Dr. Anthony Fauci will leave as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden in December, Fauci announced Monday.

“While I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring,” Fauci said in a statement. “After more than 50 years of government service, I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field.”

Fauci, 81, did not specify what that next phase would include. He’d previously said that he planned to step down from government office by the end of Biden’s term in January 2025.

“I want to use what I have learned as NIAID Director to continue to advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders as they help prepare the world to face future infectious disease threats,” Fauci said on Monday.

Fauci began his career at NIAID in 1968 and has directed the institute since 1984. He has served as Biden’s chief medical adviser since January 2021.

In a statement, Biden described Fauci as “a dedicated public servant, and a steady hand with wisdom and insight honed over decades at the forefront of some of our most dangerous and challenging public health crises.”

Fauci has advised seven presidents on HIV/AIDS over four decades and helped lead the U.S. response to many public health crises, including HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Zika and Covid-19.

He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008 for his role in creating the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. By the end of 2020, that program had saved 20 million lives globally by expanding access to HIV care and treatment, according to the State Department.

Biden said one of his first calls as president-elect was to ask Fauci to help lead his administration’s Covid-19 response.

“In that role, I’ve been able to call him at any hour of the day for his advice as we’ve tackled this once-in-a-generation pandemic,” Biden said. “His commitment to the work is unwavering, and he does it with an unparalleled spirit, energy, and scientific integrity.”

Fauci said Monday that he plans to put his “full effort, passion and commitment” into his current role over the coming months and will help prepare NIAID for new leadership.

“NIH is served by some of the most talented scientists in the world, and I have no doubt that I am leaving this work in very capable hands,” he said.

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