Richard D’Aquila, MD has been selected to lead the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS) Institute, effective June 1. Dr. D’Aquila will continue to direct the Third Coast CFAR and looks forward to promoting new opportunities for collaborative research.
“I am honored to succeed Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, chair and Eileen M. Foell professor of Preventive Medicine, in leading the NUCATS Institute. Don has built an outstanding, world-class team, and I look forward to continuing to benefit from Don’s sage counsel and the strength of the entire NUCATS Institute team to keep accelerating the upslope of our trajectory. I hope that my background and experience will contribute to our ongoing advancement of innovation and efficiency in all our translational research, as we focus first on overcoming the current pandemic’s challenges and then leveraging opportunities across all our academic disciplines and strong network of clinical partners,” D’Aquila said.
NUCATS launched in 2007 as a hub to support and accelerate research across several schools and institutes at Northwestern University and multiple clinical partners in Chicago including Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. NUCATS is made up of 10 centers and programs that have served thousands of investigators and assisted in the publication of nearly 2,000 scientific publications.
“Over the last eight years, NUCATS has become an even more essential part of Northwestern’s world-class translational science infrastructure,” said Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean. “Those remarkable accomplishments are due in no small part to Don’s transformational leadership. His brilliant guidance and forward thinking has cemented Northwestern — and NUCATS — as major players in the world of clinical and translational sciences. He leaves behind a truly exceptional organization that is well-positioned to reach even greater heights. Thankfully, I can’t think of a better leader to take over than Rich D’Aquila. I have no doubt that NUCATS’ biggest achievements are ahead of us, and Rich is absolutely the best person to make them happen.”
D’Aquila, a professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, is a prominent expert in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. In addition to directing the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), he serves as associate director of NUCATS and director of the NUCATS Center for Clinical Research, and as director of the Northwestern University HIV Translational Research Center.
Recently renewed through 2025, the Third Coast CFAR is a partnership between Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Howard Brown Health, the Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, AllianceChicago and the Center on Halsted. The CFAR is supported by a $7.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health (P30 AI117943) and generous institutional commitments from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division.
D’Aquila received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College and completed his residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a fellowship in infectious disease and postdoctoral fellowship in molecular virology at Yale University School of Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty at Feinberg in 2012, he was the Addison B. Scoville, Jr. Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University and chief of the division of infectious diseases in the department of medicine and director of the Vanderbilt AIDS Center. He is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, an elected member of the Association of American Physicians, and a member of the American College of Physicians.
D’Aquila is the author or co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed research publications; his research focuses on leveraging cellular defenses to minimize aging-accelerating inflammation and sustain suppression of HIV replication after stopping anti-retroviral therapy. He also collaborates on several NIH-funded projects aimed at improving HIV prevention.
This is condensed from a May 18, 2020 article Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s news center.