committee (ADCC).
  • Malaria and Other Tropical Diseases. Each year, millions of people worldwide are disabled or killed by tropical diseases such as malaria, filariasis, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis (e.g., Chagas disease and African sleeping sickness), leprosy, dengue, and Zika. NIAID supports and conducts basic research on the microbes and parasites that cause tropical diseases, as well as the interactions of these organisms with their human hosts and with animal/invertebrate vectors involved in disease transmission. NIAID also supports and conducts translational and clinical research to develop new and improved diagnostics, drugs, vaccines, and vector management strategies for tropical diseases. These efforts are conducted by U.S. and international investigators receiving Institute support and by NIAID intramural scientists and their collaborators around the world. In addition, the International Centers for Excellence in Research (ICER) program promotes and sustains research programs in developing countries through partnerships with local scientists. The current ICER sites are located in Mali, India, Uganda, and Cambodia. While the ICER program is focused on clinical research in infectious diseases such as malaria and filariasis, each center has the capability to address the research and training needs of greatest relevance to the local population. Clinical research on tropical diseases is largely dependent upon access to populations of patients, vectors, and pathogens/parasites in countries where these diseases are endemic; thus, an important complementary objective of NIAID's program is to strengthen international research capacity through research resources and support, scientific collaborations, and research training. In addition, NIAID supports the International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMRs). This program establishes a global network of independent research centers in malaria-endemic settings to provide knowledge, tools, and evidence-based strategies to support researchers working in a variety of settings, especially within governments and healthcare institutions.
  • Influenza. NIAID has supported a comprehensive research program on influenza infections for many years. In response to the emergence and spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 and the persistent threat of pandemic influenza, NIAID greatly expanded its influenza program. A broad range of research activities are supported through the intramural program, individual grants and contracts, collaborations with industry partners and investigators in several research networks, including the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs) for the clinical evaluation of candidate products. NIAID intramural researchers conduct cutting edge, comprehensive research on influenza, including its pathogenesis, immunogenicity, transmissibility, and genetic variability; investigating host immune responses to the virus in animal models and in humans; developing vaccines to prevent influenza, especially strains with pandemic potential; and studying influenza epidemiology. NIAID investigators recently launched clinical trials of a new investigational universal influenza vaccine candidate, which could provide protection against multiple strains of influenza and could be taken less frequently than once a year. The vaccine candidate was designed by NIAID researchers. NIAID also supports the Centers of Excellence in Influenza Research and Response (CEIRR) network to study natural history, transmission, and pathogenesis of influenza and provide an international research infrastructure to address influenza outbreaks. NIAID also supports activities to develop the next generation of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics and antivirals. NIAID resources and services are available to support early stage development of new vaccine and therapeutic candidates to help advance them through the product development pipeline. Ongoing projects include research to develop a "common epitope" influenza vaccine and therapeutics that protect against all medically important influenza strains; systems biology approaches to identify host factors required for influenza infection to expand the number of potential targets for new drug development; and clinical research.
  • Tuberculosis. NIAID is committed to research efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat tuberculosis (TB). The NIAID Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Research builds on current trans-NIAID efforts to understand better the immunology and pathogenesis of TB and expanding resources to quickly develop new tools to more effectively combat this disease. These tools include preventive vaccines and therapies, less-toxic treatment regimens of shorter duration, and rapid, accurate, easily implementable, point-of-care diagnostics to detect all forms of TB, including latent, disseminated, and drug-resistant (DR) TB, in the diverse populations and age groups affected.
  • Genomics and Advanced Technologies. Research fields such as genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics hold great promise for developing new diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines to treat and prevent infectious and immune-mediated diseases. NIAID has made a significant commitment to support and encourage advanced technologies research in Institute labs and in the scientific community. Sophisticated tools are being used to determine the genetic make-up of disease-causing pathogens, to analyze discrepancies among pathogen strains, and to evaluate how immune system responses differ. In addition, data generated through NIAID-supported initiatives is being made rapidly available to the research community. The ultimate goal of the NIAID genomics and advanced technologies program is to allow researchers to use these data to further pursue new discoveries about the causes, treatment, and ultimate prevention of infectious and immune-mediated diseases.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). More than 15 million Americans each year acquire infectious diseases other than AIDS through sexual contact. STIs such as mpox, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, genital herpes, and human papillomavirus can have devastating consequences, particularly for young adults, pregnant women, and newborn babies. NIAID-supported scientists in STI cooperative research centers, NIAID intramural laboratories, and other research institutions are developing better diagnostic tests, improved treatments, and effective vaccines for STIs.
