Clinical Center News
Spring 2018

NIH Clinical Center personnel updates

Clinical Research Training and Medical Education

Dr. Thomas Burklow has joined the NIH to lead the Medical Research Scholars Program, a year-long program that competitively selects about 40 medical, dental and veterinary students seeking future careers in biomedical research to join laboratories on the Bethesda campus to engage in basic, clinical or translational research.

Prior to NIH, Burklow served as a senior attending pediatric cardiologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he also served as Chief of Pediatrics. In addition to his duties with the Medical Research Scholars Program, he will continue to use his expertise and serve as a pediatric cardiologist for the Clinical Center's youngest patients.

Dr. Thomas Burklow
Dr. Thomas Burklow


In December 2017, Dr. Jeremy Davis was named Surgeon-in-Chief at the Clinical Center. Davis oversees all surgical activities, provides strategic planning for surgical care and works to improve surgical quality and safety protocols throughout the hospital. Each year at the Clinical Center, more than 2,200 operations are performed by over 40 senior surgical staff.

Davis will work with Clinical Center staff, including those in the Department of Perioperative Medicine, to ensure that NIH continues to provide the highest level surgical care to patients. During his first year, he will focus on centralizing surgical outcomes data, improving perioperative efficiency and providing risk-assessment for clinical research-related procedures. He is also a Surgical Oncologist in the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Jeremy Davis
Dr. Jeremy Davis


Dr. Gwenyth Wallen was named Chief Nurse of the Clinical Center Nursing Department in December 2017. Wallen has served as the interim chief nurse since late 2016. In this role, she is the hospital's senior nursing executive responsible for nursing practice, standards, policies and professional development of the more than 600 nurses practicing in the Clinical Center.

She provides national and global leadership within the clinical research enterprise. Wallen remains focused on developing this specialized nursing role and disseminating information, education and innovations on safety and quality nursing care delivery and clinical research practice. Wallen is a newly Tenured Senior Investigator and Chief of Nursing Research and Translational Science.

Dr. Gwenyth Wallen
Dr. Gwenyth Wallen

Laboratory Medicine

After a distinguished 35-year-career at the Clinical Center, Dr. Thomas Fleisher retired as Chief of the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the end of 2017. Fleisher was in charge of diagnostic testing for inpatient and outpatients that involved chemistry, hematology and microbiology testing. His department also provides phlebotomy services. He served as department head since 1998.

"Tom has been one of those very special people who really served as a pillar of the NIH community," said Dr. John Gallin, NIH's associate director for clinical research and chief scientific officer of the NIH Clinical Center. "He was a terrific pediatrician who always focused on the patient, a wonderful scientist and great leader of the Department of Laboratory Medicine. But his most special trait was caring genuinely about people and being such a good friend to so many. That's why we will miss him and why we all wish him the greatest happiness and success in his new adventure."

"Tom Fleisher has been one of the principle reasons why the NIH-Clinical Center is the superb facility that it is, and why so much clinical research can be successful here," said Dr. Henry Masur, Chief of the Clinical Center Critical Care Medicine Department. "Clinical research depends on accurate, state of the art end points that microbiology, chemistry, hematology, and immunology provide for research studies. Excellent care also depends on accurate, reliable and prompt clinical tests. Tom wants the Clinical Center to be the best at everything. He has recruited a fabulous team of physicians, scientists, technologists, and support staff without whom we could not do first class patient care or first class research. Tom has made all of this happen and had the wisdom to have a succession plan that assures continued excellence for years to come. He has been an unsung hero of the intramural program's success."

Effective January 2018, Dr. Karen Frank assumed the responsibilities of Acting Chief of the department.

Dr. Thomas Fleisher stands at a podium
Dr. Thomas Fleisher

Internal Medicine

In March 2018, Dr. Naomi O'Grady was appointment Chief of the Clinical Center's Internal Medicine Consult Service. O'Grady has served as a highly committed Attending Physician in the Clinical Center's Critical Care Medicine Department for the past 18-years. As chief, O'Grady will provide clinical and clinical research support service to NIH investigators and patients. Recently, Dr. Fred Gill and Dr. Penny Friedman retired from the Internal Medicine Consult Service. Dr. Schuyler Deming, provided interim oversight with the help of clinical research nurse practitioner Stacey Solin.

Dr. Naomi O'Grady
Dr. Naomi O'Grady

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