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NHGRI launches Social and Behavioral Research Branch

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In addition to heading the new NHGRI branch, Dr. McBride also will spearhead the development of a trans-institute Social & Behavioral Science Center (SBSC) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The SBSC will be designed to hasten the progress of behavioral and social science research among participating NIH intramural research programs. A cadre of social and behavioral scientists from various NIH institutes and disciplines including experimental and clinical psychologists, sociologists, geneticists, public health experts, ethicists, decision scientists, community health professionals, informaticists and health communications specialists will be housed together in the new center. Although many NIH institutes sponsor social and behavioral research through their external, or extramural, grants-making divisions, the SBSC will bring a new focus to this type of research among the intramural research community.

The trans-NIH SBRC will house the complete staff of NHGRI's new SBRB as well as investigators and staff from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). And because the SBSC is designed to be truly collaborative, faculty and staff from the participating institutes will be intermixed, with offices configured to maximize cross-institute interactions.

"Many perspectives will be needed to translate human genome discoveries into interventions that can address public health problems such as obesity," said Dr. McBride. "Having a group of social and behavioral scientists that cross the institutes of NIH in shared space is a new way of doing business that in my mind will enable the kinds of ongoing conversations and collaborations that are needed to encourage health research innovation."

NHGRI Director, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., agr
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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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