It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that I arrive at the National Cancer Institute to serve as Deputy Director for Implementation Science. Having spent the past thirteen years at the National Institute of Mental Health, working to advance mental health services research and more specifically, dissemination and implementation research within the Institute and across the NIH, I have consistently benefitted from the expertise of the DCCPS scientific staff, whom I am now proud to call my immediate colleagues.
Together with the past and current members of the Implementation Science Team, we were able to pull together a cohesive set of research priorities that have been at the heart of three consecutive trans-NIH program announcements that now feature 15 Institutes and Centers as sponsors. With OBSSR’s support and partnership with the VA, we initiated the annual dissemination and implementation science conference that brought the field together to present findings, share challenges, and plot the course for the research community. The 7th iteration of this conference has expanded as a partnership with multiple agencies and organizations, set for a few weeks from now in Bethesda, MD. Finally, with NCI’s leadership, we have developed new ways to bridge research and practice and train the next generation of researchers, including the TIDIRH summer training institute, which completed its fourth year this past July. In addition, I have long been impressed with the many ways the IS team has sought to connect research, practice and policy, including Research to Reality, the Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. (Plan, Link, Act with Evidence-based Tools), and so many others. I look forward to learning much and helping to further the many important initiatives within Implementation Science and across the activities of the Division.
While we have made much progress, the future of implementation science still requires advances in research designs, common metrics, and new ways of identifying, capturing, and understanding the complex relationship between what we know, what science suggests we should do, and what is desired within health care and community settings. As we continue to see breakthroughs in cancer research, the opportunities to have population and public health impact are great, and the importance of advancing our understanding of implementation science is even more crucial. I look forward to engaging with many of you in the coming months to talk about current directions and ideas for innovative approaches to integrating science, policy and practice.