Rebecca G. Baker, Ph.D.

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.

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Director's Messages

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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.

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Funding Opportunities

Funding is available for a wide range of projects related to opioid use disorder, overdose, and pain. 

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