Robert W. Eisinger, Ph.D.
NIH Acting Associate Director for AIDS Research and
Acting Director, Office of AIDS Research
Dr. Eisinger is the Acting Director of the Office of AIDS Research (OAR). He also holds the title of NIH Acting Associate Director for AIDS Research. He received his doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in Microbiology from North Texas State University where his research focused on Cell Surface Antigens Present on AKR/J Leukemic Lymphocytes. His postdoctoral training on the immunochemistry of cell surface antigens associated with murine alveolar cell carcinomas was conducted at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories in conjunction with the University of Tennessee.
From 1989-2013, Dr. Eisinger served as Therapeutics Research Coordinator and, more recently as the Director of Scientific and Program Operations, in the OAR. His career at the NIH began as a Program Virologist in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Division of AIDS (DAIDS) where he coordinated the 45 Virology Laboratories supporting the AIDS clinical trials networks. Before joining the NIH, Bob worked in the medical diagnostics industry successfully developing proprietary diagnostic immunoassay systems bringing these from the bench to clinical trials and through FDA licensure.
In 2013, Dr. Eisinger served as the Director, Office of Research and Science, Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) in the Department of State. At the OGAC, he was responsible for managing a portfolio of three large international combination HIV prevention clinical studies, a program of implementation science and impact evaluation projects, as well as the Scientific Advisory Board for OGAC.
On December 1, 2014, Dr. Eisinger returned to the NIH as a Senior Health Science Policy Advisor in the NIH Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI). As the Senior Health Science Policy Advisor, he is responsible for identifying emerging scientific opportunities, developing new resources in support of priority setting in scientific areas across NIH, and assisting the NIH to address areas of emerging scientific opportunities and public health challenges effectively.
Previous OAR Directors
Jack Whitescarver, Ph.D. became the Deputy Director of new Office of AIDS Research (OAR) at the NIH in 1988. He served first as Acting Director, and later as permanent Director of the OAR from October 2000 until June 2015. Dr. Whitescarver received his doctorate in medical microbiology in 1974 from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He pursued his post-doctoral research at the Harvard School of Public Health, focusing on immunopathogenesis of rickettsia infection. In his position as a Research Associate at the Harvard School of Public Health and Medical School his research interests included obligate intracellular parasites. In 1977, Dr. Whitescarver completed a year in the Grants Associates Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and became the Special Assistant to the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). It was during this tenure that Dr. Whitescarver first reported to NIAID on the possibility of the emergence of a new infectious disease, now known as AIDS, and he helped develop the initial federal response for research on AIDS. In July 2010, Dr. Whitescarver was the recipient of the first International AIDS Society (IAS) Presidential Award for his “outstanding commitment to the global fight against HIV and his pioneering work in the field.”
Neal Nathanson, M.D. was named director of the Office of AIDS Research in June 1998. A world leader in viral pathogenesis with a broad background in virology, epidemiology and public health, he was a member of the NIH AIDS vaccine research committee before accepting the position. Dr. Nathanson received both a B.S. and an M.D. degree at Harvard, followed by clinical training in internal medicine at the University of Chicago and postdoctoral training in virology at Johns Hopkins University. Early in his career, he spent 2 years at the Centers for Disease Control where he headed the polio surveillance unit. Later he joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, where he became professor and head of the division of infectious diseases in the department of epidemiology. He then moved to the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, where he chaired the department of microbiology for 15 years, finally serving for 2 years as vice dean for research and research training. After leaving the OAR, Dr. Nathanson returned to the University of Pennsylvania Medical School to serve as Vice Provost for Research until 2003
William E. Paul, M.D., a leading immunologist, well known for his discovery of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and for an extensive body of research that includes the purification of IL-4, the characterization of its receptor and its signaling mechanisms, served as the Director of the Office of AIDS Research from February 1994 until October 1997. Under Dr. Paul’s leadership, the office implemented new broad authorities provided by the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 to expand the role of OAR in determining national AIDS research policy. During his tenure, the OAR developed the first annual comprehensive plan and unified budget for all NIH-sponsored AIDS scientific activities. Dr. Paul, who also headed the Laboratory of Immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, left the directorship to return full-time to his lab, redirecting his scientific efforts to searching for a safe and effective HIV vaccine and for new approaches to vaccine development in general. Dr. Paul is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science and of its Institute of Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., was the NIH AIDS Coordinator before being appointed as the first Director of the Office of AIDS research when the office was established in 1988. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Fauci received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1966. He then completed an internship and residency at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. In 1968, Dr. Fauci came to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a clinical associate in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). In 1974, he became Head of the Clinical Physiology Section, LCI, and in 1980 was appointed Chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation. In 1984, Dr. Fauci became Director of NIAID--a position that he still holds – where he oversees an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious and immune-mediated illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, illness from potential agents of bioterrorism, tuberculosis, malaria, autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.