Parker Ruhl, M.D., M.H.S.

Physiology Unit

Parker Ruhl, M.D., M.H.S.

Associate Research Physician, Physiology Unit, LMVR
Pulmonary Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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Parker Ruhl, M.D., M.H.S.

Major Areas of Research

  • Alpha thalassemia and erythroid and non-erythroid effects of alpha globin gene variants
  • Pulmonary manifestations of sickle cell disease
  • Population and international health
  • Critical care outcomes and economic evaluations

Program Description

As a member of the Physiology Unit, Dr. Ruhl leads clinical research efforts within a translational research team focused on the impact of Alpha thalassemia on human health, including the impact of varying alpha globin gene variants on sickle cell disease and malaria.

Dr. Ruhl is the principal investigator of clinical protocols screening subjects for variations in alpha globin gene variants and collecting biospecimens in order to identify and describe the underlying changes in pathophysiology, including vascular function, based on alpha globin gene variants. Dr. Ruhl is also engaged in population health studies to evaluate potential impacts of alpha globin gene variants on several health outcome measures, including renal, cardiovascular, and pulmonary end-organ effects, in large regional and national cohort studies. Dr. Ruhl serves on the NIH Pulmonary Consult Service and routinely sees patients in the NIH Sickle Cell Program.



Dr. Ruhl attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed internal medicine training in the Osler Medical Residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She completed a combined fellowship in critical care medicine at the NIH Clinical Center and pulmonary medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and received a master’s of health sciences from the Duke University School of Medicine.

Dr. Ruhl is active in the professional community. She serves as vice chair of the NIH Staff Clinician Council and is a member of the Staff Clinician Professional Development Working Group, which serve to support physician professional development within the NIH Intramural Research Program. She serves as the executive board member of the Metropolitan DC Thoracic Society and as co-chair of the American Thoracic Society Sickle Cell Lung Disease Interest Group.

Selected Publications

Ruhl AP, Sadreameli SC, Allen JL, Bennett DP, Campbell AD, Coates TD, Diallo DA, Field JJ, Fiorino EK, Gladwin MT, Glassberg JA, Gordeuk VR, Graham LM, Greenough A, Howard J, Kato GJ, Knight-Madden J, Kopp BT, Koumbourlis AC, Lanzkron SM, Liem RI, Machado RF, Mehari A, Morris CR, Ogunlesi FO, Rosen CL, Smith-Whitley K, Tauber D, Terry N, Thein SL, Vichinsky E, Weir NA, Cohen RT, Klings ES. Identifying Clinical and Research Priorities in Sickle Cell Lung Disease. An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2019 Sep;16(9):e17-e32.

Zhao C, Sathya B, Nadal Rios R, Arai AE, Brofferio A, Thein SL, Ruhl AP. Catheter-related right atrial thrombus in sickle cell disease. Clin Case Rep. 2017 Sep 20;5(11):1898-1900.

Ruhl AP, Huang M, Colantuoni E, Karmarkar T, Dinglas VD, Hopkins RO, Needham DM; With the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Network. Healthcare utilization and costs in ARDS survivors: a 1-year longitudinal national US multicenter study. Intensive Care Med. 2017 Jul;43(7):980-991.

Ruhl AP, Huang M, Colantuoni E, Lord RK, Dinglas VD, Chong A, Sepulveda KA, Mendez-Tellez PA, Shanholtz CB, Steinwachs DM, Pronovost PJ, Needham DM. Healthcare Resource Use and Costs in Long-Term Survivors of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A 5-Year Longitudinal Cohort Study. Crit Care Med. 2017 Feb;45(2):196-204.

Ruhl AP, Lord RK, Panek JA, Colantuoni E, Sepulveda KA, Chong A, Dinglas VD, Shanholtz CB, Pronovost PJ, Steinwachs DM, Needham DM. Health care resource use and costs of two-year survivors of acute lung injury. An observational cohort study. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015 Mar;12(3):392-401.

Ruhl AP, Lord RK, Needham DM. Healthcare resource utilization and costs after critical illness: current knowledge and a plan for moving forward*. Crit Care Med. 2013 Aug;41(8):2030-1.

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