Diana Finzi, Ph.D., Named Acting Director of NIH Office of AIDS Research; Bill G. Kapogiannis, M.D., Transitions to New Role at the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at HHS
Effective December 17, 2023, Diana Finzi, Ph.D., will serve as NIH Acting Associate Director for AIDS Research and Acting Director of the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) while a nationwide search for a new director continues.
Dr. Finzi joins OAR from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), where she serves as Director of the Basic Sciences Program (BSP) in the Division of AIDS. In this role, Dr. Finzi oversees an extensive global HIV/AIDS research portfolio with grants and contracts in structural biology, basic science, pathogenesis, targeted interventions, cure, and epidemiology. Dr. Finzi is known for her contributions in identifying the role of latency in the persistence of HIV in treated individuals. Over the past decade, her program has focused on expanding funding of research toward HIV cure. The BSP has also played a leading role in guiding NIH research toward the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative, a 10-year plan to reduce new HIV infections in the United States.
Bill G. Kapogiannis, M.D., transitioned from his role as NIH Acting Associate Director for AIDS Research and Acting Director of OAR to a new role in the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Kapogiannis served as Acting Director of OAR since March 2023, succeeding former OAR Director Maureen M. Goodenow, Ph.D.
During his tenure at OAR, Dr. Kapogiannis emphasized the need to address HIV-related health disparities as a critical priority, a legacy of his prior work at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). In addition, Dr. Kapogiannis laid the foundation for development of the next NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related Research, revisiting the NIH HIV research priorities and streamlining the OAR planning process. He also played a central role in facilitating interagency coordination of research activities and services related to HIV and aging.
An NIH leader in HIV research for 18 years, Dr. Kapogiannis joined OAR from NICHD, where he led the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions, a multicenter U.S.-based research program that evaluates interventions for treatment and management of HIV infection and its complications among youth, as well as for the prevention of HIV transmission in the adolescent population, including HIV vaccine, microbicide, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) studies. At NICHD, Dr. Kapogiannis served as the scientific director of the Prevention and Treatment through a Comprehensive Care Continuum for HIV-Affected Adolescents in Resource-Constrained Settings Consortium (PATC3H), which is researching optimal strategies to identify youth at higher risk of HIV acquisition and those living with HIV and to engage them in medical care programs across sub-Saharan Africa and in Brazil to improve their health outcomes. Dr. Kapogiannis directed the NIH RADx-rad PreVAIL kIds Program, which is developing cutting-edge approaches for understanding factors influencing the spectrum of conditions in children infected with SARS-CoV-2.
Tara A. Schwetz, Ph.D., NIH Deputy Director for Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, said, “I would like to thank Dr. Finzi for agreeing to step into this important leadership role as we continue a nationwide search for the next OAR director. Additionally, I am extremely grateful to Dr. Kapogiannis for his commitment, dedication, and thoughtful engagement in leading OAR for much of 2023, and I wish him the best of luck as he embarks on the next phase of his career journey.”