- 25 min
Dr. William E. Paul, a specialist in the body’s protective immune system, served as the director of the Federal AIDS research effort for almost four years.
His significant accomplishments at the AIDS office included reorganizing the Government’s $1.4 billion annual research program on finding ways to combat H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, and putting renewed emphasis on finding non-traditional approaches to developing possible H.I.V. vaccines. He was also responsible for assembling a panel of experts to conduct the first comprehensive evaluation of Federal AIDS research programs. In addition, Dr. Paul restructured AIDS vaccine work, recruiting Dr. David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate, to lead a research committee to examine unconventional approaches to vaccines, and proposing a new N.I.H. Vaccine Research Center.
In 1997, Paul left his post as the director of the Federal AIDS research effort to return to full-time research at his laboratory in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where he has studied how cells of the immune system communicate with one another. Although his earlier research was not directly related to AIDS, his new work focused on ways to make vaccines against H.I.V. and other viral infections.