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Portrait of David Henderson

David Henderson, MD
Deputy Director for Clinical Care
Associate Director for Hospital Epidemiology and Quality Improvement

Academic Degrees
BA, Hanover College 
MD, University of Chicago


Phone: 301-496-3515

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NIH Clinical Center Senior Staff

David Henderson, MD


Dr. David Henderson is deputy director for clinical care and associate director for clinical quality, patient safety, and hospital epidemiology at the NIH Clinical Center. He came to NIH in 1979 as the Clinical Center's first hospital epidemiologist.

Dr. Henderson's primary research interests are in the occupational risks for, and prevention of, transmission of bloodborne pathogens, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV, in the healthcare setting, as well as in the epidemiology and prevention of healthcare-associated transmission of multidrug resistant organisms. More recently, Dr. Henderson provided the executive leadership for a team of NIH clinicians and staff in developing and implementing a high-containment clinical unit for the care of patients infected with highly transmissible infections, and, subsequently, in providing care at the NIH Clinical Center for patients who have, or have been exposed to, Ebola Virus Disease.

After earning his undergraduate degree from Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana and his medical degree from the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Henderson completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a two-year fellowship in infectious diseases at Harbor-UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) Medical Center. Subsequently, he was appointed assistant professor of medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine.

An invited speaker internationally, Dr. Henderson also is a frequently invited consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles as well as dozens of book chapters. His membership in medical organizations focuses on those with involvement in infectious diseases and epidemiology. He is a member of the Rapid Communications Task Force of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and was selected as the initial Chair of the SHEA Research Committee. In 2009 he was named to the DHHS Secretary's Steering Committee for the Prevention of Healthcare Associated Infections. He is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a fellow of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology in America.

Honors and Awards

Dr. Henderson has received two Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Distinguished Service Awards, (from former HHS secretaries, Tommy Thompson and Michael Leavitt); six NIH Director's Awards (2012, 2009, 2006, 2001,1998, and 1992). He has also merited a Public Health Service Special Recognition Award, a CC Director's Award, two Director's Merit Awards for Significant Achievement from the National Institute of Mental Health and, In 2010, to honor his career contributions to healthcare epidemiology, he was selected by the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology in America (SHEA) as the SHEA Lecturer, for the 5th International Decennial Conference on Nosocomial Infections. In 2005 he was named NIH Liaison to the DHHS Secretary's Healthcare Infection Control Policy Advisory Committee (HICPAC). He is also a member of the DHHS Secretary's steering committee to develop an action plan for Adverse Drug Events. In 2013, he and three of his colleagues received the Service to America (SAMMIE) Award as "Federal Employees of the Year" for their work in controlling spread of MDROs in the Clinical Center.

Selected Publications


Palmore TN, Henderson DK. Controlling the Spread of Resistant Pathogens in the Intensive Care Unit. Chapter 89, in Mayers, D (ed) Antimicrobial Drug Resistance. Humana Press, Springer Publishing, New York, NY. 2015, in press.

Beekmann SE, Henderson DK. Laboratory Support for Bloodborne Pathogen Exposures. In Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, Garcia, L. (Editor–in-Chief). American Society for Microbiology Press, Washington, DC. 2015, in press.

Beekmann SE, Henderson DK. Chapter 41, Vascular Infection. In Clinical Infectious Diseases, Schlossberg, D. (Ed). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 2015, in press.

Palmore TN, Henderson DK. Nosocomial herpesvirus infections. Chapter 308, In, Bennett JE, Dolin R, and Blaser MJ (Eds): Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th Edition Elsevier, Churchill, Livingstone New York, 2014. 3376-83

Beekmann SE, Henderson DK. Infections caused by percutaneous intravascular devices. Chapter 302. In, Bennett JE, Dolin R, and Blaser MJ (Eds): Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th Edition Elsevier, Churchill, Livingstone New York, 2014. 3310-24.

Henderson DK. Human immunodeficiency virus in healthcare settings. Chapter 307, In, Bennett JE, Dolin R, and Blaser MJ (Eds): Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th Edition Elsevier, Churchill, Livingstone New York, 2014. 3361-75.

Henderson DK. Preventing Transmission of Bloodborne Pathogens in the Healthcare Setting. Chapter 43. In Jarvis WR, (Ed): Bennett and Brachman's Nosocomial Infections. 6th Edition. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA, 2014. 644-66.