  • Hepatitis C. NIAID supports studies, including research at five Hepatitis C Cooperative Research Centers across the country, that focus on the immune response to hepatitis C virus infection. Direct-acting antivirals (DAA) revolutionized hepatitis C therapy and have since been observed to cure 95% of cases. However, a vaccine to prevent hepatitis C is urgently needed. The NIAID Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases awarded multiple grants to advance new hepatitis C vaccine designs in 2021. A large proportion of people do not know that they are infected and therefore continue to spread the virus. To better enable people to know their hepatitis C status, NIAID and other NIH institutes are supporting discovery of improved point-of-care hepatitis C testing that could be used in community and healthcare settings alike, and eliminate the need to wait for laboratory-based diagnostics. They are also supporting development of self-testing technology that people can use to screen themselves. 
  • Vaccine Development. Effective vaccines have contributed enormously to improvements in public health in the United States and worldwide during the last century. Research conducted and supported by NIAID has led to new or improved vaccines for a variety of serious diseases, including COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rabies, meningitis, whooping cough, hepatitis A and B, chickenpox, and pneumococcal pneumonia, to name a few. NIAID supports the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs) for the clinical testing of new vaccines and vaccine technologies at a number of U.S. medical centers. Many vaccines are currently under development in NIAID intramural labs, including vaccines to prevent HIV, pandemic influenza, childhood respiratory diseases, dengue, and malaria.
  • Adjuvant Discovery and Development. There is a critical need for the identification and characterization of novel adjuvants to boost immunity and increase the efficacy of new or existing vaccines. NIAID supports a robust adjuvant program in both discovery and development with the ultimate goal of advancing candidate adjuvants towards licensure for human use.
  • Drug Research and Development. The development of therapies to treat infectious and immunologic diseases is a key component of NIAID's mission. In collaboration with industry, academia, non-profits, and other government agencies, NIAID has established research programs to facilitate drug development, including screening programs to identify compounds with potential for use as therapeutic agents, facilities to conduct preclinical testing of promising drugs, and clinical trials networks to evaluate the safety and efficacy of drugs and therapeutic strategies in humans.
  • Antimicrobial Resistance. NIAID funds and conducts comprehensive research to study antimicrobial resistance in major viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic pathogens. Projects include basic research on the disease-causing mechanisms of pathogens, host-pathogen interactions, and the molecular mechanisms responsible for drug resistance, as well as translational research to develop and evaluate new or improved products for disease diagnosis, intervention, and prevention. NIAID supports clinical trials that assess new and existing antimicrobials and new vaccines relevant to drug-resistant infections through cutting edge intramural research and clinical trial facilities, NIAID-targeted initiatives and clinical trial networks, which include the AIDS Clinical Trials Groups, the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units, and the Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG). Established in 2013, the ARLG develops, designs, implements, and manages a clinical research agenda to increase knowledge of antibacterial resistance. The ARLG aims to advance research by building transformational trials that will change clinical practice and reduce the impact of antibacterial resistance.
  • Minority Health and Health Disparities and Women's Health. Some of the diseases studied by NIAID disproportionately affect women and minority populations. The Institute remains committed to the inclusion of minorities and women in every aspect of its scientific agenda, from recruitment of special populations into clinical studies to the conduct of biomedical research by minority and women researchers. NIAID's Division of Extramural Activities sponsors activities aimed at eliminating the continuing health disparities among these populations. Through the Division's efforts, activities are developed to encourage scientific advances in sex and gender differences research, to encourage research training of investigators who focus on the health of women and girls, and to stimulate the training and development of researchers from populations that are historically underrepresented in biomedical research. The Division also develops innovative training initiatives to increase the number of scientists from diverse backgrounds by supporting undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate research training in immunologic and infectious diseases. NIAID research results are disseminated to diverse underserved communities through the Institute's outreach activities, which have focused on COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, asthma, sexually transmitted infections, and autoimmune diseases.
  • Pandemic Preparedness. The emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases continues to threaten the health of Americans and people worldwide. In the past two decades NIAID has mounted major research responses and developed effective countermeasures to emerging infectious diseases including those caused by SARS-CoV-1, the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Ebola virus, Zika virus, and most recently SARS-CoV-2. The ongoing 2020 global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 further has underscored the continual threat of newly emerging and re-emerging pathogens and the critical value of research in pandemic preparedness efforts. To prepare for future public health emergencies caused by infectious diseases, NIAID has developed a Pandemic Preparedness Plan that leverages its broad research portfolio, long-standing expertise in product development, capacity to engage both domestic and international partners, and flexible infrastructure. While it is recognized that pathogens other than viruses could lead to public health emergencies, the NIAID Pandemic Preparedness Plan focuses on viruses that could cause epidemics or pandemics.

