Kent Adams, 28, an employe of the National Institutes of Health and a resident of Northern Virginia since 1963, died at Commonwealth Doctors Hospital in Fairfax Jan. 10 as a result of injuries he received in an automobile accident earlier that day.

A spokesman for the Fairfax County police department said Mr. Adams was southbound on Vale Road when the car he was driving ran out of control near Waples Mill Road and struck two trees and a fence. They said Mr. Adams was thrown from the vehicle.

Mr. Adams, who was born in Norfolk, was a 1971 graduate of West Springfield High School and a 1975 graduate of the College of William & Mary. He earned a master's degree in physiology at Georgetown University. He lived in Springfield until moving to Arlington a short time ago.

He had been a contract employe at NIH for the past year. Before that, he had been a cardiac technician at George Washington Hospital for three years.

Survivors include his parents, James E. and Madelyn Adams, both of Springfield; a brother, James L., of Signal Mountain, Tenn., and a grandmother, Madelyn P. Knowles, of Chapel Hill, N.C.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Kent Adams Memorial Fund, Eastern Virginia Medical Foundation, 358 Mowbray Arch, P.O. Box 5, Norfolk, Va., 23501