Rear Admiral Richard Childs, M.D.

Rear Admiral Richard Childs, M.D., named Scientific Director of the Division of Intramural Research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Statement from Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., Director of NHLBI:  

I take great pleasure in announcing that Rear Admiral Richard Childs, M.D., has accepted the position of Scientific Director (SD) of the Division of Intramural Research (DIR), effective February 7, 2024. Childs has served as NHLBI Clinical Director since 2013 and Acting Scientific Director since 2022.  

Childs is a translational physician scientist and board certified in medical oncology. His NHLBI Transplantation Immunotherapy laboratory conducts research to develop treatments for aplastic anemia, hematological malignancies, and solid tumors and is pursuing first-in-human research in bone marrow transplantation and tumor immunotherapy.  

As NHLBI Clinical Director, Childs developed and operationalized a strategic plan to grow and revitalize the DIR clinical research enterprise to better support and advance the cutting-edge science of our intramural research community. Childs received his medical degree from Georgetown University Medical School. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Florida followed by fellowships in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute and hematology at NHLBI. He was appointed a tenure-track investigator in the Hematology Branch of NHLBI and received tenure in 2006. He has performed more than 600 bone marrow stem cell transplants at NIH, identified a new way to treat metastatic kidney cancer, holds 30 patents related to immunotherapy, and has published hundreds of scientific papers. 

Childs has also been an active-duty officer in the United Stated Commissioned Corps since 1995, being promoted in 2015 to Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General. He received his second star in 2020. He has been awarded the United States Meritorious Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal with Valor, the Humanitarian Service and Global Health Award, and the Assistant Secretary of Health’s Exceptional Service Medal for his dedicated service.  

His dedication to public service is exemplified by his involvement in numerous critical global health initiatives including leading as the chief medical officer in Monrovia, Liberia during the Ebola Crisis Response (2014), as well as commanding a COVID-19 response team in Yokohama, Japan (2020) that evacuated hundreds of COVID-19 infected/exposed Americans from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. In 2021, he oversaw the unaccompanied children crisis at the Southwest border, managing over 800 deployed officers who provided medical care and assistance to more than 50,000 children. From October 2021 to March 2022, he served as Interim Director at Commissioned Corps Headquarters, overseeing personnel, budget, operations, and COVID-related responses for more than 6,000 public health service members.  

As he transitions to his permanent role of Scientific Director, we recognize Childs not only for his remarkable achievements as a public health servant and physician-scientist but also for his leadership. We are extremely fortunate to have Childs carry forward our mission-driven science and public service work.  


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