HHS Secretary Names Five to NIAID Advisory Council

Date: January 18, 2000
Source: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala today announced five appointments to the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council, the principal advisory body of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health within the Department of Health and Human Services.

The council provides recommendations on the conduct and support of research, including training young scientists and disseminating health information derived from NIAID research. The council is composed of physicians, scientists and representatives of the public who contribute their time and expertise for a four-year term.

The new council members are: William R. Jacobs, Jr., M.D., an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY; Richard A. Koup, M.D., a professor in the department of internal medicine at the University of Texas in Dallas; John C. Martin, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer at Gilead Sciences, Inc., in Foster City, Calif.; Magdalene Y. H. So, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of molecular microbiology and immunology at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland; and Thelma K. Thiel, R.N., B.A., founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Hepatitis Foundation International in Cedar Grove, NJ.

NIAID supports investigators and scientific studies at U.S. universities, medical schools and research institutions that will help prevent, diagnose and treat such illnesses as AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, malaria, allergies and asthma.

Dr. Jacobs is a professor in the departments of microbiology and immunology and molecular genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he has made significant contributions by identifying the mechanisms of action of the anti-mycobacterial drugs isoniazid and ethionamide, as well as novel factors of M. tuberculosis required for growth and persistence in vivo. He has authored over 75 original publications on mycobacteria and numerous reviews.

Dr. Koup is the Jay P. Sanford professor of infectious diseases and chief, division of infectious diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Koup's research interests include the immunopathogenesis of HIV, cellular immunity to HIV, the role of the thymus in immune reconstitution, and co-receptors in HIV entry. Dr. Koup has served on NIH study sections, the NIAID Strategic Plan Task Force, and as a scientific advisor to academic HIV research centers.

Dr. Martin was previously employed at Bristol-Myers Squibb and at Syntex Corporation where he was the co-inventor of the antiviral drug, ganciclovir. He is president of the International Society for Antiviral Research and received the Isbell Award of the American Chemical Society for his applications of carbohydrate chemistry to the design of medicinally active nucleosides and nucleotides. Dr. So has served on the NIH bacteriology and mycology 1 study section and a number of other panels. She is presently serving on the editorial boards of several scientific journals and as vice chair of the Committee on Conferences of the American Society for Microbiology. Her research focuses on the pathogenic Neisseriae species, in particular, the genetic, cellular and biochemical events that mediate bacterial adhesion, entry and trans-epithelial migration.

Ms. Theil has served on the National Commission on Digestive Diseases, the National Digestive Diseases Advisory Board, as president and chief operating officer of the American Liver Foundation, and as chair of the Digestive Diseases National Coalition. Following the loss of an infant son to a rare liver disease 30 years ago, she developed unique liver wellness and preventive education programs and materials, lectured extensively, published articles, and was featured in a PBS documentary, "The Visionaries."