Anthony Fauci: Unfinished business  pg. 6

Demonstrators demand quicker access to experimental AIDS drugs during the Reagan administration. Fauci, at the time the government’s primary spokesperson on AIDS, didn’t take the taunts personally. “I was seeing a bunch of sick people who were really scared,” he recalls. “What they said made absolute, perfect sense.”
Courtesy of Anthony Fauci, M.D.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration at first opposed the concept, called “parallel track,” because of concerns it would make it more difficult to determine whether the drugs were safe and effective. But those fears were not realized; parallel track is now the model for testing new treatments for other diseases. “I give the activists a lot of credit for coming up with the concept,” Fauci says.

“He is someone who is really trusted by all the different organizations and people surrounding the AIDS challenge, ranging from the scientific community, the academic community and the activist community,” says Louis Sullivan, M.D., secretary of Health and Human Services during the first Bush administration and president emeritus of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. “I don’t know of anyone as broadly accepted by all those disparate groups.”

Since 1989, Fauci has been asked by a succession of presidents to become NIH director. He has declined every request, even when asked by President George H.W. Bush in the Oval Office. “If I took the NIH job, it would take me still one step further removed from what I really felt was the mission of what I wanted to accomplish,” he explains, “namely HIV/AIDS, get a vaccine, get better drugs and then most recently, prepare the country with developing countermeasures for biodefense.”

And at that job, he is seemingly indefatigable—regularly logging 80-hour weeks. “Dr. Fauci is absolutely reliable,” says his long-time colleague, Clifford Lane, M.D., director of NIAID’s Division of Clinical Research. “If there is something that needs to get done, he will be sure it gets done, even if he has to do it himself.

“He always has time for the people who report to him,” Lane adds. “If it’s reviewing a manuscript for a younger person in his lab, something not many people at his level will do, … he will spend the time it takes to do it, which at times can be considerable.”

Page < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 > All