NINDS Names Dr. Clinton B. Wright as Director of the Office of Clinical Research

NINDS Names Dr. Clinton B. Wright as Director of the Office of Clinical Research

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has named vascular neurologist Clinton B. Wright, M.D., M.S., as director of its Office of Clinical Research (OCR) and associate director of the institute. Dr. Wright is expected to join the NINDS in November. NINDS is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Dr. Wright’s extensive clinical and research experience make him extremely qualified to lead OCR,” said Walter Koroshetz, M.D., NINDS director. “We are delighted to welcome Dr. Wright and look forward to working with him to promote the highest standards of NINDS-supported clinical research studies and to advance our mission to reduce the burden of illness due to neurological disorders and stroke.”

OCR was established to shepherd the development of high quality, efficient trials of interventions to improve patient outcomes. OCR also coordinates clinical research throughout the extramural NINDS and with other NIH Institutes, disease organizations, Federal and private partners. On a day to day basis, OCR staff provide guidance in the development of research applications, monitor progress of clinical research projects and ensure safety of clinical trial participants. NINDS also funds and helps manage clinical trial networks for Phase II trials of novel interventions and biomarkers, stroke, and neurological emergencies.

Dr. Wright will join the NINDS from the University of Miami, where he serves as Evelyn F. McKnight Chair for Learning and Memory in the Aging, professor of neurology, public health sciences, and neuroscience, and chief of the Division of Cognitive Disorders. He has served as scientific director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Miami since 2008. He is a member of several professional societies, including the American Academy of Neurology and the American Heart Association.

The focus of Dr. Wright’s research has been on the effects of vascular risk factors and disease, such as subclinical cerebrovascular damage and stroke, on brain structure and cognitive function. He has worked to identify disparities in subclinical cerebrovascular damage among blacks and Latinos and has highlighted key lifestyle and potentially modifiable vascular risk factors. He has also studied the effects of vascular disease on aging-related cognitive changes and recently found that physical activity may help slow down problems with thinking and memory in older people. Dr. Wright has served as an investigator in the population-based Northern Manhattan Study as well as on other observational studies such as the Hispanic Communities Health Study, and clinical trials, including the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), a multi-million dollar, trans-NIH trial examining the effects of intensive blood pressure lowering on heart disease, stroke and cognitive skills.

He earned his M.D. from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Upon receiving his M.D., he completed a neurology residency and then a vascular neurology fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center under an NIH-funded training program. Dr. Wright also earned an M.S. in epidemiology from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He was an assistant professor at the College of Physicians and Surgeons until moving to the University of Miami.


The NINDS ( is the nation’s leading funder of research on the brain and nervous system. The mission of NINDS is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

Dr. Clinton B. Wright
Director, Office of Clinical Research