NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Gaillard Named NIGMS Division Director

Dr. Shawn Drew Gaillard
Dr. Shawn Drew Gaillard

Dr. Shawn Drew Gaillard recently became the new director of NIGMS’s Division of Genetics and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (GMCDB). She had been GMCDB acting director since February 2022.  

“GMCDB-funded researchers pursue a variety of important questions, ranging from how cells repair DNA to how microbial diversity affects human health,” said NIGMS Director Dr. Jon Lorsch. “Dr. Gaillard’s extensive scientific background and her expertise in managing a wide range of research and training programs make her an ideal choice for directing this division.”

Gaillard joined GMCDB as chief of the Developmental and Cellular Processes Branch in 2019, overseeing grants focused on organismal response to environmental stressors. 

Prior to this role, she was the research training officer at NIAID. Before that, she was a program director in the NIGMS Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity and former Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology. Her experience also includes serving as a science education fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and directing what is now the NIH Academy on Health Disparities.

Gaillard has received numerous NIH and NIGMS honors and has participated on several high-profile committees, including having co-chaired NIGMS’s striving towards racial inclusion, diversity and equity committee.

“I am deeply committed to NIGMS and excited to serve as the GMCDB director,” Gaillard said. “I look forward to working with staff and extramural scientists on exciting breakthroughs that shed light on the molecular basis of gene regulation, developmental processes and cellular function.” 

Gaillard earned a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences with a concentration in chemistry from Spelman College in Atlanta and a Ph.D. in biology from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She performed predoctoral and postdoctoral research at NIDDK. 

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