AAI Exceptional Leadership in Science Award

The AAI Exceptional Leadership in Science Award is a special award created by the AAI Council to recognize Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., for his extraordinary leadership during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Anthony S. Fauci with the Exceptional Leadership in Science Award

AAI Honors Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., DFAAI (AAI ’73), Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), was honored with the AAI Exceptional Leadership in Science Award on May 10. Jenny P.-Y. Ting, Ph.D., president of AAI and Jeremy M. Boss, Ph.D., past president, presented the award during the opening session of Virtual IMMUNOLOGY2021™, which was held May 10–15. The presentation was followed by videotaped acceptance remarks from Dr. Fauci. This special award recognizes Dr. Fauci’s significant leadership on behalf of science and immunology throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been a guiding voice advocating that public health measures be based on scientific knowledge in addition to supporting the development and delivery of effective vaccines to allow the safe emergence from the pandemic.

In his gracious acceptance of the award, Dr. Fauci said, “Warm greetings to you all. I would like to thank Dr. Ting, as well as the entire American Association of Immunologists, for the great honor of being given the AAI Exceptional Leadership in Science Award. It is especially meaningful to be recognized by one’s own colleagues. I thank you all for your incredibly important work during this COVID-19 pandemic, and you have taught us that how the body responds to this virus immunologically is truly the key to understanding disease progression. It is truly a privilege to receive this wonderful recognition, and I wish you all the best for a successful meeting. Thank you very much.”

An internationally renowned immunologist and clinician, Dr. Fauci has overseen initiatives to bolster medical and public health preparedness and expand research capacity related to this pandemic and other emerging infectious diseases. He has worked vigorously and persistently to provide accurate and balanced information to the public about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exceptional Leadership in Science Award

Fauci has served as an advisor to seven presidents on domestic and global health issues. He has served on the White House Coronavirus Task Force since January 2020 and is currently the chief medical advisor to President Biden.

During his career, Fauci has made fundamental contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of immune-mediated diseases while helping to pioneer the field of human immunoregulation. Fauci has directed research efforts at the NIH and by NIAID-funded scientists, nationally and internationally, since 1984. He is also the long-time chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation at NIAID, where his seminal findings have elucidated the immunopathogenesis of, and the immune response to, HIV.

As institute director, Fauci oversees a research portfolio of more than $6 billion dedicated to basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and emerging diseases such as Ebola, Zika, and COVID-19. NIAID also supports research studying the basic biology of the immune system, transplantation biology, autoimmune disorders, allergies, and respiratory illness such as asthma.

Fauci was named to the inaugural class of the Distinguished Fellows of AAI in 2019. This honor recognizes long-standing AAI members for distinguished careers and outstanding scientific contributions as well as service to AAI and the immunology community. In 2005, he received the AAI Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his career of scientific achievement and contributions to AAI and fellow immunologists. In 2000, he was honored as the AAI Public Service Award recipient for his extraordinary leadership in advocating for biomedical research and advancing immunology.

Fauci has been recognized for his dedicated public service and scientific accomplishments with numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest honor given to a civilian by the President of the United States), the National Medal of Science, the George M. Kober Medal of the Association of American Physicians, the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, and the Robert Koch Gold Medal. More recently he was named as the 2020 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Federal Employee of the Year and was the recipient of the 2021 Dan David International Prize for Public Health. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

An AAI member since 1973, Fauci is a past chair of the AAI Program Committee and past member of the AAI Clinical Immunology Committee. He has also served as an associate editor and reviewer for The Journal of Immunology and as a major symposium speaker and scientific and policy session panelist at AAI annual meetings. During Virtual IMMUNOLOGY2021™, Fauci was a speaker in a special session at entitled “COVID-19 and the Science of Pandemics—Lessons Learned.”

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