Anthony Fauci, MD, joins IDCRC Mentoring and Training Key Function Committee for “Fireside Chat.”

L: Screenshot from Fireside Chat | R: Anthony Fauci, MD
L: Screenshot from Fireside Chat | R: Anthony Fauci, MD

On January 9, 2024, previous and current members of the IDCRC Leadership Group Mentoring and Career Development Committee (MCDC) had the distinct privilege of welcoming Anthony S. Fauci, MD, whose extraordinary career has included serving as the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director from 1984 to 2022 and key advisor to seven U.S. presidents. Dr. Fauci joined this “fireside chat” as the guest speaker for the MCDC Mentoring Lecture Series. IDCRC junior investigators from the IDCRC Mentorship program had the unique opportunity to participate in an hour-long Q&A session with Dr. Fauci.

“It was an honor to be nominated by my colleagues to moderate this session and an absolute thrill to get to talk to such an inspirational leader. I was touched by his thoughtful answers and insights. Our conversation included topics as varied as balancing family and work all the way to responding to vaccine hesitancy. This experience was surreal, and I am so grateful to the IDCRC MCDC and Dr. Fauci for this opportunity,” says Andrew Cox, MD, PhD, current MCDC mentee, who served as the session moderator.  

The session covered a wide range of topics, including careers, vaccines, and pandemic vaccine hesitancy. Dr. Fauci specifically spoke about his motivation to take on leadership roles, as well as recommendations for the group on how to develop and maintain resiliency and passion for the field. He also shared his thoughts on the highest research priorities for vaccine development and improvement, promising technologies for vaccine development and administration, advice for physicians and scientists who are public-facing, and reflections on how the U.S. can better collaborate with other countries in vaccine development.

“On behalf of the IDCRC Mentorship Program, we want to extend our sincere thanks. The discussion was stimulating. We are fortunate to have approachable leaders like Dr. Fauci who provide historical perspective, context, guidance, and inspiration to the future leaders in our field,” says Lara Danziger-Isakov, MD, MPH, MCDC co-chair.

The IDCRC Mentorship Program, overseen by the Mentoring and Training Key Function Committee, is designed to offer mentoring and development for early career investigators and fellows in clinical and translational infectious diseases research. One of the benefits of the program includes the IDCRC Mentoring Lecture Series, which aims to bring IDCRC mentees together with leading experts to discuss topics related to the VTEUs, vaccinology, and clinical trials development and management.

The IDCRC thanks Dr. Fauci for his time during this enlightening session and his continued commitment to mentoring junior investigators in the field of infectious diseases.