Director's Messages

David Murray, Ph.D.

David M. Murray, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Prevention
Director, Office of Disease Prevention

Biography and Publications

What's New

Celebrating 35 Years of Putting Prevention Research First

October 2021

I’m honored to mark the 35th anniversary of the ODP. Our Office was founded in 1986 to promote and coordinate prevention research across the NIH and with other public and private partners. The field has changed dramatically since then. To get a sense of how much has been accomplished, ODP staff and I took some time to consider the past, present, and future of prevention research.


New and Updated Resources Available To Help Design Rigorous Clinical Trials

June 2021

(This message originally appeared as a guest post on the NIH Office of Extramural Research’s Open Mike blog on June 9, 2021.) In 2017, we launched the NIH Research Methods Resources (RMR) website to help address these concerns. Since the site was recently revamped, we wanted to spotlight the new available tools and resources that can help you better plan the design, conduct, and analysis of rigorous NIH-defined clinical trials.

Ending Structural Racism in Biomedical Research and Eliminating Health Disparities

March 2021

The ODP stands with NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins, and the 27 NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices in support of the new UNITE initiative to end structural racism and racial inequities in biomedical research.

Spotlight on 2020

February 2021

I am pleased to share our Spotlight on 2020 report highlighting a few of the accomplishments our Office has achieved over the last year. The report summarizes key projects and outlines their potential impact on the health of communities across the United States. 


A Q&A with Dr. Julia Marcus, the 2020 ODP Early-Stage Investigator Lecture Awardee

October 2020

It is our pleasure to announce that ODP’s 2020 Early-Stage Investigator Lecture awardee is Dr. Julia Marcus. Her research focuses on improving the implementation of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention. We spoke to Dr. Marcus to learn more about her work, her perspective on the challenges facing HIV prevention research, and her approach to public health.

An Action Plan for Research To Achieve Health Equity in Clinical Preventive Services

August 2020

After several years of work and collaboration, the ODP is excited to share the Federal Partners Meeting Report for the Pathways to Prevention Workshop on Achieving Health Equity in Preventive Services. The report highlights opportunities for collaboration and resources that researchers and government agencies can use to address disparities in the use of clinical services for early detection and prevention of common chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. 

ODP Training Resources for Prevention Researchers

July 2020

The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the way we live, learn, and engage with one another. Even as our communities begin to reopen, taking preventive measuressuch as wearing a mask to cover your nose and mouth, physical distancing, and frequently washing your handsis still critically important to help reduce the spread of this virus. Unfortunately, these measures often make in-person learning much less feasible.

An Update on Our Ongoing Efforts To Advance Disease Prevention Research in the Time of COVID-19

May 2020

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed all our lives in so many ways, and it has certainly changed things for the ODP. Like many of you, we have moved to full-time telework as a means of physical distancing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is critically important for all of us to take these kinds of preventive measures, and we all have a role to play in protecting each other’s health.

Spotlight on 2019

January 2020

We are excited to share our Spotlight on 2019 report highlighting a few of the ODP's accomplishments last year. The report summarizes key projects related to each of the ODP’s six strategic priorities and outlines how they impact public health.


ODP Study Suggests the U.S. Could Benefit from More Prevention Research on Leading Risk Factors and Causes of Death and Disability

November 2019

A new paper from the Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) reports that the level of support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for prevention research on the leading risk factors and causes of death and disability in the United States falls well below their burden on the nation's health.

Q&A: ODP’s Helen Meissner Discusses the FDA’s New Cigarette Warning Labels and Tobacco Regulatory Science

September 2019

On August 15 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed new rule to require color graphic health warnings for cigarette packaging and advertisements. Helen Meissner, Ph.D., Sc.M. discusses the research behind the proposed new graphic health warnings for cigarette packaging and advertisements.

A Conversation with the 2019 ODP Early-Stage Investigator Lecture Awardees

May 2019

On March 27, 2019, Drs. Valerie Earnshaw and Siobhan Phillips came to the NIH to present their work. We sat down with them for a conversation about how they arrived in their areas of research and what advice they have for graduate students and fellows looking to follow similar paths.

Updating the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

February 2019

Physical activity is one of the best ways to improve health, no matter your age; however, evidence shows that Americans aren’t getting enough of it. According to federal monitoring data, only 26% of men, 19% of women, and 20% of adolescents meet the guidelines for physical activity.


New Papers from the ODP: Characterizing the NIH Prevention Research Portfolio Using a Novel Machine Learning Approach

November 2018

This is a guest message from Sheri D. Schully, Ph.D. Dr. Schully leads the ODP team that analyzes and monitors NIH investments in prevention research, including developing new methods and tools for characterizing NIH research. In October 2018, Dr. Schully and her team published two papers in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine about the ODP’s analysis of the NIH prevention research portfolio.

Introducing the ODP’s New Strategic Plan – Prevention Research: Building a Healthier Future

October 2018

I am pleased to present the ODP Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2019–2023, Prevention Research: Building a Healthier Future. This plan outlines how our efforts will help shape the landscape of prevention research over the next 5 years and presents the priorities for the Office.

Special Update: The All of Us Research Program National Launch

May 2018

The All of Us Research Program, which began national enrollment on May 6, is a historic effort to gather data from 1 million or more people living in the United States to advance individualized prevention, treatment, and care for people of all backgrounds. Supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), All of Us is expected to be the largest and most diverse longitudinal health research program ever developed.