Richard Childs, M.D.
Richard Childs, M.D., Captain, United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, is the Clinical Director of the NHLBI Division of Intramural Research (DIR). In this role, he is responsible for the oversight of the clinical research portfolio of the NHLBI DIR and serves as a clinical policy advisor to the Scientific Director. The NHLBI DIR clinical research program is one of the largest within the NIH supporting more than 180 active clinical research protocols, 650 inpatient admissions, and 14,000 outpatient visits. In this position he is responsible for overseeing inpatient and outpatient clinical programs, the data safety and monitoring board, and the scientific review board to ensure the clinical research and clinical care conducted by NHLBI is of the highest scientific integrity and quality. Dr. Childs was appointed Clinical Director in January 2013.
Dr. Childs is also a senior investigator in the Laboratory of Transplantation Immunotherapy where his research focuses on allogeneic stem cell transplantation and tumor immunology to treat aplastic anemia, hematological malignancies, and solid tumors. He was the first to establish the existence of a graft-vs-solid tumor effect mediated by transplanted donor T-cells that could cure patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Work in his lab has also focused on developing novel natural killer cell-based strategies to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and to treat advanced cancers. Dr. Childs has also recently examined the potential of transplanted umbilical cord blood stem cells to cure fatal diseases like treatment-refractory aplastic anemia and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) in patients lacking an HLA-matched stem cell donor. Dr. Childs maintains a robust translational research program and currently serves as the principal investigator or medically responsible investigator on 9 active NHLBI clinical research protocols.
Dr. Childs received his M.D. in 1991 from Georgetown University and completed his internship, residency, and a Chief Residency in internal medicine at the University of Florida. Subsequently, Dr. Childs arrived at the NIH to complete a fellowship in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute followed by a fellowship in hematology at the NHLBI. Dr. Childs has been an active duty officer in the United Stated Commissioned Corps since 1995 and was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2009. From December 2014 through February 2015, he deployed to Monrovia, Liberia as a part of the United States Ebola crisis response in West Africa, where he served as the Chief Medical Officer caring for Ebola patients in the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU). He has been a recipient of numerous awards in the Commissioned Corps and in 2010 he received the highest award from the United States Public Health Service: the Distinguished Service Medal from the United States Surgeon General for research that has improved the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.