Communications and Public Liaison Branch

Larry J. Thompson, M.S., M.F.A.

Larry J. Thompson
Communications and Public Liaison Branch

M.S. Lehigh University, 1980
M.F.A. American University, 1999

phone (301) 594-0954
fax (301) 402-4831
Building 31, Room 4B09
31 Center Dr, MSC 2152
Bethesda, MD 20892-2152

Larry J. Thompson joined the National Human Genome Research Institute as chief of the Communications and Public Liaison Branch in February 2001, just as the NHGRI-led Human Genome Project published its first analysis. His team provides a variety of communications services including managing the institute's public-facing websites, social media, video production, photography and graphics needs; and managing media relations for the institute, including writing press releases and feature stories about the institute's research.

Mr. Thompson's career as a journalist covers a wide range of media, including newspapers, magazines, books and broadcast. He co-founded the Health section of The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.; founded the Science and Medicine Section of The San Jose Mercury News in San Jose, Calif., and served as the first medical editor of The Call-Chronicle Newspapers in Allentown, Pa. At Medical News Network in the mid-1990s, he served as a correspondent in the Washington, D.C., bureau covering biomedical research, and in the late 1980s was a regular panelist on the WETA-produced Science Journal, distributed on the Public Broadcasting Service. He has written two books, including Correcting the Code: Inventing the Genetic Cure for the Human Body, a story about the first human gene therapy experiments, published by Simon & Schuster in 1994 and translated into three other languages.

As a freelance writer, Mr. Thompson has contributed to TIME, Science, and Discovery, among other magazines, and as a freelance producer, has been involved in numerous multimedia, museum and television projects. He is coauthor of several scientific articles, including those appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Journal of the American Medical Association. As a consultant, he has provided services to several New York City public relations firms. Mr. Thompson has won numerous prizes for writing and producing, including the Lewis Thomas Award for Excellence in Writing about the Life Sciences and The Associated Press's Mark Twain Award for outstanding news coverage.

His academic training includes an undergraduate degree in biology, a Master of Science in molecular biology from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., and a Master of Fine Arts in film and electronic media from American University, Washington, D.C. Mr. Thompson was the first Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust Fellow in public health at the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., and has taken advanced programs in leadership and financial planning. He is married and has four daughters and a sailboat.

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Last Updated: May 19, 2011