Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, is the Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NLM is the world’s largest biomedical library and producer of digital information resources used by scientists, health professionals, and members of the public. Since becoming director in August 2016, Dr. Brennan has positioned the Library to be the epicenter for biomedical data science at NIH and across the biomedical research enterprise globally. Her leadership has led to the development of a new strategic plan that refocuses and enhances NLM’s research, development, training, and information systems. By leveraging NLM’s heavily used data and information resources and programs, Dr. Brennan is strengthening and advancing NLM’s data infrastructure to accelerate data-driven discovery and health, engage new users in new ways, and develop the workforce for a data-driven future.
Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Brennan was the Lillian L. Moehlman Bascom Professor in the School of Nursing and College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She also led the Living Environments Laboratory (now the Virtual Environments Group) at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, which develops new methods for the effective visualization of high-dimensional data.
Dr. Brennan is a pioneer in the development of innovative information systems and services, and her professional accomplishments reflect her background, which unites engineering, information technology, and clinical care to improve public health and ensure the best possible experience in patient care. Dr Brennan holds an appointment as Associate Investigator in the National Institute of Nursing Research Division of Intramural Research, where she directs the Advanced Visualization Laboratory.
Dr. Brennan received a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Following seven years of clinical practice in critical care nursing and psychiatric nursing, she held academic positions at Marquette University, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
A past president of the American Medical Informatics Association, Dr. Brennan was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2001. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the American College of Medical Informatics, and the New York Academy of Medicine.