Office of Neuroscience Communications and Engagement

Alissa Gallagher
Alissa Gallagher, M.P.H.
Director of the Office of Neuroscience Communications and Engagement
The Office of Neuroscience Communications and Engagement (ONCE) works to foster knowledge about the brain and nervous system and share information about neuroscience discoveries and research programs through strategic, comprehensive engagement with public and scientific communities.

ONCE coordinates communication activities across NINDS and supports NIH-wide communications—related activities and major rollouts in support of neuroscience programs.


ONCE has five functional areas (branches) that work both independently and collectively to fulfill its responsibilities: Digital Communications, Health Education and Public Information, Media Relations, Neuroscience Content and Strategy, and Scientific and Public Engagement.

Digital Communications Branch
Provides strategic leadership for the NINDS digital presence and it’s responsible for the governance and technical operation of NINDS websites, social media outlets, and mobile applications managed by ONCE. The branch also provides guidance on content development including visuals and video for use across NINDS digital platforms, and ensures all digital content is accessible to all audiences. Meet the Digital Communications Branch team.

Health Education and Public Information Branch
Communicates and serves as the primary public information resource for different audiences including other government agencies, non-governmental agencies, professional societies, and the public through online and print publications. The branch also responds to public inquiries, publications fulfillment, photography, illustrations, and in-house graphics production, and manages the public exhibits program. Meet the Health Education and Public Information Branch team.

Media Relations Branch
Manages all facets of media relations; works with reporters to accurately portray NINDS-funded research and programs; plans and implements public health education campaigns; develops written and multimedia materials about NINDS-funded research and manages trans-NIH communication planning and activities on behalf of the NIH BRAIN Initiative, the NIH Blueprint for medical research, and others. Meet the Media Relations Branch team.

Neuroscience Content and Strategy Branch
Provides strategic coordination and communications planning for neuroscience research programs and works closely with NINDS leadership and across the Institute on communications activities. Provides management support for trans-NIH neuroscience research programs, such as the NIH BRAIN Initiative and the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research. Meet the Neuroscience Content and Strategy Branch team.

Scientific & Public Engagement Branch
Establishes bidirectional connections with diverse public, professional, and scientific entities by developing educational outreach materials, building and maintaining partnerships, convening stakeholders in meetings, workshops, and forums, and engaging with patient focused research advocates and people with lived experience of neurological disorders. Meet the Scientific and Public Engagement Branch team.