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Dr. Alkis Togias
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Chief of the Asthma and Inflammation Section, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation
How long have you worked in your field? For the NIH?
I have been working in my field for 26 years; I have been at NIH for 2 years.
What initially attracted you to the NIH?
Prior to NIH, I was an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. I was attracted to NIH by the specific position (Asthma and Inflammation Section Chief) because it was an opportunity to apply my skills in an aspect of medical research that could have higher impact than my work in the University.
Was there a defining moment that sparked your interest in your field?
The most fascinating study field in my early years as a medical student was immunology. Second was the function of the respiratory system. I chose allergy and asthma because they offered a unique combination of these two fields.
What has been your most enlightening/memorable experience at the NIH that may not have been possible anywhere else?
I cannot identify a single experience, but what excites me the most is the opportunity to strategize and to develop initiatives that could play a role in defining the path that my field will follow in the years to come.
How would you describe your colleagues?
Fun people with strong intellectuality and motivation for progress.
What are the top 5 reasons that make working at the NIH worthwhile for you?
- Impacting on the present and future of medical research in asthma
- Communicating with the most prominent established investigators in the field and helping the most promising young investigators in the field
- Very strong team work
- Working very close to home
- Job security