NIH Celebrates a Decade of Discovery in Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

Bethesda, Maryland The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) celebrates a decade of progress and promise in the behavioral and social sciences on June 21-22. The two-day event features more than 30 presentations highlighting cutting-edge research, the impact of these advances in understanding health and disease, and historical contributions to the field.

"In a rapidly changing landscape, this is a critical time for the behavioral and social sciences at NIH," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. "Changing individual and collective patterns of behavior and creating environments that promote health and prevent disease are key to solving some of the nation's and the world's challenges to promoting optimal health."

The event will take attendees on a journey from cells to society, showing how behavioral and social sciences contribute to health promotion and disease prevention. Speakers will discuss innovative interventions to change diet, physical activity, smoking behavior, and showcase the move from causes to cures how basic research is translated into interventions in addictions, child abuse and neglect, HIV/AIDS, and stress reduction.

"Behavioral and social science stands at a crossroads, bridging biology and the environment, linking basic and applied science, and informing national policy," said OBSSR Director David Abrams, Ph.D. "Critical challenges face our national health agenda, including aging baby boomers, chronic diseases, and health disparities. About 70 percent of our health outcomes involve behavior at individual, group, and societal levels. Investments in socio-behavioral research have already paid off and can yield enormous future benefits, not only in economic terms but also in preventing death and suffering."

OBSSR's draft strategic prospectus for future priorities in NIH's behavioral and social sciences research will also be presented for comment in a

Contact: Bonnie Flock
NIH/Office of the Director

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