Deputy Director, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)
Janine M. Simmons, M.D., Ph.D. joined OBSSR as the Deputy Director in January 2024. In this role, she supports the OBSSR Director and staff in strategic planning, developing scientific initiatives, ensuring strong communication with internal and external stakeholders, and implementing plans to advance the coordination, integration, and impact of behavioral and social sciences research.
Dr. Simmons comes to OBSSR by way of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA). At NIMH, Dr. Simmons ran the Social and Affective Neuroscience Program within the Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science, served as a subject matter expert on Social Processes for NIMH’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) program, and originated proposals for the BRAIN initiative’s Brain-Behavior Quantification and Synchronization initiative. At NIA, Dr. Simmons was Chief of the Individual Behavioral Processes Branch within the Division of Behavioral and Social Research and served as a Program Officer or Project Scientist for NIA’s Stress Measurement Network, Emotional Well-Being Networks, Telomere Research Network, and the Science of Behavior Change Coordinating Center. Dr. Simmons has a long-standing relationship with OBSSR, including active participation in OppNet since 2010 and co-chairing the OBSSR Coordinating Committee’s Behavioral Ontology Development Working Group since 2015.
Dr. Simmons attended Yale University, obtained an M.D., Ph.D. in Neurosciences from the UCLA School of Medicine, trained in General & Adult Psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship within the NIMH Intramural Program. Her graduate and post-doctoral research focused on neural circuits underlying motivation and reward processing.