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.


  • The Science and Applications of Microbial Genomics ... Released: April 03, 2013
    Over the past several decades, new scientific tools and approaches for detecting microbial species have dramatically enhanced our understanding of the microbial flora and fauna and their dynamic interactions with the environments in which they reside. In June 2012, the IOM Forum on Microbial Threats convened a public workshop to discuss the scientific tools and approaches being used for detecting and characterizing microbial species, and the roles of microbial genomics and metagenomics to better understand the culturable and unculturable microbial world around us.
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Change in Food Marketing ... Released: March 04, 2013
    The childhood obesity epidemic is an urgent public health problem, and it will continue to take a substantial toll on the health of Americans. The most recent data show that almost a third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Children are exposed to an enormous amount of commercial advertising and marketing for food. In 2009, children age 2-11 saw and average of more than 10 television food ads per day. The marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages is linked to overweight and obesity. The IOM hosted a workshop which examined contemporary trends in marketing of foods and beverages to children and youth and the implications of those trends for obesity prevention.
  • Evaluation of PEPFAR : Health and Medicine Division Released: February 20, 2013
    Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States has provided an unprecedented level of health and development assistance and health diplomacy around the world. PEPFAR has saved and improved the lives of millions of people; supported HIV prevention, care, and treatment; strengthened systems; and engaged with partner countries to facilitate HIV policy and planning for sustainable responses to their epidemic. The IOM evaluation drew upon a variety of data sources, including quantitative data, extensive document review, and primary qualitative data collection through more than 400 interviews, including some site visits, with diverse stakeholders in 13 PEPFAR partner countries, at PEPFAR’s headquarters, and at other institutions and agencies involved in the global HIV response.
  • Delivering Affordable Cancer Care in the 21st Century ... Released: February 11, 2013
    Spending on health care currently accounts for 18 percent of the United States’ GDP. By 2037, that percentage is expected to increase to 25 percent of GDP. Spending on cancer care is expected to increase because of the rapid influx of new cancer diagnoses as the population ages. Also, as more expensive therapies and technologies become the standard of care, there are concerns that the costs of cancer treatment could begin to outpace health care inflation as a whole. The IOM held a workshop to examine the drivers of current and projected cancer care costs as well as potential ways to curb these costs while maintaining or improving the quality of care.
  • Improving the Utility and Translation of Animal Models for ... Released: February 08, 2013
    Animal models have provided significant information about the biology of nervous system disorders and have helped in the development of therapeutics; limitations, however, have also been identified. Effective treatment options that are also low in side effects are still lacking for many diseases. Many therapeutics show promise in preclinical animal models but then fail to produce expected results when tested in humans. The IOM held a workshop to discuss potential opportunities for maximizing the translation of effective therapies from animal models to clinical practice.
  • The Social Biology of Microbial Communities - Workshop ... Released: December 10, 2012
    The vast majority of microorganisms live in highly complex communities within which they lead intensely interactive lives—competing, cooperating, and forming associations with one another and with their living and nonliving host environments. Indeed, microbial communities are intricately intertwined with the biology of all ecosystems on Earth—from the extreme environments of the human gut to deep sea hydrothermal vents and the windswept plains of Antarctica. Despite these observations, very little is actually known about the factors and processes that influence community assembly, stability, and function. The IOM's Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a workshop to explore the emerging science and potential applications of the “social biology” of microbial communities.
  • An Integrated Framework for Assessing the Value of ... Released: November 02, 2012
    Over the last century, the major causes of disease and death among Americans have changed, shifting from predominantly communicable diseases spread by germs to chronic ailments. This shift has been accompanied by a deeper understanding about what keeps people healthy or leaves them vulnerable to becoming ill. Despite their importance to preventing illness, determining the value of community-based interventions has proven difficult. This report proposes a framework to assess the value of community-based, non-clinical prevention policies and wellness strategies.
  • An Integrated Framework for Assessing the Value of ... Released: November 02, 2012
    Over the last century, the major causes of disease and death among Americans have changed, shifting from predominantly communicable diseases spread by germs to chronic ailments. This shift has been accompanied by a deeper understanding about what keeps people healthy or leaves them vulnerable to becoming ill. Despite their importance to preventing illness, determining the value of community-based interventions has proven difficult. This report proposes a framework to assess the value of community-based, non-clinical prevention policies and wellness strategies.
  • An Integrated Framework for Assessing the Value of ... Released: November 02, 2012
    Over the last century, the major causes of disease and death among Americans have changed, shifting from predominantly communicable diseases spread by germs to chronic ailments. This shift has been accompanied by a deeper understanding about what keeps people healthy or leaves them vulnerable to becoming ill. Despite their importance to preventing illness, determining the value of community-based interventions has proven difficult. This report proposes a framework to assess the value of community-based, non-clinical prevention policies and wellness strategies.
  • Reducing Tobacco-Related Cancer Incidence and Mortality ... Released: November 01, 2012
    Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, causing more than 440,000 deaths every year. Tobacco use is linked to the development of 18 different types of cancer and accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths. Despite the widespread agreement on the dangers of tobacco use and considerable success in reducing the smoking rate by half since the first U.S. Surgeon General’s report on smoking in 1964, progress in reducing tobacco use has slowed in recent years. The IOM held a workshop to examine current challenges in tobacco control and to explore potential policy, outreach, and treatment strategies that could reduce tobacco-related cancer incidence and death.