Meet the Deputy Director

Deborah M. Winn, PhD

Deputy Director, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
On Detail to the Division of Cancer Prevention

Debbie Winn

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Dr. Deborah (Debbie) Winn is the Deputy Director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. 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 extramural programs in cancer surveillance, epidemiology, behavioral science, health services, dissemination and diffusion, and cancer survivorship research. The division funds and supports research in these areas nationally and internationally and helps set and implement research directions in these fields of science.

Dr. Winn also 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. 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. Currently, among other activities, she has leadership and service roles for the NCI Cohort Consortium, comprising 59 epidemiology cohorts across the world; the NIH All of Us Research Program, whose goal is to gather data from one million people in the United States; and an NCI Implementation Team to address one of the Cancer Moonshot℠ recommendations for accelerating cancer research.

Dr. Winn is internationally recognized for her epidemiologic research on tobacco and head and neck cancer. Her other research interests include environmental risk factors for breast cancer, evaluating the impact of epidemiologic findings on clinical practice and public health, and development of research resources, infrastructures and policies to help support and facilitate population science research.

Before being appointed as Deputy Director of DCCPS in 2009, Dr. Winn held several leadership positions in DCCPS’s Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP).  In that program, she served as Chief of the Clinical and Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch as well as the Associate Director of EGRP, where she 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.

Before joining NCI in 2000, Dr. Winn was an intramural Senior Investigator and Branch Chief for oral epidemiology at NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Prior to that, she worked at the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), serving 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). In an earlier position at NCHS, she helped plan major components of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES).

Dr. Winn earned her PhD in epidemiology from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her bachelor’s degree is from Radcliffe College.

Dr. Winn is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and served as NCI liaison to its Board and on numerous committees.  She is also a member of the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society. She is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her research and professional service including the H. A. Tyroler Distinguished Epidemiologist Alumni Award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, two US Public Health Service Awards, an NIH Director’s Award, and numerous NIH Merit Awards.

Last Updated
September 24, 2020