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UAB infectious disease expert tapped to replace Fauci at NIH

Marrazzo will have her work cut out for her, as the COVID-19 pandemic put prior director Anthony Fauci under a microscope.

Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo of UAB.

Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, currently the director of the Division on Infectious Diseases for UAB, has been selected to replace Dr. Anthony Fauci at the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).

Marrazzo is expected to begin her role as NIAID Director in the fall. NIAID conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic and allergic 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,” said Dr. Lawrence Tabak, acting director of the NIH, in a press release.

As NIAID director, Dr. Marrazzo will oversee NIAID’s budget of $6.3 billion, which supports research to advance the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases. NIAID supports research at universities and research organizations around the United States and across NIAID’s 21 laboratories, including the Vaccine Research Center on NIH’s main campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Rocky Mountains Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana.

Of course, the position has been under a microscope in recent years as Fauci became one of the main faces of the nation’s response to COVID-19 and a political target of those who disagreed with his direction during the pandemic.

Marrazzo, meanwhile, has been one of the main faces for health experts in the state during the pandemic, relying the latest developments and best practices to Alabama citizens throughout the height of COVID-19.

Marrazzo joined UAB in 2016, coming from the University of Washington, and is an expert in sexually transmitted infections such as HIV.

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Marrazzo’s research in discovery and implementation science has focused on the human microbiome, specifically as it relates to female reproductive tract infections and hormonal contraception; prevention of HIV infection using biomedical interventions, including PrEP and microbicides; and the pathogenesis and management of bacterial vaginosis, sexually transmitted diseases in HIV-infected persons and management of antibiotic resistance in gonorrhea. She has been a principal investigator on NIH grants continuously since 1997 and has served frequently as a peer reviewer and advisory committee member. Dr. Marrazzo also has served as a mentor to trainees at all stages of professional development, including on NIH-funded training grants, and was the recipient of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association’s Distinguished Career Award, the highest recognition of contributions to research and mentoring in the field.

Marrazzo is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and is board certified in infectious disease. She earned her bachelor’s in biology from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; her M.D. from Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia; and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Marrazzo also has chaired the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Council, and the ABIM Infectious Disease Specialty Board.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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