Lee LM, Yessis, J, Kost RG, Henderson DK Managing clinical risk and measuring participants' perceptions of the clinical research process. Chapter 39. In Gallin JI and Ognibene FO, (Eds): Principles and Practices of Clinical Research. Third Edition. Elsevier, San Diego, CA, 2011. 573-587.

Palmore, TN, Henderson DK. Employee Health/Occupational Medicine, Biosafety, and Infection Control. Chapter 24, In, Lautenbach E, Woeltje K, and Malani P (Eds): Practical Healthcare Epidemiology. 3rd Edition, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 2010; 319-30.

Lee, LM, Henderson DK. Hospital preparedness for emerging and highly contagious infectious diseases. Chapter 16, In, Mandell GL, Bennett JE, and Dolin R, (Eds): Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th Edition Elsevier Churchill, Livingstone New York, 2009; 221-31.

Henderson DK, Fishman NO. Prevention and Control of Healthcare-Associated Infections, Chapter 305. In, Goldman L, and Bennett JC, (Eds): Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 22nd Edition. Elsevier Publishing, NY, NY, 2006, 2124-32.

Beekmann SE, Henderson DK. Chapter 79: Nosocomial human immunodeficiency virus infection in health-care workers. In, Mayhall CG (Ed): Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, 3rd Edition. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, 2004, 1361-79.

Henderson DK, Beekmann SE. Chapter 78: Nosocomial viral hepatitis in health-care workers. In, Mayhall CG (Ed): Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, 3rd Edition. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, 2004, 1337-60.

Henderson DK, Gerberding JL. Occupational and nonoccupational exposure management. In Dolin R, Masur H, and Saag MS (Eds): AIDS Therapy, 2nd ed. Churchill Livingstone, Philadelphia PA, 2003.327-46.

Henderson DK. Chapter 5.02b. Preventing occupational infection with the human immunodeficiency virus in the healthcare environment. In Powderly WG and Cohen J (Eds): Infectious Diseases, 2nd ed. Mosby, London, England, UK 2003, 1217-22.


Palmore TN, Barrett, K. Davey RT, Henderson DK. Challenges in managing patients who have suspected or confirmed Ebola Virus infection at the National Institutes of Health. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol.. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2015, available on CJO2015. doi:10.1017/ice.2015.60.

Conlan S, Thomas PJ, Deming C, Park M, Lau AF, Dekker JP, Snitkin ES, Clark TA, Luong K, Song, Tsai Y-C, Boitano M, Gupta I, Brooks SY, Schmidt B, Alice C. AC, Thomas JW, Bouffard GG, Blakesley RW, NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Mullikin JC, Korlach J, Henderson DK, Frank KM*, Palmore TN*, Segre JA. Single molecule sequencing to track plasmid diversity of hospital-associated carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Sci Trans Med 2014 Sci Transl Med. 6(254), p. 254ra126 (1-12).

Kost RG, Lee L, Yessis J, Henderson DK, Wesley R, Coller BS. Assessing participant-centered outcomes to improve clinical research. N Engl J Med. 2013; 369(23): 2179-81.

Palmore TN, Henderson DK. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae: a call for cultural change. Ann Intern Med. 2014; 160(8):567-9.

Palmore TN, Henderson DK. Managing transmission of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in healthcare settings:  A view from the trenches. Clin Infect Dis 2013 57(11): 1593-1599.

Kuhar DT, Henderson DK, Struble KA, Panlilio AL, Heneine W, Thomas V, Cheever LW, Gomaa A. Updated U.S. Public Health Service guidelines for the management of occupational exposures to HIV and recommendations for postexposure prophylaxis. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2013; 34(9): 875-92 (electronically published August 6, 2013).

Snitkin ES, Zelazny AM, Thomas PJ, Stock F, National Institutes of Health Intramural Sequencing Center Comparative Sequencing Program, Henderson DK, Palmore TN, Segre JA. Tracking a hospital outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae with whole genome sequencing. Science Translat Med 2012; 4(148)ra116 (1-9).

Henderson DK. Management of needlestick injuries: A houseofficer who sustains a needle stick during a code. JAMA 2012;307(1): 75-84.

Henderson DK. Use of adherence monitors as part of a team approach to control clonal spread of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in a research hospital. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011; 32(12): 1166-72.

