Out Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo will replace Dr. Anthony Fauci as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She’ll be the first out LGBTQ+ person to take on that role.
“As NIAID director, Jeanne will oversee NIAID’s budget of $6.3 billion supporting research to advance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases,” said the University of Alabama at Birmingham in a statement. Marrazzo is currently the head of the university’s Division of Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Marrazzo brings a wealth of leadership experience from leading international clinical trials and translational research, managing a complex organizational budget that includes research funding and mentoring trainees in all stages of professional development,” NIH acting Director Lawrence A. Tabak said in a statement.
Marrazzo got her medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and later got a Masters in Public Health at the University of Washington. She co-founded the Lesbian/Bisexual Women’s Health Study at the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1995, where she got NIAID funding to investigate STIs among queer women.
In 2014, she served as one of three co-chairs in a panel of experts to develop a framework for achieving an “AIDS-free generation,” with guidelines that were later published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
She took her current role at the University of Alabama in 2016 where she led research into the effectiveness of a vaccine to prevent gonorrhea, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, she investigated the connection between the coronavirus and blood clots.
Last August, Fauci announced that he would be stepping down from his role as director of NIAID after 38 years of leading the federal agency. Fauci led the government’s response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and then the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, having served under seven U.S. presidents.
“Because of Dr. Fauci’s many contributions to public health, lives here in the United States and around the world have been saved,” President Joe Biden said when Fauci’s retirement was announced.