Jha, White House Covid Response Team Visit
White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha and several members of his team visited NIH on Mar. 23 for meetings and tours focused on NIH’s current Covid activities.
The visit began at the Vaccine Research Center, where he was briefed by Dr. Hugh Auchincloss, acting director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Dr. Richard Koup, VRC acting director. Auchincloss and Koup provided a VRC overview and discussed the facility’s role in developing Covid-19 vaccines and other vaccines.
In addition, Dr. Bruce Tromberg, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, gave an update on the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative.
Jha’s team also toured the Clinical Research Center. The group was met in the CRC atrium by Clinical Center CEO Dr. James Gilman, who gave an overview of the building’s layout.
Then, Dr. Cliff Lane, NIAID deputy director for clinical research, led them for a look inside the special clinical studies unit. NIAID Senior Investigator Dr. Richard Davey, medical director of the unit, talked about its unique features and the range of disorders and conditions treated there.
Later, NIAMS Deputy Scientific Director Dr. Mariana Kaplan described her laboratory research on Covid-19 in systemic autoimmune diseases. In her National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases lab, Dr. William Ambler, NIH clinical fellow, and Alexandra Woo, NIH postbaccalaureate fellow, demonstrated a cell preparation.
At a final briefing in the Medical Board Room, Dr. Gary Gibbons, director, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI); Dr. Walter Koroshetz, director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; and Dr. Amy Patterson, NHLBI deputy director for clinical research and strategic initiatives, offered updates on the RECOVER initiative.
NIH’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison managed the visit.