On Thursday, August 25, 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the appointment of Diana W. Bianchi, M.D. as director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
As NICHD director, Dr. Bianchi will oversee research on pediatric health and development, maternal health, reproductive health, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. She will also be supported by the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR), a subset of the NICHD, in the development of a comprehensive plan for the conduct and support of medical rehabilitation research.
Diana’s accomplishments as a prenatal geneticist, along with her leadership, clinical and research experience in both pediatrics and obstetrics, make her ideally suited to lead NICHD. Dr. Bianchi currently serves as the founding executive director of the Mother Infant Research Institute and vice chair for pediatric research at the Floating Hospital for Children and Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She is also the Natalie V. Zucker Professor of Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tufts University School of Medicine and the editor-in-chief of the international journal Prenatal Diagnosis.
A practicing medical geneticist with special expertise in reproductive genetics, Dr. Bianchi’s research focuses on prenatal genomics with the goal of advancing noninvasive prenatal DNA screening and diagnosis to develop new therapies for genetic disorders that can be administered prenatally.
Dr. Bianchi earned her M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine. Following medical school, she completed her residency training in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and her postdoctoral fellowship training in medical genetics and neonatal-perinatal medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is board-certified in all three specialties. Dr. Bianchi is a past president of the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis and the Perinatal Research Society, a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Human Genetics, and a former council member of both the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society. She was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine) in 2013.
Dr. Bianchi is expected to join the NIH on October 31, 2016.