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 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.
  • Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach ... Released: September 10, 2012
    Globalization of the food supply has created conditions favorable for the emergence, reemergence, and spread of food-borne pathogens—compounding the challenge of anticipating, detecting, and effectively responding to food-borne threats to health. In the United States, food-borne agents affect 1 out of 6 individuals and cause approximately 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths each year. A One Health approach to food safety may hold the promise of harnessing and integrating the expertise and resources from across the spectrum of multiple health domains including the human and veterinary medical and plant pathology communities with those of the wildlife and aquatic health and ecology communities. The IOM’s Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop on December 13 and 14, 2011 that examined issues critical to the protection of the nation’s food supply.
  • Informatics Needs and Challenges in Cancer Research ... Released: July 16, 2012
    Informatics tools – which help collect, organize, and analyze data – are essential to biomedical and health research and development. The field of cancer research is facing an overwhelming deluge of data, heightening the national urgency to find solutions to support and sustain the cancer informatics ecosystem. The IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum held a workshop February 27-28, 2012, to further examine informatics needs and challenges for 21st century biomedical research.
  • International Animal Research Regulations: Impact on ... Released: May 29, 2012
    Animals are widely used in neuroscience research to explore biological mechanisms of nervous system function, to identify the genetic basis of disease states, and to provide models of human disorders and diseases for the development of new treatments. To ensure the humane care and use of animals, numerous laws, policies, and regulations are in place governing the use of animals in research, and certain animal regulations have implications specific to neuroscience research. To consider animal research regulations from a global perspective, the IOM held a workshop that brought together key stakeholders to discuss current and emerging trends in animal regulations as they apply to the neurosciences.
  • Alliances for Obesity Prevention: Finding Common Ground ... Released: May 11, 2012
    Many organizations are making focused efforts to prevent obesity. To achieve their goals, accelerate their progress, and sustain their success, the assistance of many other individuals and groups—not all of them with a singular focus on obesity prevention—will be essential. In October 2011 the Institute of Medicine held a workshop that provided an opportunity for obesity prevention groups to hear from and hold discussions with many of these potential allies in obesity prevention. They explored common ground for joint activities and mutual successes, and lessons learned from efforts at aligning diverse groups with goals in common.
  • The Role of Obesity in Cancer Survival and Recurrence ... Released: April 03, 2012
    Recent research suggests that obesity and excess weight can influence cancer survival and recurrence. Given the increasing rate of obesity and an aging population more susceptible to cancer, there is mounting concern about obesity’s role in fueling tumor growth. At an IOM workshop, experts presented the latest evidence on the obesity-cancer link and the possible mechanisms underlying that link, as well as potential interventions to mitigate the effects of obesity on cancer, and research and policy measures needed to counter the expected rise of cancer incidence and mortality due to an increasingly overweight and older population.