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.


  • Physician-Assisted Death: Scanning the Landscape ... Released: June 27, 2018
    As a matter of public opinion and of public policy, a national dialogue is taking place around the question of whether, and under what circumstances, terminally ill patients can access life-ending medications with the aid of a physician. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from a workshop of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The workshop explored what is known and not known empirically about the practice of physician-assisted death, as well as some of the moral and ethical considerations regarding the practice.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Models and Strategies to Integrate Palliative Care Principles ... Released: October 24, 2017
    The Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness hosted a full-day workshop on April 27, 2017 to explore Models and Strategies to Integrate Palliative Care Principles into Care for People with Serious Illness. The workshop aimed to highlight innovative models of community-based care for people of all ages facing serious illness.
  • 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.
  • Integrating the Patient and Caregiver Voice into Serious ... Released: July 14, 2017
    Millions of people—infants, children, adults, and their families—are currently coping with serious illness in the United States. Efforts are intensifying to improve overall care quality through the delivery of person-centered and family-oriented services, for patients of all ages and across disease stages, care settings, and specialties. While aging Baby Boomers are increasing the proportion of patients in the Medicare population over time, the sickest and most vulnerable patients needing health system support and other services to meet their complex needs can be found across the age spectrum and in a broad range of care settings, from perinatal care to geriatric care.
  • Therapeutic Development in the Absence of Predictive Animal ... Released: March 10, 2017
    Despite the high prevalence and burden of nervous system disorders, development of new therapeutics lags behind other disease areas. Gaps in understanding the underlying pathophysiology, a dearth of biomarkers, and limitations in the capacity of animal models to predict drug efficacy for human brain disorders have contributed to a high rate of late stage failures in drug development and decreased investment in neuroscience research programs at pharmaceutical companies. On September 12-13, 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders hosted a public workshop to explore opportunities to accelerate drug development absent predictive animal models.
  • International Perspectives on Integrating Ethical, Legal, and ... Released: January 09, 2017
    Emerging neurotechnologies—devices and techniques designed to collect information about the brain or affect its function—are becoming increasingly important due to scientific and technological advances and a persistent need to develop effective therapies to address the large global burden of neurological and psychiatric disease. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)—in collaboration with Arizona State University and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—held a workshop in Washington, DC, on Neurotechnology and Society: Strengthening Responsible Innovation in Brain Science.
  • Developing Multimodal Therapies for Brain Disorders ... Released: November 18, 2016
    Califf was the keynote speaker at a workshop on multimodality therapies for brain disorders, convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous Systems Disorders. The workshop brought together key stakeholders to examine the general principles underlying multimodal therapies and to explore challenges, potential barriers, and opportunities for their development from multiple perspectives, including scientific, clinical, regulatory, and financial. These proceedings chronicle the presentations and discussions at the workshop.
  • Neuroscience Trials of the Future: Proceedings of a Workshop ... Released: August 19, 2016
    On March 3–4, 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders held a workshop in Washington, DC, bringing together key stakeholders to discuss opportunities for improving the integrity, efficiency, and validity of clinical trials for nervous system disorders.