NIGMS Deputy Director Judith Greenberg to Retire

Headshot of Dr. Judith Greenberg.

I’d like to share with you the bittersweet news that our deputy director, Judith H. Greenberg, is retiring at the end of the month after 45 years of service to NIH, most of which was spent right here at NIGMS. Judith has been a vital part of the NIGMS leadership team and an invaluable advisor to me since I came on board as NIGMS director.

Throughout her career, Judith has consistently answered the call to service, taking on increasing and heroic responsibilities whenever the need has arisen. For example, at the time of her retirement, in addition to her job as deputy director of the Institute, she has been serving as acting director of our Division of Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences.

A developmental biologist by training, Judith first joined NIH in 1975, conducting research in the intramural program at what is now the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. In 1981, she was recruited to NIGMS as a program administrator by Ruth Kirschstein, and in 1988 became director of our former Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology. She twice served as the Institute’s acting director, from May 2002 to November 2003 and from July 2011 to August 2013.

Judith has a strong interest in bioethics issues and research training and career development, and she has advised NIH on topics that include human embryonic stem cells, gene therapy, and biomedical career advancement for women. 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.

Among Judith’s many honors are 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 honored with the inaugural NIGMS Distinguished Service Award, and in 2018 she received the NIGMS Diversity Champion Award for her efforts to diversify the national scientific workforce through her partnerships with other NIH offices.

We will deeply miss Judith’s strong leadership presence, calm wisdom, and sharp wit. She’s left an indelible mark on the Institute, as well as with colleagues across the NIH and in the academic community. I feel very lucky to have had such an outstanding advisor, colleague, and friend for the past 7 years. Please join me and the rest of the staff at NIGMS in wishing her a wonderful retirement.

5 Replies to “NIGMS Deputy Director Judith Greenberg to Retire”

  1. In my early years as a young investigator, Judith was a voice of reason, encouragement, and kindness. The NIH support under her intelligent and strong hand enabled me to do innovative work.
    Thank you, Judith. You made a critical impact in my life as a scientist.
    Lucy Shapiro
    Stanford University

  2. I simply could not let this milestone go without comment. Judith, you personify so much of what is best about NIGMS – as Jon noted, the “calm wisdom and sharp wit” in addition to your interests in bioethics, training and career development. From my time on NAGMS Council, I saw you as creative and innovative when feasible and conservative and stable when appropriate, the kind of senior administrator who took the long view and always inspired confidence, grounding your decisions in facts but leavening them with empathy. It was an honor to work with you.

  3. Judith helped me in so many ways. She was a constant supporter of my work and a brilliant strategist (and psychologist) when the study section didn’t seem as enthusiastic as I was. Her advice enabled me to support my lab with a single RO1 that extended for 32 years.
    Thank you Judith for all you have done for the PIs, the NIH and the advancement of the life sciences.

  4. Dear Dr. Greenberg:
    Congratulations on your retirement! Please know we will miss you and we appreciate you very much. For many years, we have benefited from your support of the INBRE program……that helped so many faculty and students participate in biomedical research. I hope you enjoy your well-deserved ‘Life of Riley’, and that you and your family will find time to visit us, again, in Northern Idaho.
    Warmest regards,
    Carolyn Bohach

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