Turkel S, Henderson DK. Current strategies for managing providers infected with bloodborne pathogens. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011; 32(5): 428-434.

Palmore TN, Michelin A, Bordner M, Odom R, Stock F, Fedorko D, Murray PR, Henderson DK, Palmore TN. Critical knowledge gaps in the epidemiology and pathophysiology of healthcare-associated infections. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010; 31(S1): S4-6.

Henderson DK. Opportunists and opportunities: The 2010 SHEA Lecture. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010; 31(S1): S66-69.

Henderson DK, Bonten M, Fishman NO, Gordon S, Harbarth S, Harris AD, Lautenbach E, Palmore TN, Perencevich EN, Perl TM, Platt R, Saint S, Samore M, MD, Sherertz R, Weber DJ, Weinstein RA, Deloney V, Sinaii N. Charting the course for the future of science in healthcare epidemiology: Results of a survey of the membership of The Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010; 31(7): 669-75.

Lautenbach E, Saint S, Henderson DK, Harris AD. Initial response of healthcare institutions to emergence of H1N1 influenza: Experiences, obstacles, and perceived future needs. Clin Infect Dis. 2010; 50(4): 523-7.

Henderson DK, Grady C, Palmore TN, Weber D, Sepkowitz K, Dembry L, Lundstrom T, Fishman NO. Position Paper: Management of healthcare workers who are infected with HBV, HCV and HIV. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010; 31(3): 204-32.

Palmore TN, Bonten M, Fishman N, Gordon S, Harbarth S, MD, Harris A, Lautenbach E, Perencevich E, Perl T, Platt R, Saint S, Samore M, Sheretz R, Weinstein RA, Henderson DK. White Paper: Enhancing patient safety by reducing healthcare-associated infection: the role of discovery and dissemination. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010; 31(2):118-23.

Palmore TN, Vandersluis JP, Morris J, Michelin A, Ruprecht L, Schmitt JM, Henderson DK. A successful mandatory influenza vaccination campaign using an innovative electronic tracking system. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2009; 30(12):1137-42.

Palmore TN, Stock F, White M, Bordner MA, Michelin A, Bennett JE, Murray PR, Henderson DK. A cluster of nosocomial Legionnaire's disease linked to a contaminated hospital decorative water fountain. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2009; 30(8):764-8.

Henderson DK. Malanoski MP, Corapi G, Passamani E, Notobartolo C, Gillette C, Hawes P, Lee LM. The Bethesda Hospitals' Emergency Preparedness Partnership: A model for trans-institutional collaboration of emergency responses. Disaster Med Pub Hlth Prepared. 2009; 3(3):168-73.

Henderson DK. Managing occupational risks for hepatitis C transmission in the healthcare setting. Clin Microbiol Rev 2003;16(3):546-68.

Weinstein RA, Henderson DK. A double-edged sword and a golden opportunity for healthcare epidemiology. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2009; 30(1):1-3.

Lee LM, Henderson DK. Tolerability of Postexposure Antiretroviral Prophylaxis for Occupational Exposures to HIV, Drug Safety 2001: 24(8); 587-97.

Henderson DK. Postexposure chemoprophylaxis for occupational exposures to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. JAMA 1999; 281(10):931-6.

Henderson DK. Postexposure antiretroviral chemoprophylaxis: embracing risk for safety’s sake. N Engl J Med 1997;337(21):1542-3.

Lee L, Anderson V, Piringer P, Boone J. Henderson DK. An epidemiologic approach to quality improvement, quality assurance and clinical research. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1992;13:545-52.

Gerberding JL, Henderson DK. Managing occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens: Hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus. Clinical Infect Dis 1992;14:1179-85.

Fahey BJ, Koziol DE, Banks SM, Henderson DK. Frequency of nonparenteral occupational exposures to blood and body fluids before and after universal precautions training. Amer J Med 1991;90:145-53.

Henderson DK, Saah AJ, Zak BJ, et al. Risk of nosocomial infection with human T-cell lymphotropic virus-III (HTLV-III) in a large cohort of intensively exposed health care workers. Ann Intern Med 1986;104:644-7.

Henderson DK, Bennett JE, Huber M. Long-lasting, specific immunologic unresponsiveness associated with cryptococcosis. J Clin Invest 1982;69:1185-90.

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