Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Overview

What is your agency’s mission and how does supporting research in the Arctic advance that mission?

The CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, the CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

The Arctic Investigations Program’s (AIP), CDC’s infectious disease field station in Alaska, goal is the prevention of infectious disease morbidity and mortality among the peoples of the Arctic and sub-Arctic, with special emphasis on diseases of concern among Indigenous people. AIP focuses on the people of northern circumpolar regions with the aim of reducing health disparities related to infectious diseases.

In addition, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) seeks to develop new knowledge in the field of occupational safety and health and to transfer that knowledge into practice at Alaska companies and worksites. With an office in Anchorage, NIOSH provides local scientific resources to advance worker safety in Alaska, including in some of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S., like commercial aviation and commercial fishing.

Where would one go to find out what research is being funded by your agency in the Arctic?

Priority research areas are available online for the Arctic Investigations Program, the NIOSH commercial fishing safety project, and the NIOSH commercial aviation safety research project.

Where would one go to read about scientific research results from your agency?

Published reports and peer reviewed journal articles are available online on CDC Stacks.

In terms of budget, approximately how big is your agency’s investment in Arctic research?

In fiscal year 2021, CDC extramural funding investments in Alaska totaled to more than $50 million. Details are available online. In addition, CDC also currently supports the Arctic Investigations Program, the NIOSH Anchorage Office, and the Anchorage Quarantine Station, and their surveillance, research, and programmatic efforts.

What are your agency’s priorities over the next 2 years?

The CDC is committed to addressing public health threats in the Arctic Region. CDC's Arctic Investigations Program (AIP) has been heavily involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response in 2020/2021 and will be releasing a new strategic plan in 2022. AIP’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan outlines its existing priorities.

How does your agency coordinate and collaborate with other agencies to advance your mission in the Arctic?

AIP coordinates its activities with key partners such as the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the Alaska Epidemiology Center, the Southcentral Foundation, Tribal health organizations around the state, and with international partners across the circumpolar north.

Activities in Alaska

Does your agency have office(s) in Alaska?

CDC has four offices in Anchorage, Alaska: the Arctic Investigations Program, a NIOSH office, a Quarantine Station, and an office of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 

Does that office support research?

The Arctic Investigations Program and NIOSH Anchorage Office each conduct research activities as part of their work in Alaska.

Where can one go to learn more about your agency’s presence in Alaska?