Robert Koch Gold Medal 2013
Professor Fauci was awarded the Robert Koch Gold Medal for his life’s work in the field of HIV research. When, at the beginning of the 1980s, a mysterious disease became the center of public concern, the immunologist, together with his colleagues, set off in search of the infection’s pathogenesis. With the identification of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of infected cells, Fauci was one of the first to describe immune regulation in the infection with HIV. The understanding of how the helper cells (CD4+ T-cells) of people infected with HIV are destroyed, formed the basis of antiretroviral therapy, knowledge that today means that patients have a significantly increased life expectancy. Fauci not only excelled through his research work, but also through initiatives such as the promotion of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which benefited millions of infected people, especially on the African continent. Fauci was also primarily responsible for devising a number of other programs to combat malaria, tuberculosis and influenza.