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Director's Messages

Strategic Priority IV Update

Strategic Priority IV aims to promote collaboration in prevention research across the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and with government and private partners. The goal is to identify and share best practices and models in collaboration, build support infrastructure, and coordinate funding opportunities.

In 2016, the ODP created five new trans-NIH scientific interest groups (SIGs) organized around prevention topics not already covered by existing groups. The current Prevention SIGs are:

  • Screening in Children
  • Screening in Adults
  • Genetics of Prevention
  • Evaluating Environmental, Policy, and Systems-Level Interventions
  • Interventions To Prevent or Delay the Onset of Comorbid Diseases.

In addition, we are working with the NIH Tobacco and Nicotine Research Interest Group and the NIH Exercise Interest Group to advance prevention research activities in those areas.

The Prevention SIGs facilitate scientific discussions on prevention research among staff members from across the NIH. We anticipate this dialog will lead to new activities that can better address gaps in prevention research. The SIGs have already produced four funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) related to e-cigarette prevention research (R21, R01) and their health effects (R21, R01). Additionally, their work has led to the release of two FOAs related to physical activity (R21/R33, R01).

The ODP provides co-funding for a wide range of prevention research efforts across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2017, we supported meetings, workshops, and conferences on topics including cardiovascular disease and stroke, alcohol-related suicide, and genomics and precision health. We provided co-funding for two National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute projects: accumulating data to predict obesity treatment core measures, and data collection to support the tracking of Healthy People 2020 heart disease and stroke objectives. We also helped fund the Coordinating Center for the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR). Several ODP staff members serve on NCCOR workgroups and provide input to advance research to prevent childhood obesity.

The ODP helps strengthen prevention components of NIH Institutes and Centers by providing comments on strategic plans and helping develop and refine FOAs. In 2017, the ODP offered recommendations to the Office of Research on Women's Health and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities for their strategic plans, as well as to the NIH-wide Nutrition Research Task Force. Additionally, we post prevention-related FOAs on our website and currently list more than 200 active opportunities.

As we look to the future, the ODP will continue to expand its efforts to support collaboration and promote prevention research.

David M. Murray, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Prevention
Director of the Office of Disease Prevention