Important Events in NIAID History

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 (OIR) 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 7 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 3 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 National Institute of General Medical Sciences 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.

2000 — The Children's Health Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-310) codified the NIH Autoimmune Diseases Coordinating Committee in law. ADCC is chaired by NIAID.

2001 — Malaria Vaccine Development Unit was dedicated.

2002 — Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases was reorganized; Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research was established.

The Office of Biodefense Research Affairs was established within the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) to coordinate the planning, implementation, and evaluation of DMID-wide biodefense research.

NIAID awarded its first Partnership grants to support collaboration between private industry, academia, and government to accomplish critical infectious disease and biodefense research goals.

2003 — NIAID established an intellectual and physical infrastructure for biodefense research through awards to support National and Regional Biocontainment Laboratories (NBLs and RBLs) and Regional Centers of Excellence (RCEs) for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases.

2004 — The Laboratory of Molecular Immunology was established.

2005 — The Laboratory of Zoonotic Pathogens was established.

The Laboratory of Bacterial Diseases was established.

NIAID made its first awards using authorities granted under Project Bioshield legislation to support development of new therapeutics and vaccines against some of the most deadly agents of bioterrorism including anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola virus, pneumonic plague, smallpox, and tularemia.

2006 — The Division of Clinical Research was established.

The Laboratory of Virology was established.

The C.W. Bill Young Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (Building 33) was launched to carry out NIAID's mission in emerging infectious disease research, including the development of medical countermeasures for biodefense.

2008 — The Integrated Research Facility (IRF) at Rocky Mountain Laboratories, a state-of-the-art research facility for the study of infectious microbes in high and maximum containment environments, opened. The building employs the highest possible safety standards to protect scientists and the surrounding community.

2009 — Malaria Vaccine Development Branch expanded to become the Laboratory of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology.

2014 — The IRF at Fort Detrick in Maryland was completed. With a research emphasis placed on high consequence infections requiring high levels of biocontainment, this facility carries out biodefense research needed to understand the clinical disease processes which correlate with the severity of microbial-induced disease.

2015 — Laboratory of Human Bacteriology and Pathogenesis was changed to the Laboratory of Bacteriology.

2018 — Laboratory of Immunology and Laboratory of Systems Biology merged to become Laboratory of Immune System Biology.

Laboratory of Host Defenses and Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases merged to become Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Mirobiology.

2020 — Laboratory of Host Immunity and Microbiome was established.

2023 — Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases was changed to the Laboratory of Neurological Infections and Immunity.

NIAID Legislative Chronology

November 1, 1948 — The National Microbiological Institute was established under authority of section 202 of the Public Health Service (PHS) 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 U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) 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 of 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."

October 17, 2000 — The Children's Health Act (P.L. 106-310) required the Directors of NIAID and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to expand and intensify the activities of their Institutes with respect to research and related activities concerning juvenile arthritis and related conditions.

November 13, 2000 — The Public Health Improvement Act (P.L. 106-505) authorized the NIAID Director to establish a program of clinical research and training awards for sexually transmitted diseases.

July 21, 2004 — The Project BioShield Act (P.L. 108-276) authorized the NIAID Director to provide grants for the modernization and construction of biomedical and behavioral research facilities and increased the Federal share of such NIAID-funded projects. The law also authorized the HHS Secretary to employ other procedures to respond to pressing needs in the research and development of countermeasures against biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear threats, including expediting peer review procedures in certain instances, contracting with experts or consultants, and appointing professional and technical employees to positions at NIH.

