In September 2014, NICHD Director Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., announced that Catherine Y. Spong, M.D., was selected as the new Deputy Director of the NICHD.
Since 2012, Dr. Spong has served as the inaugural NICHD Associate Director for Extramural Research and the Director of the Division of Extramural Research.
As Deputy Director, Dr. Spong will assist the Director in overseeing the Institute’s programs supporting research on child development, developmental biology, nutrition, AIDS/HIV, intellectual and developmental disabilities, population issues, reproductive biology, contraception, pregnancy, and medical rehabilitation.
Dr. Spong received B.A.s in biology and chemistry and then her M.D. from the University of Missouri–Kansas City in 1991. She was chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology at the Harbor–UCLA Center and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and subspecialty training in maternal-fetal medicine at Georgetown University and the NIH prior to joining the NICHD.
In 1995, Dr. Spong became a member of the NICHD Division of Intramural Research (DIR) and led the Unit on Perinatal and Developmental Neurobiology within the DIR from 2004 to 2013. She joined the NICHD’s Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch in January 2000 and was appointed Branch chief in 2001.
She has received numerous awards and much recognition for her outstanding work, including the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Achievement Award and her alma mater’s Alumni of the Year award in 2012. Also in 2012, the Society for Clinical Trials selected the NICHD-sponsored Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS), on which Dr. Spong is a co-author, as its Trial of the Year. She is also a three-time recipient of the NIH Director’s Award: in 2004 for advancing research in maternal-fetal medicine, in 2012 for MOMS, and in 2014 for her participation in NIH efforts on developing clear guidance for human subject protection in research studies.
In addition to being a prolific author of numerous scientific publications and textbooks, she has served as an editor of leading scientific journals. She is board certified in obstetrics/gynecology and in maternal-fetal medicine and serves as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for the NIH Clinical Center and for INOVA Alexandria Hospital. Dr. Spong is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the Society for Gynecologic Investigation, the Society for Neuroscience, and the Perinatal Research Society.