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NHGRI launches Social and Behavioral Research Branch

BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 4, 2003 The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) announced today the formation of a new branch the Social and Behavioral Research Branch (SBRB) within its Division of Intramural Research (DIR). The new branch will develop cutting-edge approaches to translating the discoveries from the recently completed Human Genome Project into interventions for health promotion and disease prevention, and for counseling patients and families dealing with the impact of devastating genetic disorders. The SBRB also will investigate the complex social, ethical and public policy impact of genomic research.

Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., NHGRI's scientific director and director of the Division of Intramural Research, said the launch of this new branch is part of the natural evolution of the division.

"We have long recognized the importance of social and behavioral research as it pertains to advances in genetics and genomics," said Dr. Green. "Now that we are about to embark on translating the information from the Human Genome Project into research on better ways to prevent and manage human illnesses, the time is appropriate for this important area to have its own dedicated branch."

To head the new DIR branch, NHGRI recruited a prominent behavioral epidemiologist from Duke University, Colleen McBride, Ph.D. As director of the Cancer Prevention, Detection and Control Research Program at Duke, Dr. McBride's work focused on developing and evaluating population-based interventions directed at smoking cessation and identifying "teachable moments" for changing behaviors that put people at increased risk for developing disease. Dr. McBride joined the Duke program in 1995 and began serving as the director in 1997.

Dr. McBride, who received her doctorate in behavioral epidemiology from the University of Minnesota in 1990, also has interests in health behavior change interventions
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Contact: Geoff Spencer
spencerg@mail.nih.gov
301-402-0911
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
5-Dec-2003


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