Greenberg Named NIGMS Acting Deputy Director

Announcement Date:

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Director Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., has named Judith H. Greenberg, Ph.D., as the Institute’s acting deputy director. Greenberg will serve in this capacity while a national search for a permanent deputy director is under way.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to fill this key position on our leadership team, which the Institute has not recruited for since it became vacant in 1999,” Lorsch said.

Greenberg, a developmental biologist by training, recently returned to the position she has held since 1988 as director of the NIGMS Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology (GDB) after serving as NIGMS acting director from July 2011 until Lorsch’s appointment in August 2013.  Greenberg also served as the Institute’s acting director from May 2002 to November 2003.

“Dr. Greenberg has an outstanding leadership record at NIGMS and NIH, and I appreciate her dedication and willingness to serve in this new role,” Lorsch said. “In the short time since I became NIGMS director, she has distinguished herself as a trusted advisor, and I look forward to continuing to benefit from her experience, expertise and wise counsel,” he added.

As deputy director, Greenberg will advise Lorsch on the full range of NIGMS activities, which primarily entail funding basic research in the areas of cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, biomedical technology, bioinformatics and computational biology. With a budget of $2.291 billion, the Institute supports nearly 4,500 research grants—about 10.5 percent of those 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.

Greenberg will continue to direct GDB while serving in this new position. In addition, she will continue chairing the implementation committee for the NIGMS training strategic plan, which was issued in 2011. She oversaw the development of that plan as well as the Institute’s strategic plan issued in 2008.

“I am delighted to work with Dr. Lorsch and contribute to the NIGMS mission in this new way,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg has a strong interest in research training and bioethics issues, and she has advised NIH on topics that include human embryonic stem cells and gene therapy. Additionally, 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. She was also the project officer for the NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository, a key resource for genetic research, from 1984 to 2011.

Prior to joining NIGMS as a program administrator in 1981, Greenberg conducted research in the intramural program of what is now 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. In 2013, she was recognized with the inaugural NIGMS Distinguished Service Award.

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


To arrange an interview with Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., or Judith H. Greenberg, Ph.D., contact the NIGMS Office of Communications and Public Liaison at 301-496-7301 or through our ​ contact form.