NHGRI logo
Provider Education Specialist

Education and Community Involvement Branch


B.S. University of Maryland, College Park, 1983

Ph.D. Georgetown University School of Medicine, 1991


Donna Messersmith, Ph.D., is a health policy analyst in the Education and Community Involvement Branch of the Division of Policy, Communications, and Education at the National Human Genome Research Institute. She provides support for genomics education projects for health professionals, including maintenance and development of the Genetics/Genomics Competency Center (G2C2). In addition, Dr. Messersmith provides project management, website content development, technological and science writing support for additional branch initiatives, including the development of common standards for clinical research information management.

Prior to this position, she led science writing, web development and educational contract support for several National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes and health organizations. As an outreach and education specialist for the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Dr. Messersmith created and taught classes for bioinformatics librarians on the use of bioinformatics databases and tools created by NCBI.

In support of the NIH Pain Consortium's Centers of Excellence in Pain Education, Dr. Messersmith provided vision and creative content development for several online professional education resources for pain management. Dr. Messersmith led biomedical science education efforts as a university professor, project director, company-owner, science teacher and tutor. She created online interactive science modules, animations, and simulated laboratories for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, designed web-based curricula, and led clinician and professional educational programs.

Dr. Messersmith earned her bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Maryland, College Park and her doctorate in anatomy and cell biology with an emphasis in neuroscience from Georgetown University Medical Center. She conducted post-doctoral research in molecular neurobiology in the intramural program at the National Institute of Dental Research at NIH.

Last updated: August 20, 2018