Wendy Henderson

Wendy A. Henderson, C.R.N.P., M.S.N., Ph.D.

Wendy A. Henderson, C.R.N.P., M.S.N., Ph.D.

Chief, Digestive Disorders Unit, Biobehavioral Branch, Division of Intramural Research
National Institute of Nursing Research

American Indian (Cherokee descent)
Clinical Research: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pediatric Gastroenterology Department
Fellowship(s): Jewish Healthcare Foundation; Clinical Translational Science Institute
Doctoral: University of Pittsburgh, Nursing
Postdoctoral Fellowship: National Institute of Nursing Research, Intramural Program

Wendy A. Henderson, PhD, MSN, CRNP is the Chief of the Digestive Disorders Unit within NINR’s Division of Intramural Research. Her interest in symptomatology in patients with gastrointestinal and liver disorders stems from her clinical and research experience at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pediatric Gastroenterology Department, where she served as a faculty member, nurse practitioner and research coordinator. She completed a Patient Safety Fellowship, through the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. In 2007, Dr. Henderson obtained her PhD in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh, where she was also a Clinical and Translational Science Institute Fellow. The same year, she joined NINR as a staff scientist, conducting research on the immuno-genetic mechanisms involved in symptom distress related to digestive and liver diseases. After completing two years of postdoctoral training as a Staff Scientist in the intramural program of the NINR, Dr. Henderson was appointed as an Assistant Clinical Investigator in 2009 and then joined the NINR tenure-track faculty in the NIH Division of Intramural Research in 2011.

As a primary investigator on multiple studies at the NIH, Dr. Henderson is currently focused on Brain-Gut Microbiota Axis and chronic effects of stress on intestinal health across the lifespan. She developed the Gastrointestinal Pain Pointer (GIPP) technology to provide clinicians with a more integrated tool for GI symptom assessment—one that includes location, intensity, quality, and physiologic parameters. Through a Brain-Gut natural history study, Dr. Henderson also assesses Brain-Gut interactions in normal weight and overweight patients with chronic abdominal pain of unknown origin.

Dr. Henderson serves as a member of the Women Scientist Advisors Committee and the Intramural Program of Research on Women’s Health Steering Committee. She also serves as NINR’s NIH Liaison for the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) and as a pediatric gastrointestinal clinical consultant at the NIH Clinical Research Center. Among other awards, Dr. Henderson has received an NINR Director’s Award for Innovation and Leadership.