May 4, 2022

The recently expanded Pearls of Wisdom series features Lindsey A. Criswell, M.D., M.P.H., D.Sc., Director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). In this Pearls’ video, Dr. Criswell talks about effective leadership styles.  

Dr. Criswell oversees the Institute’s annual budget of nearly $625 million, which supports research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases. Prior to her role as Director, Dr. Criswell was a principal investigator on multiple NIH grants and published more than 250 peer-reviewed journal papers. Her research focused on the genetics and epidemiology of human autoimmune disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.  

She has received many honors for her research and leadership. In 2021, Dr. Criswell was elected to the Association of American Physicians, an honor extended to physicians with outstanding credentials in biomedical research. Dr. Criswell’s other honors include the Kenneth H. Fye, M.D., endowed chair in rheumatology and the Jean S. Engleman Distinguished Professorship in Rheumatology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology.  

While at UCSF, she mentored about four dozen high school through medical/graduate school students including, medical residents, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty. Dr. Criswell was named UCSF’s 2014 Resident Clinical and Translational Research Mentor of the Year.  


The Pearls of Wisdom online series of short videos aims to inspire, motivate, and inform individuals at all stages of their biomedical careers, with a particular focus on women in STEMM fields. Produced and funded by the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), it features prominent scientists and physicians at NIH and beyond – many from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups–sharing words of wisdom, perspectives, and advice to current and future women scientists.  

The Pearls of Wisdom series is located on the redesigned NIH “Women in Science” website, which describes the history of the  NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers and provides information on the working group’s subcommittees, supported programs, grants, career development resources, NIH diversity resources, and career flexibility initiatives.