NIH HEAL Initiative Leadership

The NIH HEAL Initiative is an NIH-wide research effort involving nearly every NIH Institute, Center, and Office, with collaborations extending across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, community organizations, research institutions, and the private sector.

The initiative is jointly managed by NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in close collaboration with other NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICs). NIDA is the lead federal agency that supports research addressing the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders. In this capacity, NIDA leads HEAL research efforts concerning opioid use disorder and overdose, co-occurring stimulant and other drug use disorders, and co-occurring mental health conditions. NINDS is the largest funder of pain research at NIH and coordinates the NIH Pain Consortium, which was established to enhance pain research and promote cross-agency research collaboration. NINDS coordinates HEAL research efforts across NIH to develop safe and effective therapies for acute and chronic pain and improve pain management.

Meet NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

Meet NINDS Director Walter J. Koroshetz, M.D.

External Partners and Advisors

HEAL Multi-Disciplinary Working Group (MDWG)

The HEAL Multi-Disciplinary Working Group includes representatives from the scientific community, health care providers, and advocacy groups related to pain, addiction, or both. The group provides perspective and input on proposed and active programs and projects in the NIH HEAL Initiative and suggests areas where more research is needed.

HEAL Partnership Committee (HPC)

The HEAL Partnership Committee is a subgroup of the HEAL Multi-Disciplinary Working Group that advises HEAL on defined tasks related to the development of new treatments for pain. It includes representatives from industry, academia, professional and patient advocacy organizations, and the federal government. The committee advises HEAL on development of biopharmaceutical and device-based treatments.

HEAL Community Partner Committee (HCPC)

The HEAL Community Partner Committee includes individuals who have experience with pain conditions and/or opioid use disorder, including patients, advocates, patient liaisons, and/or family members of individuals with these conditions. The committee advises the NIH HEAL Initiative on ways it can promote patient and community engagement in HEAL research to ensure that findings are relevant to those affected by pain conditions or opioid use disorder.