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Extramural Programs Update: NLM Says Goodbye to Dr. Hua-Chuan Sim and Welcomes Dr. Richard C. Palmer

April 29, 2021

After 19 years of service, Hua-Chuan Sim, MD, Acting Director of NLM’s Extramural Programs (EP) is retiring from federal service on Friday, April 30.

Dr. Sim served in many important roles. In his most recent role, as Acting Director, EP, since December 2020, Dr. Sim ensured the successful award of five-year cooperative agreements for seven Regional Medical Libraries and four National Coordinating Offices in the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM), as well as preparations for the recompetition of NLM’s  university-based training program in biomedical informatics and data science. Prior to taking on this role at NLM, Dr. Sim served for many years as NLM’s Chief Program Officer, with oversight and coordination of the entire grant program plus responsibility for the grant portfolio relating to clinical/public health informatics. We are grateful to Dr. Sim for his years of dedicated service to NLM.


On March 15, 2021, Richard C. Palmer, DrPH, JD, joined NLM as Deputy Director for Extramural Programs. On May 1, 2021, Dr. Palmer will also assume the role of Acting Director, NLM Extramural Programs. 

Before joining NLM, Dr. Palmer served as a Health Scientist Administrator in the Office of Extramural Research Administration at the NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).

Dr. Palmer has more than 25 years of extramural research experience and has been an investigator on NIH- and CDC-funded research grants. In his dual roles as Acting Director and Deputy Director for Extramural Programs, he will oversee NLM’s grant programs for research, resources, workforce development, and small business related to biomedical informatics and data science.

Dr. Palmer received his MPH from San Diego State University, DrPH from the University of Texas Health Science Center, and holds a JD with specialization in healthcare and administrative law from Nova Southeastern University.

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Palmer to the NLM team.


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is a leader in research in biomedical informatics and data science and the world’s largest biomedical library. NLM conducts and supports research in methods for recording, storing, retrieving, preserving, and communicating health information. NLM creates resources and tools that are used billions of times each year by millions of people to access and analyze molecular biology, biotechnology, toxicology, environmental health, and health services information. Additional information is available at

Last Reviewed: April 29, 2021