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NHGRI launches Social and Behavioral Research Branch

in community and health care settings and in using risk communications to motivate behavioral change. She said she is excited about the challenges and opportunities presented by advances in human genomic discoveries. Starting this new research branch within NHGRI, she said, has involved extensive planning and discussion with experts from around the country.

"This is an exciting time for social and behavioral researchers who in the coming years will be responsible for translating discoveries from genome research into medical care and public health interventions," said Dr. McBride. "The research landscape is wide open and research programs like SBRB will have unprecedented opportunities to do truly innovative research. I and my colleagues around the country give kudos to NHGRI for its forward thinking in acknowledging the centrality of social and behavioral science."

According to Dr. McBride, the SBRB's research portfolio will encompass four conceptual domains:

Testing communications strategies aimed at relaying an individual's risk for developing a genetic condition. Developing and evaluating interventions aimed at reducing genetically susceptible individuals' risk of acquiring a disease. Translating genomic discoveries to clinical practice. Understanding the social, ethical and policy implications of genomic research.

There will be a number of research groups within the SBRB. They include a behavioral genetics unit; a health communications unit; a genetic counseling service unit; a health promotion research section that includes a unit for disseminating counseling research methods; a community genetics research unit; and an ethics and social policy unit that includes research ethics. In addition, there will be several cross-cutting themes addressed by researchers in the new branch, including the implications of genomic discoveries and research for health disparities, the ethical and leg
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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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