Rebecca G. Baker, Ph.D., is the director of the Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, in the Office of the Director, NIH. Dr. Baker leads coordination of NIH HEAL Initiative programmatic activities between the Office of the Director and relevant Institutes and Centers (ICs). She manages the Office of the NIH HEAL Initiative, including NIH HEAL Initiative staff, and oversees management of NIH HEAL Initiative governance committees. Dr. Baker helped develop the NIH HEAL Initiative, working closely with NIH and IC leadership. She also provides expert advice to and represents the NIH Director on initiative-related activities, including interagency efforts in pain and opioid research and policy.
Prior to holding this position, Dr. Baker was special assistant to the NIH Director and the Principal Deputy Director working directly with NIH leadership to analyze complex biomedical research policy issues and assist in the development of new science and policy initiatives. Before that, she worked in the NIH Office of Science, Outreach, and Policy, where she worked on legislative, communications, and policy issues. Dr. Baker also worked in the NIH Office of Science Policy, where she contributed to the development and implementation of the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy. Previously, she worked as a postdoctoral scientist using next-generation DNA sequencing to identify novel disease-causing genes in patients with rare immunological diseases. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and her bachelor's degree from Cornell University.
Latest NIH HEAL Initiative Director's Message
The Power of Connection: Improving Care for Infants Exposed to Opioids
May 24, 2023
HEAL recently announced major new findings that will change clinical care for infants born with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. This month’s Director’s Message describes how the Eat, Sleep, Console care approach prioritizes non-opioid care as a first line of treatment, as well as how HEAL is committed to finding the best approaches to address the medical and social needs of these children as they grow.
Hear more from Dr. Baker, director of the NIH HEAL Initiative.
- April 26, 2023: Digital Interventions for Pain and Addiction
- March 29, 2023: Creating the Evidence
- February 28, 2023: Celebrating Excellence: The Inaugural HEAL Director's Awards
- January 25, 2023: Achieving the HEAL Vision: Research Offers Hope to End Addiction Long-Term
- December 28, 2022: In Case You Missed It: Learn About HEAL Through our Virtual Stakeholder Briefing
- November 30, 2022: HEAL Prevention Research: A Forward-Looking Approach to Saving Lives
- October 26, 2022: Delivering More Than Knowledge: The HEAL Small Business Programs
- September 28, 2022: HEAL in Action: Finding Scientific Solutions for Communities Across America
- August 24, 2022: Strengthening HEAL Through Qualitative Research
- July 27, 2022: Making HEAL Data Speak: Finding Scientific Solutions for People and Communities
- June 22, 2022: How HEAL Research is Addressing Physical and Emotional Pain
- May 25, 2022: Sharing Insights: Highlights from the Third Annual HEAL Investigator Meeting
- April 27, 2022: Q&A with Dr. Rena D’Souza, NIDCR Director
- March, 23, 2022: The NIH HEAL Initiative Third Annual Investigator Meeting April 11-12, 2022
- February 23, 2022: Research Recognizes Reality
- January 26, 2022: Life in Recovery
- December 21, 2021: New Ideas for a New Year
- November 23, 2021: Advancing Health Equity: New Research Directions
- October 27, 2021: Evolving with the Changing Opioid Crisis
- September 29, 2021: New Research Builds on Progress toward Helping to End Addiction Long-Term
- August 25, 2021: Introducing the HEAL Community Partner Committee
- July 28, 2021: HEAL Approaches to Accelerate Research to Practice
- June 30, 2021: Meeting the Moment: Highlights from the Second Annual HEAL Investigators Meeting and Future Directions for HEAL
- June 2, 2021: Evolving HEAL Research to Treat Pain
- April 29, 2021: The NIH HEAL Initiative Second Annual Investigator Meeting May 17-19, 2021
- April 6, 2021: Moving Research into Action: Your Voice Matters
- February 24, 2021: Building the HEAL Data Ecosystem
- January 27, 2021: Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion
- December 23, 2020: Finding the Light
- December 2, 2020: Fighting Stigma Through Research
- October 29, 2020: The HEALing Communities Study: Science Powered by People
- September 30, 2020: New Research Directions for HEAL in Fiscal Year 2020
- August 27, 2020: Planning the Future of HEAL: August 31-September 1 2020 Multi-Disciplinary Working Group Meeting
- July 30, 2020: Welcoming Patients’ Lived Experience Into the Lab
- June 25, 2020: The Role of HEAL in Reducing Health Disparities
- May 28, 2020: Mental Health, Pain, Opioids, and the NIH HEAL Initiative
- April 27, 2020: One HEAL Community Seeking Solutions for Pain and Addiction
- March 26, 2020: Our Work Continues, as Our Community Learns and Adapts
2023 NIH HEAL Initiative Director’s Awards
The NIH HEAL Initiative® Director’s Awards recognize researchers for excellence in Research, Mentorship, Interdisciplinary Collaboration, and Community Partnership.Read about the 2023 winners
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Funding is available for a wide range of projects related to opioid use disorder, overdose, and pain.