U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Research Agenda

Research Mission

The mission of the WTC Health Program research includes the following broad areas:

  • Physical and mental health conditions that may be related to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks;
  • Diagnosing WTC-related health conditions for which there has been diagnostic uncertainty; and
  • Treating WTC-related health conditions for which there has been treatment uncertainty.

Areas of Interest

Research mentioned in the Zadroga Act includes epidemiologic and other research studies on WTC-related health conditions or emerging conditions among (1) enrolled WTC responders and certified-eligible WTC survivors under treatment; (2) sampled populations outside the NYC disaster area, in Manhattan (as far north as 14th Street) and in Brooklyn; and (3) control populations, to identify potential for long-term adverse health effects in less exposed populations.

The WTC Health Program major areas of interest for research include, but are not limited to:

  • Linking 9/11 exposure to health conditions:
    • Cancers, multisystem or autoimmune, cardiovascular and neurologic disease (including age at diagnosis);
    • Characterizing patterns of illness (age, gender, comorbidities, etc.); and
    • Characterizing alterations in health and development for those exposed to 9/11 as children.
  • Characterizing established WTC-related diseases and comorbidities:
    • dentifying phenotypes, biomarkers, epigenetics; and
    • Care models that address complex co-morbidities and other modifiable factors.
  • Health services research and value-based care that addresses disaster-related injury and illness for chronic disease. (NOTE: Health services research examines how people get access to health care, how much care costs, and what happens to patients as a result of this care. The main goals of health services research are to identify the most effective ways to organize, manage, finance, and deliver high quality care; reduce medical errors; and improve patient safety (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2002).)
  • Characterizing the work-ability and occupational outcomes for those impacted by 9/11:
    • Lessons learned in recovery:
      • Identifying and operationalizing key elements of psychological resilience for disaster responders; and
      • Establishing comparison groups for disaster-related research for key health indicators for first responders (NOTE: Concepts of psychological resilience vary across disciplines with investigations addressing various outcomes ranging from reported levels of stress, burnout, compassion fatigue, and general indicators of well-being. Also proposed are interpersonal, intrapersonal and environmental factors that suggest a more stable and enduring personality trait impacting self-regulation.)

Relevant diseases or conditions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Respiratory diseases
  • Cancer (including detection/diagnosis of pre-malignant changes)
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Psychological resilience and well-being
  • Persistent psychiatric conditions such as posttraumatic stress, anxiety and depressive disorders
  • Cognitive changes
  • Aging – the impacts of aging on those impacted by 9/11 illness and injury
  • Neurological Diseases
  • Aerodigestive health
  • Multisystem or auto-immune diseases
  • Gastro-esophageal disorders
  • Gastrointestinal health
  • Chronic musculoskeletal conditions resulting from acute traumatic injury and overuse disorders


The Research-to-Care Logic Model [PDF, 5 pages, 405 KB] is used by the WTC Health Program to evaluate the effectiveness of the WTC research program.

The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program is required, by law (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)), to maintain the privacy and security of your personal health information and to provide you with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to how your personal health information is held by the WTC Health Program and will be used and disclosed (“given out”) by the WTC Health Program. Full Privacy Policy Text | All Privacy Policies