Staff Profile: Joni L. Rutter

Joni L. Rutter, Ph.D.

Deputy Director

Office of the Director

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

National Institutes of Health

Email Joni L. Rutter


Joni L. Rutter, Ph.D., is the deputy director of NCATS, where she is responsible for planning, executing and assessing the Center’s complex and multifaceted preclinical and clinical research programs and serves as a key national spokesperson for translational science. She guides the NCATS Advisory Council and the Cures Acceleration Network Review Board activities and serves as the Center’s scientific liaison to the All of Us Research Program, part of the Precision Medicine Initiative® at NIH, helping to establish more robust interactions with NCATS programs.

Prior to joining NCATS, Rutter served as the director of scientific programs within the All of Us Research Program, where she led the scientific programmatic development and implementation efforts to build a national research cohort of 1 million or more U.S. participants to advance precision medicine. While at NIH, she also led the Division of Neuroscience and Behavior at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In this role, she developed and coordinated research on basic and clinical neuroscience, brain and behavioral development, genetics, epigenetics, computational neuroscience, bioinformatics, and drug discovery. Rutter also coordinated the NIDA Genetics Consortium and biospecimen repository.

During her career, Rutter has earned a national and international reputation for her diverse and unique expertise via more than 50 publications in journals, and she has received several scientific achievement awards, including a SmithKline Beecham Student Award in Pharmacology, a Janssen Research Foundation Young Investigator Award, and a Fellowship Achievement Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Rutter received her Ph.D. from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire, and completed a fellowship at NCI within the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

Professional Interests

Rutter is internationally recognized for her work in basic and clinical research in human genetics and in the study of genetic and environmental risk factors focusing on the fields of cancer and addiction. Her primary scientific objective is to integrate genetic principles with environmental influences to more deeply inform our understanding of how individual and societal factors impact health and disease.

Selected Publications

  1. A collaborative translational research framework for evaluating and implementing the appropriate use of human genome sequencing to improve health
  2. Data use under the NIH GWAS data sharing policy and future directions
  3. Re-defininG AddiC(CH3)Tion: genomics and epigenomics on substance use disorders
  4. CDKN2A point mutations D153spl(c.457G>T) and IVS2+1G>T result in aberrant splice products affecting both p16INK4a and p14ARF
  5. A novel moesin-, ezrin-, radixin-like gene is a candidate for the neurofibromatosis 2 tumor suppressor