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Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan Appointed Director of the National Library of Medicine

May 11, 2016

New NLM Director - <p>Dr. Patricia Brennan
Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan
Credit: Bryce Richter/University of Wisconsin-Madison

National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, today announced that Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, will be the next director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest medical library and a component of NIH.  

Dr. Brennan comes to NLM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is the Lillian L. Moehlman Bascom Professor, School of Nursing and College of Engineering. She also leads the Living Environments Laboratory at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery that develops new ways for effective visualization of high dimensional data. A recipient of many awards, Dr. Brennan is a past-President of the American Medical Informatics Association, a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), and a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics, the American Academy of Nursing, and the New York Academy of Medicine. 

Additional biographical details appear in this press release from the NIH Director:

“I have had the great pleasure of knowing and working with Patti Brennan for more than two decades,” said NLM Acting Director Betsy L. Humphreys. “Her wide-ranging contributions to informatics research, program development, education, and health information policy are well-known to many NLM users, supporters, and staff members. She has a longstanding appreciation and understanding of NLM and its important work.  In my view,” Ms. Humphreys continued, “Dr. Brennan’s expertise and experience—and her focus on developing health information systems that support patients, caregivers, and the general public—are a great fit for NLM at this point in the Library’s history. She will also bring a valuable perspective to NIH as it launches the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort program.”   

“I am honored and delighted to be appointed director of the National Library of Medicine,” Dr. Brennan noted. “The leadership of Donald Lindberg and preceding directors established a great platform on which to build the Library’s third century. I look forward to working with the national and international stakeholders of the NLM, the NLM staff, and the NIH leadership in crafting a next strategic plan to serve science and society. I am grateful for the many efforts of my colleague, NLM Acting Director Betsy Humphreys, during the transition process.”

Dr. Brennan expects to begin work at the Library in August.


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: November 4, 2016