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National Institutes of Health

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

2022 Annual Report of the Division of Intramural Research

Office of the Clinical Director, NICHD

Laverne Mensah
  • Laverne Mensah, MD, Acting Clinical Director
  • Forbes D. Porter, MD, PhD, Clinical Director (Former)
  • Alan DeCherney, MD, Senior Investigator
  • Veronica Gomez-Lobo, MD, Senior Staff Clinician
  • Karim Calis, PharmD, MPH, Director of Clinical Research and Compliance
  • Meg Keil, PhD, Associate Director, Nursing and Protocol Navigation
  • Maryellen Rechen, BS, RN, Special Assistant to the Clinical Director
  • Glynnis Vance, Protocol Coordinator
  • Denise Phillips, Administrative and Credentialing Support
  • Ariel Benor, MD, Staff Clinician
  • An Dang Do, MD, PhD, Staff Clinician
  • Tazim Dowlet-McElroy, MD, Staff Clinician
  • Crystal Kamilaris, MD, Staff Clinician
  • Jacqueline Maher, MD, Staff Clinician
  • Samar Rahhal, MD, Staff Clinician
  • Christina Tatsi, MD, Staff Clinician
  • Denna Zeltser, MD, Staff Clinician
  • Sheila Brady, CRNP, MSN, Nurse Practitioner
  • Andrea Bowling, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner
  • Alberta Derkyi, FNP, CRNP, MSN, Nurse Practitioner
  • Josephine Ezemobi, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner
  • John Perreault, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner
  • Lisa Ast, BA, RN, Clinical Research Nurse
  • Kisha Jenkins, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse
  • Lola Saidkhodjaeva, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse
  • Sara Talvacchio, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse
  • Craig Abbott, PhD, Statistician
  • Samah Agabein, MD, Protocol Coordinator
  • Harveen Kaur, MPH, Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Mahlet Asrat, MHM, Patient Care Coordinator
  • Vincent Black, Patient Care Coordinator
  • Fathy Majadly, BS, Patient Specimen Coordinator
  • Loc Trinh, Research Chemical Engineer
A collage of OCD staff

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Office of the Clinical Director: Professional, Administrative, and Biorepository Staff

Top: Karim Calis, Fathy Majadly, Laverne Mensah
Center: Maryellen Rechen, Glynnis Vance, Loc Trinh
Bottom: Denise Phillips, Vincent Black, Meg Keil

The NICHD Office of the Clinical Director (OCD) is responsible for research oversight, scientific review, and administration of the clinical research program within the Division of Intramural Research (DIR). The clinical research activities are coordinated with the Scientific Director and address diseases related to human health involving pediatrics and women’s health.

The Institute’s current clinical research portfolio includes clinical trials, natural history studies of rare diseases, and drug and device development. The clinical research program currently includes 76 protocols, conducted by 31 NICHD Principal Investigators and 170 associate investigators. Approximately half of the protocols include pediatric patients, many focusing on rare diseases. Fifteen percent (15%) of the protocols involve investigational drugs or devices. Current research areas include developmental disorders, healthy human development, developmental endocrinology, neurosciences, genetics, translational imaging, pediatric and reproductive endocrinology, infertility, fertility preservation, and population health. These clinical research activities are governed under the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) with patient participation in the NIH Clinical Center (CC). Delivery of quality and safe patient care in the NIH Clinical Center is vital in the context of NICHD’s clinical research programs and services.

Partnerships and collaboration efforts, both between and within NIH institutes, and externally through research agreements with leading academic institutions nationally, and partnerships with industry, through technology transfer or cooperative research and development agreements, foster advancement of science and cutting-edge scientific research. Emphasis is placed on nurturing a clinical research environment that encourages creativity and on expanding fundamental scientific knowledge of summer interns, postbaccalaureate research trainees, as well as postdoctoral and clinical fellows in various basic science and clinical disciplines. The aim of the various components of the Office of the Clinical Director are to achieve the mission of NICHD: “NICHD leads research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all.”

Three headshots of the clinical investigators, named below

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New NICHD Clinical Investigators

Left to right: Dr. Christina Tatsi, Assistant Clinical Investigator; Dr. Sarah Sheppard, Tenure-Track Investigator; Dr. An Dang Do, Assistant Clinical Investigator


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