NIH: Office of Disease Prevention


About Us

The Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) is the lead Office at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) responsible for assessing, facilitating, and stimulating research in disease prevention and health promotion, and disseminating the results of this research to improve public health. Prevention is preferable to treatment, and research on disease prevention is an important part of the NIH's mission. The knowledge gained from this research leads to stronger clinical practice, health policy, and community health programs.

ODP collaborates with NIH and other public and private partners to achieve the Office's mission and goals. Learn more about what we do.

The NIH Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) was created as an Office within ODP to enhance research efforts that determine the benefits and risks of dietary supplements. The mission of ODS is to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, stimulating and supporting research, disseminating research results, and educating the public. Ultimately, we aim to improve the quality of life and health in the United States. Learn more about ODS.

ODP is a component of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI), which identifies and reports on research on important areas of emerging scientific opportunities, rising public health challenges, or knowledge gaps that deserve special emphasis. DPCPSI plans and implements trans-NIH initiatives supported by the NIH Common Fund and coordinates research related to AIDS, behavioral and social sciences, women's health, research infrastructure, science education, and strategic coordination of the NIH Common Fund. Learn more about DPCPSI.

Visit the DPCPSI site to view the organizational structure

View the NIH organizational structure

The ODP Mission

The mission of the ODP is to improve the public health by increasing the scope, quality, dissemination, and impact of prevention research supported by the NIH. The ODP will fulfill this mission by providing leadership for the development, coordination, and implementation of prevention research in collaboration with NIH Institutes and Centers and other partners.

The ODP Vision

By 2018, the ODP will extend its value as a resource to the NIH and the broader prevention research community, providing guidance in prevention research methodology, identifying gaps in existing evidence and facilitating coordination of new activities to address those gaps, promoting quality improvements in the review of prevention research, and increasing the impact and visibility of prevention research.

Four Main Focus Areas

  • Research Coordination

    The ODP facilitates research into disease prevention and health promotion at the NIH through the Prevention Research Coordinating Committee, in partnership with other federal agencies, and through collaborations with other public and private partners.

  • Evidence Assessment

    The ODP operates the Pathways to Prevention program, which identifies research gaps in a selected scientific area, identifies methodological and scientific weaknesses in that area, suggests research needs, and moves the field forward through an unbiased, evidence-based assessment of a complex public health issue.

  • Training and Education

    The ODP coordinates a variety of training and education programs, including: Medicine: Mind the Gap, a lecture series on cutting-edge differences between current science and practice, and the Robert S. Gordon, Jr. Lecture in Epidemiology, given each year by a prominent voice in prevention research.

  • Communications and Outreach

    The ODP responds to public inquiries and media requests about NIH programs focused on prevention research. The goal is to provide timely, accurate information about disease prevention and health promotion research and about ODP’s programs to a wide variety of internal and external audiences.