July 30, 2008 — The Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-293) authorized the NIAID Director, acting through the head of the Division of AIDS and in accordance with the NIH peer-review process, to carry out research on, and development of, safe and effective methods for use by women to prevent the transmission of HIV, which may include microbicides.

November 21, 2013 — The HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (HOPE Act) (P.L. 113-51) was enacted and called for the development and publication of research criteria and guidelines to allow for the recovery and transplantation of organs from HIV-positive donors into HIV-positive recipients. NIAID helped develop consensus criteria, including transplant hospital prerequisites and standards of organ quality, with input from other federal and non-federal constituencies, and has supported research on such transplants. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, the public-private partnership that manages all U.S. organ procurement organizations, formally implemented the policy and system changes needed to comply with the HOPE Act two years later.

December 29, 2022 — The Public Health Service Act was amended (P.L. 117-328) and authorized the NIAID Director, in collaboration with other divisions of the NIH, the Administration for Preparedness and Response, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, to develop and support a multidisciplinary research program to advance the discovery and preclinical development of medical products for pathogens of pandemic concern. This provision is consistent with the establishment of the Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Centers for Pathogens of Pandemic Concern.

Biographical Sketch of NIAID Director Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., M.P.H.

Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., M.P.H. Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., M.P.H.NIH/NIAID

Dr. Marrazzo steps in as the sixth NIAID Director in the fall of 2023, where she oversees a $6.3 billion budget that supports research to advance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. She is internationally recognized for her research and education efforts in the field of sexually transmitted infections, especially as they affect women’s health. Dr. Marrazzo’s research in discovery and implementation science has focused on the human microbiome, specifically as it relates to female reproductive tract infections and hormonal contraception; prevention of HIV infection using biomedical interventions, including preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and microbicides; and the pathogenesis and management of bacterial vaginosis (BV), sexually transmitted diseases in HIV-infected persons, and management of antibiotic resistance in gonorrhea. 

Her investigative career has been characterized by leadership of progressively larger interdisciplinary teams working to advance translational science in two major areas: approaches to detect non-cultivatable or highly fastidious bacteria in BV and oral and vaginal PrEP for HIV infection in women. In early studies, Dr. Marrazzo and her collaborators described bacterial diversity in BV that was much greater than previously thought. They also identified previously undescribed anaerobes in the Clostridiales group that were highly specific for BV. This work redefined understanding of the complex nature of this enigmatic syndrome. Another signal contribution has been her work to advance oral and vaginal PrEP for HIV infection in women. Dr. Marrazzo led the NIH-funded VOICE Study in which over 12,000 women were screened to enroll 5,729 participants in sub-Saharan Africa. The intent-to-treat analysis showed no efficacy and demonstrated that this surprising result was largely due to low adherence, despite participants’ self-reports of high adherence. Working with behavioral science colleagues to understand these responses, her team established the need for reliable biomarkers of adherence in intervention studies of healthy young people at risk for HIV.

Prior to her position at NIAID, Dr. Marrazzo was Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. There she had the opportunity and resources to lead in the areas she cares deeply about: research in discovery and implementation science; the development and support of trainees; the advancement of underrepresented minorities in medicine and leadership; promoting meaningful dialogue with communities, and patient care.

Dr. Marrazzo has served as a mentor to trainees at all stages of professional development and was the recipient of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association’s Distinguished Career Award, the highest recognition of contributions to research and mentoring in the field. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and is board certified in infectious disease. Dr. Marrazzo also has chaired the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Council and the ABIM Infectious Disease Specialty Board. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University; her M.D. from Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia; and her M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of Washington, Seattle. She completed residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Directors of NIAID

Name In Office from To
Victor H. Haas November 1, 1948 April 1957
Justin M. Andrews April 1957 October 1, 1964
Dorland J. Davis October 1, 1964 August 1975
Richard M. Krause August 1975 July 1984
Anthony S. Fauci November 1984 December 31, 2022
Hugh Auchincloss January 1, 2023 September 23, 2023

Jeanne Marrazzo

September 24, 2023 Present

Research Programs

NIAID is composed of 7 research divisions: the Division of AIDS; the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation; the Division of Clinical Research; the Division of Extramural Activities; the Division of Intramural Research; the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; and the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center. 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

