About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Advancing Therapeutic Development for Pain and Opioid Use ... Released: March 23, 2018
    Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent, costly, and disabling health conditions in the United States. In parallel with increasing recognition of the need to treat chronic pain, the opioid epidemic has emerged as a growing public health emergency. In 2017, the National Institutes of Health began exploring public-private partnerships to develop solutions to the opioid crisis and cut in half the time it takes to develop non-addictive analgesics. To help inform this effort, the National Academies’ Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous Systems Disorders hosted a public workshop that brought together experts and stakeholders from academia, federal agencies, advocacy organizations, and companies developing therapeutics for pain and opioid use disorders.
  • Implementing and Evaluating Genomic Screening Programs ... Released: March 16, 2018
    Genomic applications are being integrated into a broad range of clinical and research activities at health care systems across the United States. The genomics-based screening programs are clinical screening programs that examine genes or variants in unselected populations in order to identify individuals who are at an increased risk for a particular health concern (e.g., diseases, adverse drug outcomes) and who might benefit from clinical interventions.
  • Enabling Novel Treatments for Nervous System Disorders by ... Released: March 08, 2018
    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) presents a special challenge to the development of therapeutics for many central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Far from acting simply as a physical barrier, the BBB is a complex dynamic system involving several cell types, passive and active transport mechanisms, and adaptive function to control the exchange of substances between the blood and the CNS. Few therapeutic agents readily traverse the BBB to reach the brain or spinal cord, including most small molecule drugs and the vast majority of large molecules such as proteins.
  • Examining Challenges and Possible Strategies to Strengthen ... Released: October 18, 2017
    As the United States continues to adapt to a more digital, mobile, and interconnected world, health care and public health professionals have sought to better prepare for and respond to long-standing and emerging threats to the nation’s health security. Health security is the collective effort to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the health consequences of natural, man-made, and technological disasters.
  • Biomarkers of Neuroinflammation: Proceedings of a Workshop ... Released: September 15, 2017
    Innate and adaptive immunity have become very important areas of investigation for psychiatric, neurologic, and neurodevelopmental disorders, and neurodegeneration resulting from traumatic brain injury. To address these gaps in understanding mechanisms and how to translate that understanding into therapeutics, the Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop on March 20–21, 2017, bringing together key leaders in the field from industry, academia, and governmental agencies to explore the role and mechanisms of neuroinflammation in a variety of central nervous system diseases.
  • Preparing for the Future of Disaster Health Volunteerism ... Released: August 15, 2017
    The Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Disasters and Emergencies of the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a 4-hour session at the 2017 Preparedness Summit. The participants discussed potential characteristics of society in the year 2042 and the key resources, tools, and opportunities necessary to support the development of a robust, scalable, and regularly engaged disaster health volunteer workforce prepared for such a future.
  • Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic ... Released: August 10, 2017
    The United States has experienced and continues to face the threat of disasters, and, like all entities, the academic biomedical research community can be affected. The academic biomedical research community is a hub of employment, economic productivity, and scientific progress. Given the crucial contribution and substantial integration of these institutions into the national fabric, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened an expert committee to develop recommendations and guidance to enhance the disaster resilience of the academic biomedical research community.
  • Pain Management and the Opioid Epidemic: Balancing ... Released: July 13, 2017
    Drug overdose, driven largely by overdose related to the use of opioids, is now the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. The ongoing opioid crisis lies at the intersection of two public health challenges: reducing the burden of suffering from pain and containing the rising toll of the harms that can arise from the use of opioid medications. Chronic pain and opioid use disorder both represent complex human conditions affecting millions of Americans and causing untold disability and loss of function. In the context of the growing opioid problem, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an Opioids Action Plan in early 2016.
  • Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward ... Released: June 22, 2017
    Individuals, families, and societies around the world are concerned about dementia and the other forms of cognitive impairment that affect many older adults. It is now known that brain changes typically begin years—if not decades—before people show symptoms, which suggests that a window of opportunity exists to prevent, slow, or delay the onset of these conditions. Further, emerging evidence that the incidence and prevalence of dementia are declining in some high-income countries offers hope that public health interventions can be effective in preventing cognitive decline and dementia.
  • Integrating Clinical Research into Epidemic Response: The ... Released: April 12, 2017
    The 2014 Ebola epidemic in western Africa was the longest and deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, resulting in 28,616 cases and 11,310 deaths. In the midst of the rapidly spreading, highly dangerous contagious disease—with no Ebola-specific vaccines or therapeutics available to help curb the epidemic—the international community implemented clinical trials on investigational agents, not yet studied in humans for safety or efficacy.