Global Down Syndrome Foundation Congratulates the NIH on Appointing Dr. Diana Bianchi as Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

DENVER (Aug. 26, 2016) – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on Aug. 25 the appointment of Dr. Diana Bianchi as Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

“Global looks forward to continuing to work with the NIH and NICHD under Dr. Bianchi’s leadership to advance high-impact research that will improve the lives of people with Down syndrome and all who are differently-abled,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, President and CEO of Global Down Syndrome Foundation. “Bianchi brings an impressive record of scientific achievement to her role at NICHD. Over the past two decades, her lab has advanced our community’s understanding of reproductive genetics and prenatal genomics.”

“We’re so pleased with Dr. Bianchi’s appointment and that her lab’s work will continue in the intramural program at NIH,” said Tom Blumenthal, PhD, Executive Director of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. “She is a distinguished medical geneticist with special expertise in reproductive genetics, and we are delighted to know that her ethical work on prenatally treating disorders and conditions will continue to lead the field.”

Bianchi will assume her new role on Oct. 31, 2016. Until that time, she remains the founding Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute and Vice Chair for Pediatric Research at the Floating Hospital for Children and Tufts Medical Center in Boston.  Bianchi concurrently serves as the Natalie V. Zucker Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Bianchi holds many leadership and advisory roles including serving as a member of NICHD’s National Advisory Council, President of the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis and the Perinatal Research Society, Board of Director for the American Society for Human Genetics, council member for the Society for Pediatric Research and American Pediatric Society, and a member of the Institute of Medicine.  She has received numerous honors including the Landmark Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in recognition for her work surrounding genetics and newborn care, and the Maureen Andrew Award for Mentoring by the Society for Pediatric Research.

As a specialist in prenatal research and Down syndrome, Bianchi has published numerous papers in journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Prenatal Diagnosis, and was one of the authors of Fetology: Diagnosis and Management of the Fetal Patient, which won the best textbook in clinical medicine from the Association of American Publishers.

Bianchi graduated from Stanford School of Medicine, completed her residency at Boston Children’s Hospital, and finished her postdoctoral fellowship in medical genetics and neonatal-perinatal medicine at Harvard Medical School. Bianchi is board certified in pediatric, obstetrics, and gynecology, and has been issued six patents.

Global Down Syndrome Foundation is proud of its legacy of working with the leadership of NICHD and recognizes Dr. Alan Guttmacher for his years as Director, and Dr. Cathy Spong for her interim service as Director.  Global looks forward to continuing to represent the Down syndrome community as a member of the NIH’s Down Syndrome Consortium, in promoting NICHD’s DS-Connect registry, and in hosting  Congressional Briefings highlighting NIH advances made in research impacting the lives of those with Down syndrome.

About the Global Down Syndrome Foundation

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education and advocacy. Formally established in 2009, Global has the primary focus of supporting the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home in the U.S. committed to research and medical care for people with the condition, and the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado, the largest multi-disciplinary team in the U.S. providing medical care for people with Down syndrome. Fundraising and government advocacy that corrects the alarming disparity of national funding for people with Down syndrome is a major short-term goal. Global organizes the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show — the single-largest annual fundraiser benefiting people with Down syndrome. Global organizes and funds many programs and conferences, including the Dare to Play Football Camp with Ed McCaffrey, Global’s Denver Broncos Cheerleaders Dare to Cheer Camp, the Global Down Syndrome Educational Series, and the Dare to Play Soccer Camp. Global is an inclusive organization without political or religious affiliation or intention.


Global Down Syndrome Foundation
Taylor Shields, Senior Director of PR & Marketing
303 468 6061

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