September 21, 2021

ORWH’s Pearls of Wisdom series features Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). In this video clip, Dr. Gibbons talks about leadership and how “your lived experience is a credential.”  

Dr. Gibbons oversees the third-largest institute at NIH, with an annual budget of more than $3 billion and a staff of 917 Federal employees. NHLBI provides global leadership for research, training, and educational programs to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so they can live longer and more fulfilling lives. Prior to being named Director of NHLBI, Dr. Gibbons served as a member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) from 2009 to 2012, including in its Board of Extramural Experts working group. 

Before joining NHLBI, Dr. Gibbons served as the Founding Director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, and he was chair of the Department of Physiology and professor of physiology and medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine. While leading the Cardiovascular Research Institute, Dr. Gibbons directed NIH-funded research in the fields of vascular biology, genomic medicine, and the pathogenesis of vascular diseases. During his tenure, the Cardiovascular Research Institute emerged as a center of excellence, leading the way in discoveries related to the cardiovascular health of underserved populations.

Dr. Gibbons has received several patents for innovations derived from his research in the fields of vascular biology and the pathogenesis of vascular diseases. He has also received numerous honors, including election to the National Academy of Medicine, selection as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Minority Medical Faculty Development Program awardee, selection as a Pew Biomedical Scholar, recipient of the American Heart Association Research Achievement Award, and recipient of a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammie).

The Pearls of Wisdom online series of short videos aims to inspire, motivate, and inform women in the beginning or middle stages of their biomedical careers. Produced and funded by 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 video series is located on the NIH “Women in Science” website, which describes the history of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers and provides information on supported programs, information on grants, career development resources, NIH diversity resources, and NIH career flexibility initiatives.