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Office of Communications & Media Relations

NIH Clinical Center News Release

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Justin Cohen

Dr. Barbara J. Bryant joins NIH Clinical Center as head of Department of Transfusion Medicine

National Institutes of Health Clinical Center Chief Executive Officer James K. Gilman, M.D., has selected Barbara J. Bryant, M.D., as director of the hospital’s internationally renowned Department of Transfusion Medicine. With her extensive leadership experience in both academic and blood center environments, Dr. Bryant distinguished herself as uniquely qualified during an extensive nationwide search.

A one-time fellow in the Clinical Center department that she will now be leading, Dr. Bryant’s four decades of experience includes 17 years working in nearly every position possible in a Blood Bank, prior to entering medical school.

Previously, Dr. Bryant was Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Pathology, Medical Director of Transfusion Medicine and Apheresis, Medical Director of the Pathology Department Quality Management, and the Director of the Academy of Master Clinicians at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas. Most recently, Dr. Bryant served as Adjunct Professor at UTMB and the president/owner of Transfusion Medicine Solutions, LLC.

Dr. Gilman stated, “Dr. Bryant brings a dynamic and collaborative leadership style and an extraordinary breadth of experience to her new role. She shares my steadfast commitment to ensuring that clinical quality and safety go hand-in-hand with our world-class research.”

Dr. Bryant’s research endeavors and clinical interests have focused on maintaining optimal iron balance in blood donors, hemoglobinopathies, novel granulocyte therapies, patient blood management, and ensuring patient safety and best outcomes.

Dr. Bryant received her bachelor’s degree in medical technology from Louisiana State University Medical Center and the University of New Orleans. She earned her M.D. at UTMB, where she also completed a pathology residency and was chief resident for two years. She did her fellowship training in Transfusion Medicine/Blood Banking at the NIH. Dr. Bryant has served on the AABB Board of Directors, FDA Blood Product Advisory Committee, Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability working group (co-chair), and is the current past president of the South Central Association of Blood Banks.

Dr. Bryant succeeds Harvey Klein, M.D, who retired in 2019 after serving 36 years as chief of the department, and Cathy Cantilena, M.D., who served as Acting chief since Dr. Klein’s departure.

Often called the "House of Hope," the Clinical Center last year had more than 5,000 inpatient admissions and 100,000 outpatient visits. Patients come from all 50 states and throughout the world. Every patient at the Clinical Center is on a research protocol.

“I’m excited to be back at the NIH working with such an extremely talented group of colleagues, and it is truly an honor to follow in the footsteps of such giants in the field of transfusion medicine,” said Dr. Bryant. “I’m looking forward to continuing their legacy and advancing the NIH Clinical Center’s incredibly important mission.”

Dr. Bryant will oversee the NIH’s burgeoning state-of-the-art Center for Cellular Engineering, as well as a blood collecting facility, transfusion service, diagnostic testing laboratories, and robust research and advanced training programs.

The Clinical Center’s Department of Transfusion Medicine is also home to Harvey J. Alter, M.D., a co-winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contributions to the discovery of the hepatitis C virus.


About the NIH Clinical Center: The NIH Clinical Center is the world’s largest hospital entirely devoted to clinical research. It is a national resource that makes it possible to rapidly translate scientific observations and laboratory discoveries into new approaches for diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease. Over 1,600 clinical research studies are conducted at the NIH Clinical Center, including those focused on cancer, infectious diseases, blood disorders, heart disease, lung disease, alcoholism and drug abuse. For more information about the Clinical Center, visit

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This page last updated on 11/22/2021

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