Robert M. Kaplan, Ph.D.
In February of 2011, Robert M. Kaplan, Ph.D. joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of the Director as Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences and Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). At the time of this appointment, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins announced, "NIH will benefit from Dr. Kaplan's longstanding proven expertise in high priority behavioral health areas".
OBSSR functions as lead for behavioral and social science at NIH. In his current role, Kaplan is charged with serving as principal advisor on the importance of behavioral, social and lifestyle determinants of illness and public health problems. Kaplan's role also includes providing leadership and direction in the development and implementation of a trans-NIH plan for behavioral and social sciences research.
Prior to working for government, Kaplan was Distinguished Professor of Health Services at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine where he was Principal Investigator (PI) of the California Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Improvement Center. He led the UCLA/RAND health services training program and the UCLA/RAND Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Prevention Research Center. He was Chair of the Department of Health Services from 2004 to 2009. From 1997 to 2004 he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, at the University of California, San Diego. He is a past President of several organizations, including the American Psychological Association (APA) Division of Health Psychology, Section J of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Pacific), the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL), the Society for Behavioral Medicine (SBM), and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. He is a Past Chair of the Behavioral Science Council of the American Thoracic Society. Dr. Kaplan is a former Editor-in-Chief of two different academic journals: Health Psychology and the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. He is the author, co-author or editor of more than 18 books and approximately 480 articles or chapters. His work has been cited in more than 25,000 papers and the ISI includes him in the listing of the most cited authors in his field (defined as above the 99.5th percentile).
In 2005, Kaplan was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences. Other selected honors include APA Division of Health Psychology Annual Award for Outstanding Scientific Contribution (for junior scholar in 1987 and again for a senior scholar in 2001), Health Net Distinguished Lecturer (1991), University of California 125 Anniversary Award for Most Distinguished Alumnus, University of California, Riverside (1992), APA Distinguished Lecturer, Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Association of Medical School Psychologists (1996), National Leadership Award from the SBM (2003), President's Award for Career Achievement from the ISOQOL (2004), and Distinguished Research Mentor Award from the SBM (2006). This year, he was honored as Policy Scientist of the Year by the American Sociological Association and received a Presidential Citation from the APA.
Kaplan earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology at the University of California, Riverside. His research interests include behavioral medicine, health services research, health outcome measurement and multivariate data analysis.
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