OBSSR Director's Webinar Series

The OBSSR hosts virtual and in-person meetings that highlight behavioral and social sciences research (BSSR). In coordination with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices, other government agencies, and the wider BSSR community, OBSSR facilitates opportunities to network, collaborate, explore, and advance BSSR.

OBSSR hosts a Director’s Webinar Series on a variety of BSSR topics to help communicate BSSR findings and other relevant BSSR information. Subscribe to receive updates on the latest OBSSR and BSSR-related event information.

View the list of past OBSSR Director's Webinars

Director's Webinar
Event Date: March 19, 2024, 2:00 pm
Presenter: Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., Brigham Young University

Presentation topic: Social Connection

Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad is a professor of psychology and neuroscience, and director of the Social Connection & Health Lab at Brigham Young University. She is also the founding scientific chair and board member for the U.S. Foundation for Social Connection and the Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection.

She is an international scientific expert on social connection, the health effects, biological mechanisms, and strategies to mitigate risk and promote protection associated with social connection. Her research has been seminal in recognizing social isolation and loneliness as risk factors for early mortality.

Director's Webinar
Event Date: July 23, 2024, 2:00 pm
Presenter: Rebeca Wong, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical Branch

Presentation topic: The intersection of social science, aging, and health disparities

Dr. Wong is a Mexican scholar who received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan in 1987. She served in the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Georgetown University Department of Demography, and as Associate Director of the University of Maryland Population Research Center. She joined UTMB in 2008 to serve as Director of the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center on Aging and Health. She is also Vice Chair of Research at SPPH and Associate Director of the UTMB Pepper Center and Sealy Center on Aging.

Dr. Wong's research agenda focuses on the economic consequences of population aging, in particular in Mexico and among immigrant Hispanics in the U.S. She has pioneered the use of cross-national approaches to study health outcomes among international migrants, and has completed recent work on disability and unhealthy lifestyles among elderly in the U.S. and Mexico, socioeconomic gradients of health, poverty and utilization of health services, co-existence of infectious and chronic diseases, and the impact of the social security and health care reform among elderly in Mexico. She serves as Principal Investigator of the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), financed by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. The study seeks to locate research on Mexico's unique health dynamics in broad socioeconomic context, and it includes a national longitudinal survey of multiple purposes among the population of middle and old age. A description of the study and a list of publications related to the MHAS is available at www.MHASweb.org.

Director's Webinar
Event Date: September 17, 2024, 2:00 pm
Presenter: Emily Wang, MD, MAS, Yale University

Presentation topic: Justice involved individuals and access to healthcare

Emily Wang is a professor in the Yale School of Medicine and directs the SEICHE Center for Health and Justice. The SEICHE Center is a collaboration between the Yale School of Medicine and Yale Law School working to stimulate community transformation by identifying the legal, policy, and practice levers that can improve the health of individuals and communities impacted by mass incarceration. She leads the Center's research program, the Health Justice Lab, which receives National Institutes of Health funding to investigate how incarceration influences chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and opioid use disorder, and uses a participatory approach to study interventions which mitigate the impacts of incarceration. As an internist, she has cared for thousands of individuals with a history of incarceration and is co-founder of the Transitions Clinic Network, a consortium of 40 community health centers nationwide dedicated to caring for individuals recently released from correctional facilities by employing community health workers with histories of incarceration.

Dr. Wang has served on the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine’s Health and Incarceration Workshop, Means of Violence Workshop, and the Steering Committee on Improving Collection of Indicators of Criminal Justice System Involvement in Population Health Data Programs. Her work been published in the Lancet, JAMA, American Journal of Public Health, and Health Affairs, and showcased in national outlets such as the New York Times, NPR, and CNN. Dr. Wang has an AB from Harvard University, an MD from Duke University, and a MAS from the University of California, San Francisco.