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Meet the Deputy Director

Deborah M. Winn, PhD

Deputy Director, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences

Debbie Winn

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Dr. Deborah Winn was appointed Deputy Director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) in January 2009. Previously, she served as Acting Associate Director of the Epidemiology & Genomics Research Program (EGRP) within the Division, a position she held since 2006.

As Deputy Director of DCCPS, Dr. Winn plays a central role in the planning, priority setting, development, and management of the Division’s large integrated programs in cancer surveillance, epidemiology, behavioral science, health services, dissemination and diffusion, and cancer survivorship research. The Division also has extensive collaborations in these areas with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, other NIH Institutes, and private organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

As Acting Associate Director of EGRP, Dr. Winn directed and coordinated NCI’s comprehensive extramural program of population-based research in cancer epidemiology. EGRP is the largest funder of cancer epidemiology research worldwide and is pivotal in charting the direction of the field.

Dr. Winn plays a critical role in developing and facilitating initiatives to foster cancer epidemiology both nationally and internationally. She represents NCI to a wide variety of national and international professional, academic, and advocacy organizations. Within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Winn also is a senior leader in facilitating and directing priorities for epidemiologic science. Moreover, she is a key spokesperson for NCI on epidemiologic topics of interest to Congress and the public.

She has served on a variety of NCI, NIH, and international committees and working groups important to cancer epidemiology and the broader areas of cancer control and population sciences, including in the areas of bioinformatics, biospecimens, genetics research, genes and the environment, women’s health and the environment, and tobacco-related health risks and regulation.

Dr. Winn is internationally recognized for her epidemiologic research on tobacco and head and neck cancer. Her other research interests include lung and breast cancer, environmental influences on cancer, genetic epidemiology, and bioinformatics in population sciences.

In 2002, Dr. Winn joined EGRP as Senior Epidemiologist in the Office of the Associate Director. The following year, she became Chief of the Clinical and Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch, which is now the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Branch and through which the Breast and Colon Cancer Family Registries and Cancer Genetics Network then were funded and managed.

Before joining NCI, Dr. Winn was a Senior Investigator and Branch Chief for oral epidemiology at NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Prior to that, she worked at the National Center for Health Statistics, within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as the Deputy Director of the Division of Health Interview Statistics, with broad responsibilities for planning, implementing, and analyzing the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Earlier with NCHS, she was an epidemiologist with the Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES).

Dr. Winn received an M.S.P.H. in 1976 and her Ph.D. in 1980 in epidemiology from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also received a B.A. in government from Radcliffe College in 1973.

Dr. Winn is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and NCI liaison to its Board, and a member of the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her research and professional service, including from NIH and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the H.A. Tyroler Distinguished Epidemiologist Alumni Award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.