Cotton Is New Director of NIMHD Extramural Research
Dr. Paul Cotton recently began serving as the new director of the Office of Extramural Research Activities (OERA) at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
In this role, he advises on and manages science policy and program activities related to extramural administrative management, scientific management and scientific initiatives. He is also responsible for developing and implementing policies for managing research awards, overseeing research training policies, and supporting diversity, equity and inclusion research initiatives.
With a 22-year history of working for the federal government, Cotton joins the NIMHD family with a strong background in leadership and health disparities science. His federal career started in 2000 as a category 3 scientist in the community nutrition research group in the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center at the Department of Agriculture.
He has also served as a program director and team lead at the National Institute of Nursing Research and as assistant division director in the Division of Receipt and Referral at the Center for Scientific Review.
In 2016, he left NIH and joined the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA’s research agency, as national program leader for public health nutrition. He served as a director in the nutrition division at the Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition. He led in applying science-based knowledge to solving complex problems in the food and agricultural sciences.
Cotton returned to NIH in May 2020, most recently as lead program officer for DECIPHeR in the Health Inequities and Global Health Branch in NHLBI’s Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science.
Cotton graduated from Howard University, where he earned a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree in nutritional sciences. He also served as a faculty member and head wrestling coach at Howard.