To meet NCI's health disparities priorities, many NCI Divisions, Centers, and Offices are engaged in health disparities research and related activities. This section outlines basic information about the NCI Divisions, Offices, and Centers contributing to the advancement of science to reduce and ultimately eliminate cancer health disparities.
The NCI Center for Bioinformatics (NCICB) helps speed scientific discovery and facilitates translational research by building many types of tools and resources that enable information to be shared along the continuum from the scientific bench to the clinical bedside and back. NCICB offers critical open-source infrastructure components that others can use to develop valuable databases and software tools to meet specific research needs. NCICB's expanding suite of tools is built from these foundational components. Our projects bring tools and partners together to tackle key challenges.
A world leader in developing lifesaving treatments for cancer and home to many of the major breakthroughs in cancer research and care, the NCI's Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is the largest component of the Institute's intramural (i.e., in-house) research program. At the forefront of scientific investigation, CCR's scientists and clinicians are finding better ways to diagnose, prevent, and treat cancer and related illnesses. Our investigators work together to help translate new scientific discoveries into state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and therapies for cancer patients.
The mission of the Division of Cancer Biology (DCB) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is to ensure continuity and stability in basic cancer research while encouraging and facilitating the emergence of new ideas, concepts, technologies, and possibilities. DCB strives to achieve this goal by promoting a balance between the continued support of existing research areas and selective support of emerging research areas. Providing guidance, advice, funding information, and financial support to grantees and applicants maintains continuity while reducing their administrative burden. The expansion of new research areas is encouraged through a range of initiatives and funding mechanisms sponsored by the DCB. The scientific discoveries from this research base are critical to the goal of the NCI since they form the intellectual and scientific foundation on which strategies for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer are developed.
DCCPS aims to reduce risk, incidence, and deaths from cancer as well as enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors. The division conducts and supports an integrated program of the highest quality genetic, epidemiological, behavioral, social, applied, and surveillance cancer research. DCCPS-funded research aims to understand the causes and distribution of cancer in populations, support the development and delivery of effective interventions, and monitor and explain cancer trends in all segments of the population. Central to these activities is the process of synthesis and decision making that aids in evaluating what has been learned, identifying new priorities and strategies, and effectively applying research discoveries to reduce the cancer burden.
The Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) is an intramural research program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), that conducts population and multidisciplinary research to discover the genetic and environmental determinants of cancer and new approaches to cancer prevention. Through its programs in cancer epidemiology, genetics, statistics, and related areas, the Division (1) conducts broad-based, high quality, high impact research; (2) maintains a national and international perspective, giving priority to emergent issues identified through clinical, laboratory, and epidemiologic observations, as well as to the public health concerns identified by the Institute, Congress, regulatory agencies, and other appropriate bodies; (3) develops infrastructures, resources, and strategic partnerships in molecular epidemiology across NCI, NIH, and the extramural community; and (4) trains the next generation of scientists in cancer epidemiology and related fields.
The Division of Cancer Prevention is a growing, dynamic matrix organization committed to evidence-based cancer prevention research. The goals are to advance biomedical science, strengthen preventive medicine and improve public health. Research is carried out through the positive interactive efforts of all DCP staff dedicated to the success of the Division's activities.
DCTD attempts to identify and exploit the most promising areas of science and technology and to initiate, enable, and conduct research that will yield important new knowledge that is likely to lead to better diagnostic or therapeutic interventions in the various cancers that affect children and adults. We work towards this goal through the administration of grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements, as well as through a series of strategically planned workshops and conferences with scientists, clinicians, public and private partners, and a vigorous program of in-house applied research tied to investigators and goals in the extramural community. DCTD hopes to improve the lives of the American public by discovering and implementing better ways to diagnose, assess, treat, and cure cancer through stimulating, coordinating, and funding a national program of cancer research.
The Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) is administratively under the Office of the Director with the goal to increase the amount of high-quality cancer research and information about the use of complementary and alternative modalities by:
- Promoting and supporting research of CAM disciplines and modalities as they relate to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, cancer-related symptoms, and side effects of conventional treatment.
- Coordinating NCI's CAM research and information activities.
- Coordinating NCI's collaboration with other governmental and non-governmental organizations on CAM cancer issues.
- Providing an interface with health practitioners and researchers regarding CAM cancer issues.
The Office of Centers, Training and Resources (OCTR) has the principal responsibility for (1) planning and directing an extramural program of support for NCI Cancer Centers; (2) serving as the focal point for the NCI's extramural research in translational science through the Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) program; (3) developing and supporting cancer training and career development at the individual and programmatic levels; (4) providing support for novel training and career development opportunities for minorities and underserved cancer investigators; and (5) coordinating program activities with other NIH Divisions, Institutes, or Federal and State agencies, and establishing liaisons with professional and voluntary health agencies, as well as national and international cancer organizations.
OCTR is comprised of four branches: They are:
The Office of Communications and Education (OCE) is one of the most trusted and valued resources for cancer communications strategy within the NCI and for cancer information among the larger cancer community. The OCE provides the highest level of excellence, expertise, and services to the general public, the media, health professionals, and partner organizations. The mission of OCE is to effectively communicate the most up-to-date, evidence-based information related to cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship across the U.S. and around the world.
In support of the NCI goal to eliminate suffering and death due to cancer, the Office of Education and Special Initiatives (OESI) develops, implements, and evaluates education programs across the cancer continuum. OESI also manages NCI initiatives and programs that focus upon NCI special priorities in cancer research and treatment in addition to cancer education models that best target these areas. Through education programs and special initiatives, OESI translates cancer discovery and development into improved health outcomes and enhancing quality of life for all people.
The Office of Liaison Activities was established to help strengthen NCI's communications and relationships with national advocacy and voluntary organizations who work with consumer advocates, and scientific and professional societies concerned about cancer. The office disseminates information to individuals and advocacy groups, seeks input and feedback from these organizations, and encourages partnering and collaboration with them. OLA works collaboratively within the NCI to serve as a source of expertise concerning the consumer advocate viewpoint and to work with all NCI staff and contractors to involve the advocate community in the most appropriate way.
The Office of Science Planning and Assessment (OSPA) is primarily responsible for the development and coordination of NCI's scientific planning and evaluation activities. Through consultation, guidance, and analysis across NCI and with broader cancer constituencies, OSPA efforts enable NCI to: (1) identify needs and opportunities for cancer research, (2) establish research goals and develop sound plans for achieving these goals; and (3) measure and report Institute-wide progress toward the reduction of suffering and death due to cancer. OSPA carries out its mission through the activities of the following four interconnected groups:
The NCI Office of Workforce Development identifies and implements programs designed to foster diverse, supportive workplaces. These environments promote discovery and research while ensuring that Institute scientists, medical staff, administrators, and support staff enjoy quality work lives in which each employee may reach his or her full potential.