NIH News National Institutes of Health
Public Health Service
U.S. Deparment of Health and Human Services
FOR RELEASE: R. Anne Thomas
February 17, 1994 (301) 496-5787
Harold Varmus, M.D., Director of the National Institutes of
Health (NIH), today announced his appointment of William Paul,
M.D., as the new director of the legislatively reconstituted
Office of AIDS Research (OAR) at NIH. Dr. Paul, an
internationally recognized immunologist, is currently Chief of
the Laboratory of Immunology at the National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the NIH.
"Dr. Paul is a superb scientist who will bring fresh
perspectives to the already substantial NIH efforts against
AIDS," said Dr. Varmus.
"Legislation has conveyed significant new responsibilities
to this position, including setting directions for NIH's $1.3
billion AIDS research budget," said Dr. Varmus. "I am confident
that Dr. Paul has the scientific acumen and leadership qualities
needed to reevaluate and shape our approach to AIDS and ensure we
are doing all we can to combat it," he said.
"Dr. Paul's scientific credentials and personal qualities
make him an ideal OAR director, a position that will require him
to work well with the directors of NIH's research components, the
AIDS research community here and abroad, AIDS interest groups,
and high-level policy makers." He will also work closely with
Kristine Gebbie, the National AIDS Policy Coordinator.
In addition to being director of the OAR, Dr. Paul will be
the NIH Associate Director for AIDS Research. As prescribed by
law, the primary activities of the OAR are to develop a strategic
plan for the NIH-wide AIDS research effort, to coordinate AIDS
research activities across the 21 NIH components conducting and
supporting AIDS research, and to develop consolidated budget
Dr. Paul will also oversee a national advisory council,
which will be established soon, and administer a discretionary
fund to take advantage of unanticipated scientific opportunities
or approach unexpected public health challenges through research.
Dr. Paul, a uniformed officer in the PHS Commissioned Corps,
has been recognized for his scientific contributions here and
internationally. His distinguished scientific career has been
documented through his election to the National Academy of
Sciences in 1982, to the Institute of Medicine in 1990, and to
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993. He received a
Distinguished Service Medal from the Public Health Service in
1985, the 3M Life Sciences Award of the Federation of American
Societies for Experimental Biology in 1988, and the Duke
University Award for Excellence in Immunologic Research in 1993.
Dr. Paul has been president of the American Association of
Immunologists (1986-87) and of the American Society for Clinical
Dr. Paul's research emphasis is on the immune system--the
target organ for the AIDS virus--with special focus on how
cytokines are produced and how they function. He is the author
of over 400 scientific papers, many of which are landmarks in
this field, and is particularly known for the discovery of
interleukin-4 (IL-4). Dr. Paul has been chief of NIAID's
Laboratory of Immunology since 1970. He came to the NIH first as
a clinical associate in the National Cancer Institute (1962-1964)
and later as senior investigator in the Laboratory of Immunology
(1968-1970). In the interim (1964-1968) he was a research fellow
and instructor at New York University School of Medicine.
Dr. Paul served his internship and residency in medicine at
Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals (1960-1962). He holds a medical
degree from State University of New York, Downstate Medical
Center, College of Medicine, Brooklyn, NY (1960), and an A.B.
degree from Brooklyn College (1956).
Background on the National Institutes of Health
Office of AIDS Research
o The National Institutes of Health established an Office of
AIDS Research in the Office of the Director in 1988. Since that
time, this office has been headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is
also the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the NIH component that supports and
conducts the largest AIDS program at the NIH.
o The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-43), enacted June
1993, reauthorized the OAR and expanded its authorities.
o The Act provides for a consolidated NIH AIDS budget, starting
with the fiscal year 1995 budget, with the Director of OAR
receiving all appropriated funds for NIH AIDS research
activities. The OAR will allocate funds to the NIH components in
accord with a comprehensive strategic plan.
o In addition, the OAR will establish coordinating groups for
each research discipline emphasized: natural history and
epidemiology; etiology and pathogenesis; therapeutics; vaccines;
and behavioral research.
o In fiscal year 1995, $10 million is requested for the OAR
director's discretionary fund.