A research scientist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham was named Wednesday to succeed Dr. Anthony Fauci as the nation’s top infectious disease expert.¬†

Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo will become director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the fall. She will oversee the agency’s $6.3 billion budget, its research and its response to infectious disease outbreaks.

Fauci, 82, retired from a five-decade career in December. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he became a household name as he gave updates at daily White House press conferences and in frequent media interviews.

SEE MORE: Newsy Tonight Sits Down With Dr. Anthony Fauci

Since Fauci’s retirement, Dr. Hugh Auchincloss Jr. has been serving as acting director.

Marrazzo’s research has focused on sexually transmitted diseases and the prevention of HIV infection. At the university, she is director of the medical school’s division of infectious diseases.

Her appointment was made by Lawrence Tabak, acting director for the National Institutes of Health.

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