Latest OBSSR Connector Monthly Newsletter

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Connector Monthly Newsletter is a monthly e-newsletter featuring updates from OBSSR Director William T. Riley, Ph.D., information about behavioral and social sciences in the news, events and announcements, findings from recently published research, funding announcements, and other updates. The current newsletter is provided below.

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July 14, 2021

Director's Voice

Considering Others When Considering Getting Vaccinated for COVID-19. Together we came close (67%) but failed to achieve the President’s goal of 70 percent of Americans receiving their first COVID vaccination by Independence Day. Together we must continue to help as many people get vaccinated as can be vaccinated, not only for our own sake but for the sake of others as well. To illustrate how getting vaccinated helps others, I want to share a personal story.

Two and half years ago, after a serious bout of pneumonia, my wife was diagnosed with leukemia. After inpatient and outpatient chemotherapy, she received a bone marrow transplant. We are among the fortunate - her bone marrow transplant was successful, and she is now in remission - but during the many months of treatment, her body was unable to fight infections. Interestingly, the process of replacing her bone marrow also resulted in her immune system starting anew with no built-up immunity from prior infections or from prior vaccinations.

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Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research

Response to chronic stress passed down from fathers’ sperm in mice

Stress in future fathers has been shown to induce long-lasting changes in sperm cells that can change genetic factors and behavior in later generations. However, it is unknown whether transmission patterns differed depending on fathers’ responses to chronic stress. In a study in mice funded by the NIMH, researchers tested whether fathers’ resiliency or susceptibility to chronic stress impacted behavioral responses in offspring.
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Barriers to opioid treatment for reproductive-age women decrease access to life-saving medications

How easy is it to get treatment for opioid addiction/opioid use disorder (OUD) if you are female and pregnant? To add to the question, how difficult is it to get treatment if you are pregnant and on public insurance? A study funded by the NIDA sought to answer these questions.
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Computational modeling – a potential tool to guide individually tailored language rehabilitation plans for bilingual stroke patients with aphasia

In recently published results from a study supported by the NIDCD, scientists demonstrate the utility of using computer simulations to predict language recovery in bilingual patients with aphasia. Following stroke or other similar brain injuries, aphasia is the most common speech and language disorder that affects bilingual adults.
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In the Know

Events and Announcements

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Funding Announcements

Recently Published FOAs

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Protocol Template for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

Resource for communicating the science, methods, and operations of a clinical trial