Dr. Villani joined the Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) in April 2014. She conducts a wide range of research activities to advance disease prevention. At present, she is developing and testing a new method for portfolio analysis that utilizes machine learning to characterize National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards based on a taxonomy for prevention research. In addition, Dr. Villani is identifying knowledge gaps in prevention science, examining the NIH research portfolio, and collaborating with NIH Institutes and Centers to promote a research agenda that addresses these needs.
As the NIH representative to the Healthy People 2020 Federal Interagency Workgroup, Dr. Villani oversees and coordinates NIH participation in the development and evaluation of the Healthy People initiative.
Prior to joining the ODP, Dr. Villani was a Program Analyst at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Her responsibilities included conducting portfolio analyses and program evaluations in areas such as infectious disease modeling, multiscale modeling, and other topics in computational biology.
She earned her Ph.D. in Health Services Research from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the George Washington University. Her research foci include preventive medicine, patient-provider communication, health literacy, and health care disparities. Dr. Villani is a graduate of the NIH Mid-Level Leadership Program and has been recognized by numerous awards, including an NIH Director's Award, two Honor Awards from the NIH Office of the Director, two NIGMS Director's Recognition Awards, and the NIGMS Outstanding Communicator Award.