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Richard Childs, M.D.

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Portrait of Richard Childs.
Richard Childs, M.D.

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Richard Childs, M.D., is the Acting Clinical Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Division of Intramural Research (DIR). He is also a senior clinical investigator in the DIR's Hematology Branch and a commander in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). Dr. Childs joined the NHLBI as a hematology research fellow in 1997 and has been an NHLBI clinical investigator since 1999. He was appointed acting Clinical Director in February 2012.

Dr. Childs’ research interests are in the use of both stem cell- and immune cell- based therapies for tumors and hematological malignancies. His research has demonstrated the clinical potential of using transplanted donor T-cells in the treatment of certain cancers and blood disorders like paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). His group is also exploring how to enhance the effect of natural killer (NK) white blood cells in killing cancer cells while reducing the risks of graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD). Finally, Dr. Childs is examining umbilical cord blood as a therapeutic agent for diseases like aplastic anemia in patients lacking tissue matched stem cell donors. His group is exploring methods to “immunize” the primitive umbilical cord blood immune cells to make them more potent in fighting viral infections and cancer.

Dr. Childs received his Doctor of Medicine in 1991 from Georgetown University in the District of Columbia and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville. Subsequently, Dr. Childs served as the chief medical resident at UF from 1994-1995 before coming to the NIH in 1995 to complete a fellowship in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute followed by a fellowship in hematology at the NHLBI. An author of numerous original scientific articles, reviews, and book chapters, Dr. Childs heads an active clinical trials program at the NHLBI. His group has treated several hundred patients in early stage trials, and has several clinical protocols currently underway or in preparation.

Areas of expertise: hematology, tumor immunology, stem cell therapies