Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences

Robert T. Croyle, PhD, Director, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences

As NCI’s bridge to public health research, practice, and policy, the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) plays a unique role in reducing the burden of cancer in America. DCCPS, an extramural division, has the lead responsibility at NCI for supporting research in surveillance, epidemiology, health services, behavioral science, and cancer survivorship. The division also plays a central role within the federal government as a source of expertise and evidence on issues such as the quality of cancer care, the economic burden of cancer, geographic information systems, statistical methods, communication science, tobacco control, and the translation of research into practice. As a result, DCCPS is what many have referred to as a "hybrid" division—one that funds a large portfolio of grants and contracts, but also conducts original research to inform public health policy.

The diverse science funded and conducted by DCCPS is characterized by the varied and complex expertise and backgrounds of the division’s scientific staff. Given the focus on cancer control, it comes as no surprise that the disciplines of epidemiology and biostatistics are well-represented. In addition, DCCPS has made a special effort to recruit experts in disciplines such as communication, anthropology, outcomes research, psychometrics, medical genetics, health psychology, economics, social work, policy analysis, geography, and family medicine—all disciplines that have been historically underrepresented at NCI. This reflects an overarching philosophy of science that guides the division’s planning and priority setting: the belief that scientific progress in the 21st century will depend on the transdisciplinary integration of research methods, models, and levels of analysis.

As you read about the activities and accomplishments of DCCPS, it is our hope that three themes will emerge. First, almost all of the division’s efforts are accomplished through substantive collaborations with other NIH institutes, HHS agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. Second, careful priority setting, planning, and evaluation ensure that our efforts complement and capitalize on the efforts of other research funding organizations. Third, our research portfolio reflects the clear pathways between discovery, development, and delivery so that etiology and surveillance research inform cancer control interventions that—when effectively tested, synthesized, and disseminated—reduce the suffering and death due to cancer.