On April 2, 2007, NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., named Barbara Alving, M.D., as the Director of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR). As Acting Director of NCRR, Alving oversaw the launch of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) programa new national consortium of academic health centers that will transform the conduct of clinical and translational research. The goal of the consortium is to ensure that biomedical discoveries are rapidly translated into prevention strategies and clinical treatments for both rare and common diseases.
“Dr. Alving has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the recent efforts of the NIH to energize the discipline of clinical and translational research across the nation,” said Zerhouni. “The CTSA program marks the first systemic change in clinical research in 50 years and is a critical component of how we will effectively re-engineer the clinical research enterprise, including training the next generation of researchers. It will be with Dr. Alving’s vision, creativity, and leadership that we will be able to maximize our investment in the CTSA consortium, ensure that benefits extend to the greater research community, and that new medical advances are delivered to the people who need them.”
A native of Indiana and a graduate of Purdue University, Alving earned her medical degree cum laude from Georgetown University School of Medicine, where she also served as an intern in internal medicine. She completed her residency training, followed by a research fellowship in hematology, at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. She began her research career as a Public Health Officer in the Division of Blood and Blood Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the NIH campus. Alving then joined the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, where she served at the rank of colonel as the Chief of the Department of Hematology and Vascular Biology. In 1997, Alving became the Chief of the Section of Hematology and Oncology at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. In 1999, she joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) as the Director of the Division of Blood Diseases and Resources. She then became the NHLBI Deputy Director and Acting Director while also serving as the Director of the Women’s Health Initiative (2002–2006). In 2005, Zerhouni tapped her to be the Acting Director of NCRR.
A Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Alving is also a Master in the American College of Physicians. She currently serves the NIH Director as the official NIH liaison for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is a member of the Advisory Board for Clinical Research at the NIH Clinical Center.
She is a recipient of the American Society of Hematology Award for outstanding service and also received a Commendable Service Award from the FDA for her work on hypotensive agents in albumin products. Her military honors include the U.S. Legion of Merit, awarded by the U.S. Army, for work that improved the care of soldiers in combat. She is a co-inventor on two patents, has edited three books, and has published more than 100 papers in the areas of thrombosis and hemostasis.