Distinguished Lecture Series
The Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture Series was established to honor the founding director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (renamed the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health in 2014). The Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture, the premier lecture at our Center, features leading figures in science and medicine. The lecture series is supported by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health with a generous gift from Bernard and Barbro Osher.
Biography of Stephen E. Straus, M.D.
As Director of the Center from 1999 to 2006, Dr. Straus built a comprehensive research enterprise, championing the efforts to establish the efficacy and safety of complementary health practices while upholding the rigorous standards of science for which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is known. Under his leadership, research on complementary and integrative medicine at NIH grew threefold, facilitating his vision of an evidence-based integrative approach to health care for the benefit of the public. An internationally recognized scientist, Dr. Straus also held the position of senior investigator in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Straus had extensive basic and clinical research experience related to many conditions including chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, chronic hepatitis B virus, and genital herpes infections and chronic post-herpetic pain. Under his leadership, scientists demonstrated that acyclovir suppresses recurrent genital and oral herpes. He was part of the nationwide research team that showed a vaccine was effective in preventing shingles (herpes zoster virus) in older adults.
His studies of patients who failed to recover from infectious mononucleosis led Dr. Straus to characterize rare, fatal chronic Epstein-Barr virus infections. These studies also led to his recognition of the autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS), the first disorder of lymphocyte apoptosis. His investigations of over 200 such patients form the basis of most of what is known today of this disorder’s clinical and biological features, including its pronounced risk of lymphoma.
As a physician-scientist, Dr. Straus was compassionate and kind, always searching for answers to improve the health of his patients. His bench-to-bedside research yielded original insights into the pathogenesis and management of several viral and immunological diseases. During his long career at NIH, he mentored many young investigators who have become extraordinary physician-scientists in their own right.
Currently, there are no upcoming lectures.
December 9, 2020
Shannon N. Zenk, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., F.A.A.N.
Director, National Institute of Nursing Research
September 23, 2019
Lorimer Moseley, Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences and Chair in Physiotherapy School of Health Sciences
University of South Australia
November 29, 2018
Tracy W. Gaudet, M.D.
Executive Director, Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation
Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs