Richard Krause, M.D.
Dr. Richard Krause was director of the National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases when AIDS burst onto the scene, but his studies
of infectious diseases had begun decades earlier when he was a 19-year-old
U.S. Army medic during World War II. There, during a four-month stint
in a venereal disease control program, Dr. Krause first began to appreciate
the range of efforts required to prevent and treat infectious diseases.
During a year’s leave of absence while in medical school, he worked
with the late Dr. Charles H. Rammelkamp on the epidemiology of streptococcal
infections and rheumatic fever. He gleaned from this experience the conviction
that infection and immunity were opposite sides of the same coin.
Bringing a broad background in microbiology and immunology from his 20
years at Rockefeller University, Dr. Krause took over NIAID’s reins
in 1975. He remembers the feeling of many then was, “Now that we’ve
conquered infectious diseases, and we don’t have to worry about
them any longer, we’ll worry about heart disease and cancer and
so forth.” Dr. Krause argued against this lack of concern, and struggled
successfully to build the Institute to the level needed to confront future
In 1982, he published The Restless Tide, a book that predicted
we would not see an end to infectious diseases in humans. He completed
the book in 1980, and his foresight would prove frighteningly accurate
as AIDS emerged one year later.
Dr. Krause recalls the years leading up to the appearance of AIDS and
the steps taken by NIAID to understand and mobilize against the new infectious
threat. He is currently a senior investigator at NIAID and a senior scientific
advisor at the Fogarty International Center at NIH.
|Richard Krause, M.D.