NIH Announces First World AIDS Day Awards

This year, the Office of AIDS Research (OAR) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) sponsored a novel employee recognition award, the NIH World AIDS Day Awards. The awards will be given each year to NIH scientists and managers who have made exceptional contributions to the AIDS research efforts at NIH--either for original scientific research or for programmatic support for research. After a highly competitive process, the following individuals received this prestigious new NIH award:

  • Edward Berger, Ph.D., of NIAID--for his outstanding achievements, groundbreaking discoveries and innovative and original scientific contributions that have advanced AIDS research. Dr. Berger published a landmark paper using a novel method to discover the first HIV coreceptor [cell surface protein HIV needs, in addition to its primary receptor, to connect to and infect immune cells] (fusin, renamed CXCR4), which directly led his and other groups to identify CCR5 as the other major coreceptor. These studies provided entirely new perspectives for understanding how HIV evolves within the body during initial virus transmission, asymptomatic infection and disease progression. The findings continue to be translated into the development of new antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV-infected people, as well as new strategies for designing vaccines and microbicides to prevent infection.
  • A joint award to Robert Yarchoan, M.D. and Hiroaki Mitsuya, M.D., Ph.D. of the National Cancer Institute--for their individual and combined achievements, groundbreaking discoveries and innovative and original scientific contributions that have significantly advanced HIV treatment research. Their landmark clinical studies, demonstrating that AZT could result in partial restoration of the immune response and temporary clinical benefit, established the first treatment for HIV infection and launched the era of effective therapy for HIV/AIDS. Their work significantly advanced this field, directly impacting on the development of new and better strategies to prevent and treat HIV disease in this country and around the world.
  • Lynne Mofenson, M.D., of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development--in recognition of her outstanding contributions supporting HIV/AIDS research and programs. Dr. Mofenson's dedication and unprecedented efforts significantly contributed to the development of safe and effective treatments for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and the treatment of maternal and pediatric AIDS in this country and around the world.

"These awards demonstrate the NIH commitment to supporting a multifaceted research effort in HIV/AIDS, with the goal of fostering the best minds to work together to develop new medical tools to stop the devastating effects of the disease around the world," says Jack Whitescarver, Ph.D., NIH Associate Director for AIDS Research and Director of the OAR.


2006 NIH World AIDS Day Awards Nomination Form

The 25 Years of AIDS Research at NIH commemoration will be videocast. Go to