Thursday, July 16, 2020
Flossie Wong-Staal — a pioneering former NIH scientist, a major figure in the discovery of HIV, and the first to clone that virus — died on July 8, 2020. She was 73 years old.
Flossie arrived at the NIH as a Visiting Fellow in 1973 and began working in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) lab of Robert Gallo, who was on the cusp of a remarkable string of discoveries. Flossie, with her Ph.D. from UCLA in molecular biology, became the ideal complement to Bob Gallo's medical-based scientific intuition, and the two would go on to co-author more than 100 journal articles over the next 20 years.
Four Questions with Dr. John Mascola
Friday, November 29, 2019
The disease known as human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, attacks and destroys cells vital to the immune system. This leaves the millions of people living with HIV less able to fight other infections and can lead to an extremely severe form of immune system deficiency called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which was responsible for nearly 770,000 deaths in 2018 alone. As of 2019, there are approximately 37.9 million people around the world living with HIV/AIDS.
Although HIV/AIDS has been recognized as a serious public health crisis, finding effective treatments, or a vaccine to prevent infection in the first place, is not a simple task. The HIV virus has many different types and strains — similar to the flu — which makes developing vaccines and treatments extremely challenging, as the virus is constantly changing. At the NIH, there are a number of ongoing collaborative research projects aimed at providing new options for those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and those at risk for contracting the virus in the future.
Thursday, June 20, 2019
Along with scientists around the country and the world, the IRP community is mourning the loss of former NIH Director James B. Wyngaarden, M.D, who passed away on June 14. Dr. Wyngaarden served as the 12th NIH Director from 1982 to 1989. During that time, he guided the NIH's instrumental role in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and initiating the Human Genome Project. He also played a key role in the creation of the NIH Children's Inn.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
The surprising results of an animal study are raising hopes for a far simpler treatment regimen for people infected with the AIDS-causing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Currently, HIV-infected individuals can live a near normal life span if, every day, they take a complex combination of drugs called antiretroviral therapy (ART). The bad news is if they stop ART, the small amounts of HIV that still lurk in their bodies can bounce back and infect key immune cells, called CD4 T cells, resulting in life-threatening suppression of their immune systems.
Monday, February 1, 2016
With plans to travel to Swaziland and volunteer with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) and a desire to address issues related to health disparities in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, I began navigating the unfamiliar terrain of life after college.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
This year, an estimated 50,000 Americans will learn they have been newly infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS. A new generation of safe, effective, and longer-lasting treatments to keep HIV in check is very much needed.
Friday, October 16, 2015
The NIH is "one of America's great citadels of hope, not only for our people, but also for the world," said President Bill Clinton at the dedication of the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center (VRC) on June 9, 1999.
Friday, February 6, 2015
"The point is this. When we go before the appropriations committees of Congress, we must describe achievements of the previous year. ... But there were many problems, many demands from 1975 to 1985, and the NIAID was stretched very, very thin. ... Too many scientists thought infections were no longer important and that view was translated into a decision in NIAID's budget."
– Excerpt from a 1988 NIH Oral History discussion with Dr. Richard Krause, former NIAID Director, on why getting funding for infectious disease research in the 1970-80s was difficult.
Friday, January 30, 2015
In June 1981, the NIH Clinical Center saw its first patient with AIDS. The story of how AIDS went from an unknown disease to one with a treatment is one of our most visited web sites, In Their Own Words.