Dr. Henry Masur, chief of the Clinical Center Department of Critical Care Medicine, presented the 2002 Astute Clinician Lecture. The lecture honors an American scientist who has observed an unusual clinical occurrence, and by investigating it, has opened an important new avenue of research. The topic, AIDS: A Window on Infectious Diseases, reflects Dr. Masurs research interests.
His early career focused on intracellular protozoa and how they evade host immune response. When the first cases of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in patients with no known immunosuppressive condition appeared at New York Hospital, where he was interning, he recognized that there was little precedent for their occurrence. He evaluated these patients, and found more cases occurring at the New York Hospital and in surrounding hospitals. Dr. Masurs report of this outbreak was one of three that formed the first published report of AIDS.
Upon finishing his early research work in New York Dr. Masur joined NIH in 1982 and expanded his investigations to study why HIV patients had a poor survival rate. He found that organisms that were previously rarely recognizedtoxoplasma, cytomegalovirus and mycobacterium aviumwere frequent causes of illness and death in HIV patients. He worked to improve the diagnosis of, and treatments for, these complications. In collaboration with his NIH peers he developed new diagnostic tests for PCP, new therapeutic agents and new disease-management strategies. His group developed and patented the most widely used laboratory test for identifying PCP, developed improved techniques for obtaining patient samples for the testing and developed and patented a new agent for treatment of the disease.
Dr. Masur and his colleagues established the Public Health Service Guidelines for Prevention of HIV-related pneumocystis pneumonia in 1989, the first HIV-related guidelines to appear. These efforts were expanded into the United States Public Health Service and Infectious Diseases Society of America Guidelines for Prevention of HIV-Related Opportunistic Infections.
A Washington D.C. native, Dr. Masur received his medical degree from Cornell Medical School, did his internal medicine training at New York and Johns Hopkins Hospitals and trained in infectious diseases at Cornell, where he was a faculty member from 197882. He is co-chairing the Guidelines on Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections, jointly sponsored by the Society of Critical Care, the Centers for Disease Control and the Infectious Disease Society of America.