Dr. Stephen Straus, who was appointed the first director of NIH's National Center
for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in October 1999, is an internationally recognized
expert in clinical research and clinical trials. Concurrently with his NCCAM directorship,
he is senior investigator, and former chief, of the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at the National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Straus has extensive research experience relating to many viral and immunologic
conditionsincluding chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, chronic hepatitis
B virus, genital herpes infections, and chronic post-herpetic pain. For example, he demonstrated
that acyclovir suppresses recurrent genital and oral herpes, and he characterized a previously
unrecognized genetically determined diseaseautoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome.
Dr. Straus obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in life sciences from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in 1968 and his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians
and Surgeons in 1972. Between an internship and a residency in medicine at Barnes Hospital, St. Louis,
Missouri, he was a research associate at NIAID in 1973-1975. He returned to this NIH institute
in 1979 as a senior investigator and has been at NIH ever since. He is board certified in both
internal medicine and infectious diseases.
Dr. Straus is a recipient of five medals and other commendations from the U.S. Public Health
Serviceincluding the Distinguished Service Medal for innovative clinical research and the Health and
Human Services Secretary's Distinguished Service Award for drafting the blueprint to reinvigorate clinical
research at NIH. He also was given the Dutch National ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) Fund Award in 1999.
An elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American
Physicians, Dr. Straus also currently serves as associate editor of two journalsField's Virology
and Virology. He has been active on many professional committees and boards, lectured internationally,
published more than 375 research articles, and edited several books.
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