Division of AIDS

The Division of AIDS (DAIDS) was formed in 1986 to develop and implement the national research agenda to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Toward that end, the division supports a global research portfolio to advance biological knowledge of HIV/AIDS and its related co-infections and co-morbidities. With the ultimate goal of creating an “AIDS-Free Generation,” the division develops and supports the infrastructure and biomedical research needed to 1) halt the spread of HIV through development of an effective vaccine and biomedical prevention strategies that are safe and desirable; 2) develop novel approaches for the treatment and cure of HIV infection; 3) treat and/or prevent HIV co-infections and co-morbidities of greatest significance; and 4) partner with scientific and community stakeholders to implement effective interventions. Carl W. Diffenbach, Ph.D. Director.

Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation

The Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT) explores how the immune system maintains health and, under abnormal conditions, also contributes to disorders. The immune system is composed of networks of specialized cells and organs that act together to defend the body against disease-causing organisms such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. However, abnormal immune responses also can cause disease as well as the rejection of transplanted organs, tissues, and cells.  DAIT supports basic and clinical research to improve our understanding of the causes of immunologic diseases and to develop better diagnostic, treatment, and prevention strategies. Daniel Rotrosen, M.D., Director.

Division of Clinical Research

The Division of Clinical Research (DCR) plays an integral role in facilitating the efficient and effective performance of NIAID research programs on both the domestic and the international level. This is accomplished through a multi-faceted approach to the provision and support of services vital to the research infrastructure that include oversight and management of intramural clinical research, program planning and management, regulatory monitoring and compliance, statistical consultation and research methodology, and clinical research capacity building. H. Clifford Lane, M.D., Director.

Division of Extramural Activities

The Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) serves the NIAID extramural research community and the Institute through policy oversight, peer review, and the management of grants and contracts, including research training, small business, and international awards. In addition to providing broad policy guidance to Institute management, DEA also oversees all of NIAID's chartered committees, including the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council; disseminates information to its extramural community through its large Internet site; and develops extramural staff training and communications through the NIAID intranet. Kelly Poe, Ph.D.Director.

Division of Intramural Research

The Division of Intramural Research (DIR) is composed of 16 laboratories and 3 branches that conduct biomedical research programs covering a wide range of disciplines relating to immunology, allergy, and infectious diseases. DIR research goals are to expand knowledge of normal immune system components and functions, define mechanisms responsible for abnormal immune function (immunodeficiency, allergy, and autoimmunity), understand the biology of infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites) and the host response to infection, and develop strategies to prevent and treat immunologic, allergic, and infectious diseases. DIR scientists study all aspects of infectious diseases, including the causative agents and their vectors, and pathogenesis in human and animal hosts. Clinical research also is integral to the DIR mission, enabling key lab discoveries to be rapidly translated into methods to prevent, diagnose, or treat disease. DIR researchers conduct more than 180 clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center on the Bethesda, Maryland, campus and at collaborating U.S. and international sites. Steven M. Holland, M.D.​, Director.

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’s portfolio includes a wide variety of projects on bacterial, viral, parasitic, and prion diseases. DMID-supported research spans the spectrum from basic biology of human pathogens and their interaction with human hosts, through translational and clinical research toward the development of new and improved diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines for infectious diseases. DMID supports basic research on organisms on the NIAID Category A to C list of priority pathogens for biodefense and emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, as well as translational and clinical research to develop medical countermeasures for diseases caused by these agents. Emily Erbelding, M.D., M.P.H.​, Director.

Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center

The VRC is dedicated to improving global human health through the rigorous pursuit of effective vaccines for human diseases. VRC capabilities have led to significant contributions to vaccine development for high-burden diseases such as influenza, RSV, and malaria, as well as for biodefense threats and emerging infectious diseases including COVID-19, Ebola, chikungunya, alphavirus encephalitides, SARS, and MERS. The VRC’s programmatic framework encompasses basic bench research, antigen discovery, comprehensive immune assessment, vaccine production capability, and conduct of clinical trials. The VRC’s mission is to discover and develop novel vaccines and biologics targeting infectious diseases of global public health importance. The primary areas of research include vaccines and biologics research for HIV/AIDS, coronaviruses, influenza, malaria, and pandemic preparedness. Ted Pierson, Ph.D., Director.

This page last reviewed on December 19, 2023