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NIH Director Appoints Associate Director for Disease Prevention and Director of ODP

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National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., has announced the appointment of David M. Murray, Ph.D., as Associate Director for Disease Prevention and Director of the Office of Disease Prevention (ODP). Dr. Murray is expected to join the NIH on September 23, 2012.

"This is an exciting time for research in disease prevention and health promotion, which is gaining more and more visibility at the NIH," said Dr. Collins. "I am confident that Dr. Murray's experience will be a strong complement to the mission of the ODP."

The Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) is the lead office at the National Institutes of Health responsible for assessing, facilitating, and stimulating research on 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.

Dr. Murray comes to the NIH from The Ohio State University, where he is chair and professor of the Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health.

He has spent his career evaluating intervention programs designed to improve the public health.

In particular, Dr. Murray has focused on the design and analysis of group-randomized trials in which identifiable social groups are randomized to conditions and members of those groups are observed to assess the effect of an intervention.

He also conducts research to develop and test new methods for their analysis.

Dr. Murray earned a B.A. in psychology from Denison University and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Tennessee. Much of Dr. Murray's research support has come from NIH on a wide range of diseases and health behaviors in diverse populations.

Dr. Murray served as the first chair of the Community-Level Health Promotion study section at the NIH. He has sat on NIH Review Committees of the NHLBI, NCI, and NIDA, he has also taught courses on writing NIH research grants and worked on more than 40 NIH-funded grants and contracts, including many multi-center trials.

Dr. Murray is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Public Health Association, the American Statistical Association, the Society for Epidemiologic Research, and the Society for Prevention Research.

Dr. Collins added, "I want to thank Dr. Paul Coates for his service as Acting Director of ODP since December 2010. Paul provided strong leadership to the Office in carrying out its mission and vision and by coordinating the development of its priority program areas. We are fortunate that he will remain as Director of the Office of Dietary Supplements, ODP."

ODP is a component of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives(DPCPSI) (http://dpcpsi.nih.gov/index.aspx), 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.