James A. Shannon buildingOFFICE OF NIH HISTORY and museum

The Office of NIH History and Museum at the National Institutes of Health advances the historical understanding of the biomedical research conducted at the National Institutes of Health by documenting, preserving, and interpreting records and artifacts. The office creates exhibits and other products, and helps scholars and researchers to navigate the rich history of the National Institutes of Health.



Dr. Anthony Fauci

December 1 is recognized as World AIDS Day. Dr. Anthony Fauci (left, ca. 1990) spoke with VOA NEWSdiscussing his work on the AIDS pandemic since the early 1980s.

The Office of NIH History conducted oral histories and collected materials during the early years of the epidemic. The website AIDS in Their Own Words provides an early view of the way researchers, scientists and physicians faced treating the disease.

A senior investigator with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the time, Dr. Fauci was one of the few researchers devoted solely to human immunobiology. He assembled a small group of scientists, including Drs. Clifford Lane and Henry Masur, to study the emerging disease. In short order, Dr. Fauci converted his lab from one that explored fundamental questions of immunology to one that focused on AIDS. “As every month went by, I became more convinced that we were dealing with something that was going to be a disaster for society,” he says. In a 1982 Annals of Internal Medicine editorial, Dr. Fauci predicted that AIDS would not stay confined to the populations where it first appeared.


Oral histories are added on a regular basis.

H. Clifford Lane
Interview date: March 12, 1990

Thomas Waldmann
Interview date: March 14, 1990

The Office of NIH History holds photograph collections cataloged and uncataloged. Many can be found in on our Flickr site and in Search Our Collections. To request images for use in publications or presentations contact the Office of NIH History. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.


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Office of History and Stetten Museum | Bldg 60 | Suite 230 | National Institutes of Health | Bethesda, MD 20814-1460
Phone: 301.496.6610 | Email: history@nih.gov

Last updated: 01 December 2017
First published: 2 February 2005
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Permanent: Dynamic Content