The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) has appointed Anna Maria Nápoles, PhD, MPH, as scientific director of its Division of Intramural Research. Nápoles, a UC San Francisco behavioral epidemiologist, is the first Latina to be named a scientific director at the National Institutes of Health.
Nápoles has been a professor in the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine since 2001. There, she has been at the forefront of conducting health disparities research and developing community interventions for underserved ethnic minority groups in the United States, with a focus on Latino health.
For more than 30 years, Nápoles has conducted research spanning the fields of psycho-oncology, patient-clinician communication, cancer health disparities, and community-based research models in ethnically and socioeconomically diverse groups. She also serves as director of the UCSF Center for Aging in Diverse Communities, an NIH-funded resource center on minority aging research.
In her new post at NIMHD, Nápoles will focus on population health with an emphasis on social, behavioral and clinical research, while utilizing the robust basic science environment at the NIH. NIMHD is the NIH Institute that leads scientific efforts to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities.
Nápoles will also oversee the executive direction and scientific leadership for the entire Intramural Research Program at NIMHD, which addresses a wide array of health problems that disproportionately affect health disparity populations, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
The appointment was made following an extensive national search. Nápoles will begin her new role Nov. 13.
This article was originally published by UCSF.