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Director's Corner

Judith H. Greenberg, Ph.D.

Biographical Sketch

Photo of Dr. Judith H. Greenberg
Judith H. Greenberg
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Judith H. Greenberg, Ph.D., became acting director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences on July 12, 2011.

In this position, she oversees the Institute’s $2.4 billion budget, which primarily funds basic research in cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, biomedical technology, bioinformatics and computational biology. NIGMS supports more than 4,700 research grants—about 11 percent of the grants funded by NIH as a whole—as well as a substantial amount of research training and programs designed to increase the diversity of the biomedical and behavioral research workforce.

A developmental biologist by training, Greenberg has directed the NIGMS Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology since 1988. In Fiscal Year 2012, the division’s budget was $555 million.

She served as NIGMS acting director once before, from May 2002 to November 2003.

Greenberg’s other leadership roles at NIGMS include overseeing the development of the Institute’s strategic plan issued in 2008 and its strategic plan for research training issued in 2011. She now chairs the implementation committee for the training strategic plan.

Her strong interest in bioethical issues related to genetics led Greenberg to hold the First Community Consultation on the Responsible Collection and Use of Samples for Genetic Research in September 2000. In addition, she chaired an NIH working group on community consultation in genetic research, which issued a document titled “Points to Consider When Planning a Genetic Study that Involves Members of Named Populations.” She currently serves on the NIH Bioethics Task Force.

Greenberg has also advised NIH on human embryonic stem cells and gene therapy. She served as principal leader of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award program from 2004 to 2012 and of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award program from its inception in 2007 to 2012.

Greenberg was the NIH program representative to the Federal Demonstration Partnership from 1991 to 1998 and was a member of its executive committee from 1996 to 1998.

Prior to joining NIGMS as a program administrator in 1981, Greenberg conducted research in the intramural program of what is now the NIH's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Her focus was on cell migration and differentiation in early embryonic development.

Greenberg’s honors include a Public Health Service Special Recognition Award in 1991 and a Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award in 1999. Her leadership of the Pioneer and New Innovator Award programs was recognized with NIH Director’s Awards in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

Greenberg earned a B.S. degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.A. degree in biology from Boston University and a Ph.D. degree in developmental biology from Bryn Mawr College.

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To arrange an interview with Greenberg, contact the NIGMS Office of Communications and Public Liaison at 301-496-7301 or

This page last reviewed on March 11, 2013