Intramural reorganization brings renewed focus to population health

Division shifts from studying disease to greater emphasis on health and prevention

What was formerly known as NICHD’s Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research (DESPR) has been reorganized and is now known as the Division of Intramural Population Health Research.

The reorganization was undertaken to emphasize the study of health and healthy states to design interventions that promote the health and well being of populations. Previously, the Division’s research emphasized the study of risk factors that predisposed individuals to disease or injury.

The new Division for Population Health comprises three research branches:

  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and
  • Health Behavior (formerly Prevention Research)

The Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Branch-- both part of the former DESPR-- have updated their missions to reflect an increased focus on health and disease prevention. Research efforts under the auspices of the former Computer Sciences Section have been updated and incorporated into the Division’s three branches.

According to its mission statement, the Division “designs and conducts innovative etiologic and interventional research from pre-pregnancy through adulthood, translates research findings into clinical practice or public policy to maximize health and eliminate health disparities, and builds capacity through mentoring and serving our professions.”

Germaine M. Buck Louis, Ph.D., Director of the former DESPR, will continue to lead the Division of Intramural Population Health.

More information about the Division of Intramural Population Health is available at


About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s Web site at

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