Officials with the National Institutes of Health have selected UAB infectious disease specialist Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo to become the next director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a position held by Dr. Anthony Fauci until December.
“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,” said Dr. Lawrence Tabak, acting director for the NIH, in an announcement Wednesday.
“Jeanne served as a trusted advisor and friend who gave us the insights, guidance and confidence that allowed our institution to thrive in spite of immense challenges,” UAB president Ray Watts said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity for Dr. Marrazzo to make a big difference to the country, and it is indicative of the high regard that exists for both her and UAB. While we are sad to see her go, we are delighted that Jeanne has been called to this national service and we are proud to count her as one of us at UAB.”
Marrazzo obtained her bachelor’s in biology from Harvard University, a medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. Her research has focused on the human microbiome, including female reproductive tract infections, and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.
In her new role at the NIH, Marrazzo will oversee a $6.3 billion budget that funds nationwide research into new therapies, vaccines and diagnostic technologies for a range of infectious diseases. According to NIH officials, she is expected to begin the position this fall.
Fauci was director of the NIAID throughout the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, receiving many accolades for his work but also becoming a lightning rod for harsh criticism. He stepped down in December.