The 2023 Annual NIH Matilda White Riley (MWR) Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors: May 15, 2023

Now in its 16th year, the OBSSR-hosted, half-day event recognizing the legacy and relevance of Dr. Matilda White Riley work in the field of behavioral and social sciences will be held using a virtual format on Monday, May 15, 2023, from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. ET. Register today:

It is OBSSR’s honor to recognize Dr. Jennifer J. Manly as the 2023 Distinguished Lecturer. Jennifer J. Manly, Ph.D. is a Professor of Neuropsychology in the Department of Neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Her research focuses on mechanisms of inequalities in cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. Her research team has partnered with the Black and Latinx communities in New York City and around the United States to design and carry out investigations of structural and social forces across the lifecourse, such as educational opportunities, discrimination, and socioeconomic inequality, and how these factors relate to cognition and brain health later in life. Her presentation titled “Lifecourse Social and Structural Mechanisms of Inequalities in Cognitive Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease” addresses the prevailing need for updates to the infrastructure that supports Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) research, a need that is driven by the threat posed by early life structural and social inequalities on later life brain health. This threat, exacerbated by structural racism, increases the risk for ADRD. Advances in infrastructure can accelerate ADRD research progress, innovative methods, and shed light on pathways of risk and resilience.

Dr. Manly is a principal investigator on the Columbia Interdisciplinary Research Center on Alzheimer’s Disparities that focuses on mentoring early career scientists from minoritized backgrounds. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2021. She served on the Health and Human Services Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care and Services from 2011 to 2015 and is a current member of the National Advisory Council on Aging. The first half of our honors event will be dedicated to recognizing the four recipients of the 2023 NIH Matilda White Riley Early State Investigator (ESI) Awards. They will each present behavioral and social sciences research findings from studies they led/co-led that were published in peer-reviewed articles within the past 12-month period. Each recipient’s submission for these Awards was selected based on how well their research matched the following questions that were influenced by Dr. Matilda White Riley’s scientific legacy:

  • How potentially impactful (or influential) is this paper on the health-related behavioral and social sciences?
  • How well does the paper use sophisticated methodological approaches to address important empirical questions that are derived from or that inform theoretical frameworks?
  • How well does the paper integrate multiple levels of influence, and/or the dynamic, longitudinal, and bidirectional effects of social systems on individuals and vice versa?
  • How well does the paper integrate approaches from multiple disciplines to address the research question?

The following are the 2023 NIH Matilda White Riley ESI honorees:

Developing and applying a novel natural language processing approach to characterize violent deaths in the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS)
Alina Arseniev-Koehler, Ph.D.

NLM T15 Postdoctoral Trainee in Biomedical Informatics,
University of California San Diego
Assistant Professor of Sociology,
Purdue University (on leave)

Psychosocial-behavioral phenotyping and beyond: Biomedical informatics methods for precision behavioral nutrition
Marissa Burgermaster, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor,
The University of Texas at Austin

Cognability: An ecological theory of neighborhoods and cognitive aging
Jessica Finlay, Ph.D.

Research Investigator,
University of Michigan

Investigating biological pathways underpinning the longitudinal association between loneliness and incident cognitive impairment
Ted K.S. Ng, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor,
Arizona State University

Please join OBSSR and the NIH behavioral and social sciences community in honoring the 2023 NIH Matilda White Riley Distinguished Lecturer and ESI Paper Competition Awardees. This event is free and open to the public. Register today: