Get to Know NICHD

NICHD staff work every day to advance our mission to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all. Across NICHD, our staff bring with them a wealth of knowledge and skills that help the institute break new ground and expand the limits of existing research.

The following profiles will help you get to know NICHD’s culture and its scientific impact as well as our staff as they explain what inspired them along their career path, what led them to NICHD, and what NICHD has brought to their career.


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Gisela Storz headshot.

Gisela Storz, Ph.D.

Dr. Gisela Storz always loved nature and enjoyed science fairs in elementary and middle school. She would later become interested in research through a work study job preparing materials for a cell biology lab during her freshman year of college.

Learn more about Dr. Storz.

Theresa Hayes Cruz headshot.

Theresa Hayes Cruz, Ph.D.

Dr. Theresa Hayes Cruz’s love of math and science led her to study biomedical engineering. Her experience working in a rehabilitation hospital with people with stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other physical impairments inspired her to pursue her biomedical engineering Ph.D. and a career in research rehabilitation.

Learn more about Dr. Cruz.

Alison Cernich headshot.

Alison Cernich, Ph.D.

Dr. Alison Cernich had different plans for her future career until cinematic inspiration redirected her path. As NICHD’s Deputy Director, she proudly represents the science the institute supports and steps up to whatever the role brings her, including this past year’s many COVID challenges.

Learn more about Dr. Cernich.

Diana W. Bianchi headshot.

Diana W. Bianchi, M.D.

Dr. Diana Bianchi’s interest in science and research began through her love of nature and the profound influence of watching her family cat give birth, and continued to grow thanks to the influence of exceptional female role models throughout her high school and higher education training.

Learn more about Dr. Bianchi.
Veronica Gomez-Lobo headshot.

Veronica Gomez-Lobo, M.D.

Dr. Veronica Gomez-Lobo wanted to be a doctor from the age of 12. Her interest in medicine initially grew from a desire to care for underserved populations. As a resident, she discovered a love for teaching, and as a residency director, she added scholarship and research to her list of interests.

Learn more about Dr. Gomez-Lobo.


NICHD researchers and staff carry out the institute's mission through their work in the lab, in the field, and in their offices. The following interviews provide a deeper look at the institute's dedicated staff, the science it conducts and supports, and what that science means to the public.

Dr. Brett Miller Interview
Dr. Brett Miller: Decoding Learning Disabilities
Dr. Brett Miller leads NICHD efforts to better understand dyslexia. Research suggests that direct, systematic, and explicit instruction in small groups can help children with dyslexia learn to read.
Dr.  Alison Cernich Interview
Dr. Alison Cernich: Driving Innovation for Recovery
A "bionic" arm? Toy cars for mobility-impaired toddlers? NICHD's Dr. Alison Cernich talks about technologies on the cutting edge of rehabilitation research—and where the future is headed.
Dr. Chris McBain Interview
Dr. Chris McBain: The Electric Brain Reveals its Wiring
How the brain's "wiring" develops and works—and what happens when it goes wrong—are the types of questions Dr. Chris McBain's laboratory seeks to answer. His work could provide clues to understanding conditions like epilepsy, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease.

If you need additional biographical information on NICHD leadership or would like to schedule an interview with an NICHD staff member, contact the Office of Communications at or 301-496-5133.

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