Patricia A. Grady

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Patricia A. Grady
American neuroscientist and Director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).
Alma mater
Known for
Scientific career
  • cerebral blood flow
  • nursing research

Patricia A. Grady is an American neuroscientist internationally recognized for her research on stroke, which specializes in cerebral blood flow, metabolism, and function. She is director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Grady was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1999 and is a member of several scientific organizations, including the Society for Neuroscience and the American Academy of Nursing. She is a fellow of the American Stroke Association and the American Neurological Association.

Grady lectures and speaks nationally and internationally on topics including future directions in nursing research,[1] developments in the neurological sciences, and Federal research opportunities. She is widely known within NIH as a leader supporting the advances of women in science.[2]

Before coming to NIH, Grady held several academic positions and served concurrently on the faculties of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and School of Nursing. Prior to being appointed director of NINR, Grady served as acting director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Early years[edit]

Grady was raised in South Florida. She excelled in science and was interested in health and decided on a career in nursing “because it gave you flexibility and the potential to carry out the profession in any number of settings and a variety of lifestyles.”[3]

Grady earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from Georgetown University.[4] She received her graduate degrees from the University of Maryland:[5] a master's degree from the School of Nursing and a doctorate in physiology from the School of Medicine.[6]

Stroke research[edit]

Grady has authored or co-authored numerous articles and papers on hypertension, cerebrovascular permeability, vascular stress, and cerebral edema. She is an editorial board member of the major stroke journals. Her early research projects on stroke and brain function received funding from the NIH and the Office of Naval Research. Grady presented her scientific findings in a number of national and international scientific meetings, including symposia at NIH. In 1988, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) recruited her to become an administrator in the area of stroke.  


In 1988, Grady joined NIH as an extramural research program administrator in the NINDS in the areas of stroke and brain imaging. She served on the NIH Task Force for Medical Rehabilitation Research, which established the first long-range research agenda for the field of medical rehabilitation research. In 1992, she assumed the responsibilities of NINDS Assistant Director. From 1993 to 1995, she was Deputy Director and Acting Director of NINDS.[citation needed]

NINR director[edit]

Grady was appointed Director of NINR in 1995.[citation needed]

Dr. Harold Varmus, the NIH Director at the time, praised Grady’s appointment by announcing to the NIH community that “her experience in conducting and managing neurological research makes her the ideal leader to carry out the NINR mission that includes linking biological and behavioral research programs to benefit people’s health .”[citation needed]

Under her leadership, the NINR has more than doubled its budget[7][8] and has significantly increased the number of research and training grants awarded. NINR’s annual budget is about $150 million, and more than 80 percent goes toward funding the work of nurse scientists within NINR and around the country.[9]

Grady has been instrumental in shaping “Bringing Science to Life,” the Institute’s long-term strategic plan.[10] Her tenure as Director of NINR has also seen an increased commitment on training the next generation of nurse scientists,[11][12] dedicating more resources to training future scientists, as a percentage of budget, than nearly any other NIH institute.

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2002, Grady received the first award of the Centennial Achievement Medal from Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies. In 1996, the University of Maryland presented her with an honorary Doctorate in Public Service. That same year, she was named the inaugural Rozella M. Schlotfeld distinguished lecturer at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. In 2011, Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation presented her with a Discover Award.[13]

The Council on Cardiovascular Nurses of the American Heart Association named her the Excellence in Nursing Lecturer in 1995. In 2005, Grady received Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa degrees from the Medical University of South Carolina and Thomas Jefferson University, and Columbia University School of Nursing honored her with its prestigious Second Century Award for Excellence in Health Care. In 2008, Grady received a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa degree from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center.[citation needed]

Grady is a past recipient of the NIH MERIT Award and received the Public Health Service Superior Service Award for her exceptional leadership. She has twice been named[14] to Washingtonian magazine’s list of “100 Most Powerful Women.”[15]


  1. ^ "Grady Highlights Importance of Evidence-Based Practice".
  2. ^ ""Bringing Science to Life" the NINR History Book, p. 125" (PDF). National Institute of Nursing Research.
  3. ^ ""Bringing Science to Life" the NINR History Book, p. 121" (PDF). NINR.
  4. ^ "Georgetown Healthcare Horizons: ALUMNI PROFILE: PATRICIA GRADY (NHS'67)" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Grady Presents Keynote at U-Md. Celebration".
  6. ^ "Director's Page". National Institute of Nursing Research. NINR.
  7. ^ "5 Minutes With Patricia Grady, NINR Head".
  8. ^ "Georgetown Healthcare Horizons: ALUMNI PROFILE: PATRICIA GRADY (NHS'67)".
  9. ^ "A call to action for nurse scientists".
  10. ^ "Bringing Science to Life: NINR Strategic Plan" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Nurses move beyond patient bedside in research efforts". Richmond Times-Dispatch.
  12. ^ "Georgetown Healthcare Horizons: ALUMNI PROFILE: PATRICIA GRADY (NHS'67)" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Arizona State University Honors NINR's Grady". NIH Record. NIH.
  14. ^ "'Most Powerful in Washington' Magazine Honors Four Directors". NIH Record.
  15. ^ "Woman Power".

External links[edit]