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.


  • Improving Access to Essential Medicines for Mental ... Released: July 14, 2014
    Recognizing the limitations of most SSA countries to effectively treat MNS disorders, the Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders of the Institute of Medicine convened a workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2014. The workshop brought together key stakeholders to discuss opportunities for achieving long-term affordable access to medicines for MNS disorders and to consider frameworks and strategies that have been successful in other countries and for different diseases. In particular, the workshop was organized around a series of focused discussions on four challenge areas: insufficient demand, inappropriate selection, ineffective supply chains, and high pricing and poor financing. This document summarizes the workshop.
  • Contemporary Issues for Protecting Patients in Cancer ... Released: July 02, 2014
    On February 24 and 25, 2014, the National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine convened a workshop to frame and discuss contemporary issues in human subjects protections as they pertain to cancer research, with the goal of identifying potential relevant policy actions. This document summarizes the workshop.
  • Microbial Ecology in States of Health and Disease - Workshop ... Released: February 18, 2014
    Investigations of microbial ecology in a variety of organisms and contexts have begun to illuminate the properties of host-associated microorganisms. These observations have revealed a complex and dynamic network of interactions across the spectrum of host, microbe, and environmental niches that may influence states of health and disease. Alterations in the composition and dynamics of the human microbiome have been associated with a variety of complex diseases — including such chronic conditions as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and inflammatory bowel diseases. This ecologically-informed view is a paradigm shift away from the conventional "one-microbe, one-disease" perspective of infection and may lead to new insights and approaches to health maintenance, disease prevention, and treatment methods in humans, animals, and plants. The IOM Forum on Microbial Threats held a public workshop in Washington, DC, to explore the scientific and therapeutic implications of microbial ecology in health and disease.
  • Oversight and Review of Clinical Gene Transfer Protocols ... Released: December 05, 2013
    In the 1970s, scientists first developed methods for manipulating DNA – resulting in what is called recombinant DNA. One of the applications of these methods, known as gene transfer, is an experimental technique involving the insertion of new genetic material into a human subject. In response to concerns about gene transfer, NIH established in 1974 the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) to provide oversight and a public forum for discussion. Many have argued that today RAC review is redundant and unnecessary in its current form. NIH asked the IOM to form a committee to determine whether gene transfer research continues to raise concerns that warrant extra oversight by the RAC of individual clinical trial protocols involving gene transfer. The committee was also asked to recommend criteria to guide when the RAC should, if deemed necessary, review individual protocols.
  • Improving and Accelerating Therapeutic Development for ... Released: November 25, 2013
    Although there is a high burden associated with nervous system disorders, development of new therapeutics remains stagnant. Over the last decade, fewer new drugs for nervous system disorders have garnered approval in comparison to other therapeutic areas. Current data suggest that drug development, from the start of a discovery program to regulatory approval, can take an average of 12 to 15 years. Building off of concepts discussed at a 2012 IOM workshop, the IOM Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders held a workshop to examine opportunities to accelerate early phases of drug development for nervous system drug discovery.
  • Creating Equal Opportunities for a Healthy Weight - Workshop ... Released: November 25, 2013
    The 2012 IOM report Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention identified five environments in which change is needed to accelerate progress in obesity prevention. Each of these settings -physical activity, food and beverage, messaging, health care and worksites, and schools– interact with the others, creating a set of interconnected systems that can be changed only through engagement, leadership, and action among many groups and at many levels. The IOM Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention held a workshop to examine the role of the many factors that contribute to health disparities and to explore ways to create equity.
  • Identifying and Addressing the Needs of Adolescents and ... Released: November 04, 2013
    Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death in adolescents and young adults (AYAs). Each year, nearly 70,000 AYAs between the ages of 15 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer. Adolescents and young adults face a variety of unique short- and long-term health and psychosocial issues. Many programs for cancer treatment, survivorship care, and psychosocial support do not focus on the specific needs and risks of AYA cancer patients. The IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum held a workshop to facilitate discussion about gaps and challenges in caring for AYA cancer patients and potential strategies and actions to improve the quality of their care.
  • Neurodegeneration: Exploring Commonalities Across ... Released: October 03, 2013
    Neurodegenerative diseases – such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) – are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the United States due to the aging population. Implications of these diseases are grave, both for individual and family quality of life and for healthcare costs. Recent findings have revealed potential commonalities and parallelisms in genetic and cellular mechanisms across neurodegenerative diseases. In 2012, the IOM hosted a workshop to explore commonalities across neurodegenerative diseases and to identify potential opportunities for collaboration across the respective research and development communities.
  • Strengthening Human Resources Through Development of ... Released: August 14, 2013
    Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the largest treatment gaps for mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders in the world. The ability to provide adequate human resources for the delivery of essential interventions for MNS disorders is a critical barrier to bridging the treatment gap. In 2012, the IOM hosted a second workshop in Kampala, Uganda, to discuss candidate core competencies that providers might need to help ensure the effective delivery of services for MNS disorders. The workshop focused on candidate competencies for four MNS disorders that account for the greatest burden in low- and middle-income countries: depression, psychosis, epilepsy, and alcohol use disorders.
  • Implementing a National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the ... Released: July 15, 2013
    Recognizing the recent transformative advances in cancer research that necessitate modernization in how cancer clinical trials are run, as well as inefficiencies and other challenges impeding the national cancer clinical trials program, the National Cancer Institute asked the IOM to develop a set of recommendations to improve the federally funded cancer clinical trials system. These recommendations were published in a 2010 IOM report. In 2011, the IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum (NCPF) held a workshop to engage stakeholders in discussions about the changes they planned to implement in response to the IOM report. Two years later, the NCPF held a second workshop in which stakeholders reported the changes that they have made thus far to address the IOM recommendations, and discussed additional actions needed to improve the system.