NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors
Matilda White Riley

Join us for the 11th NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors on Thursday, May 31, 2018, on the NIH Campus.
FREE and Open to the public.

View the Agenda PDF (766 KB)

National Institutes of Health
Building 1, Wilson Hall (3rd floor)
1 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892

Building 1 is part of the NIH and is located on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, approximately 5 miles from Washington D.C.

Register to attend this in-person event.


11th Matilda White Riley Distinguished Lecturer

Terrie Moffit, Ph.D.Terrie E. Moffit, Ph.D.
Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience
Duke University
Professor, Social Behavior and Development
King’s College, London
Associate Director, Dunedin Study
University of Otago, New Zealand

Presentation title: A good childhood is a smart investment

Presentation abstract: Policymakers are implementing early-years interventions, hoping for long-term returns on investment. The talk will describe research that brings national register databases together with a four-decade birth cohort study. One-fifth of the cohort accounted for most of the cohort’s injuries, obese kilograms, cigarettes smoked, hospital nights, welfare benefits, fatherless child-rearing years, prescription fills, and court convictions. Study findings suggest that early-years interventions that enhance brain health could yield large returns on investment.


Terrie Moffitt, Ph.D., studies how genetic and environmental risks work together to shape the course of abnormal human behaviors and psychiatric disorders. Her particular interest is in antisocial and criminal behavior, but she also studies depression, psychosis, and addiction. She is a licensed clinical psychologist, who completed her clinical hospital training at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute (1984). Dr. Moffitt is associate director of the Dunedin Longitudinal Study, which follows 1000 people born in 1972 in New Zealand. As of 2017, she has studied the cohort from birth to age 45 so far. She also co-directs the Environmental-Risk Longitudinal Twin Study, which follows 1100 British families with twins born in 1994-1995. She has studied the twins from birth to age 18 so far.

For her research, Dr. Moffitt has received the American Psychological Association's Early Career Contribution Award (1993) and Distinguished Career Award (2017). Dr. Moffitt was also awarded a Royal Society-Wolfson Merit Award (2002-2007), the Klaus-Grawe Prize (2009), and was a recipient of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology (2007), NARSAD Ruane Prize (2010), and Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize (2010). She is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the American Society of Criminology, the British Academy, Academia Europaea, Association for Psychological Science, and the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Dr. Moffitt works at Duke University in the USA, at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London in the UK, and at the University of Otago, Department of Psychology, in New Zealand.G

Early Stage Investigator Paper Competition Winners

Squeezing observational data for better causal inference: Methods and examples for prevention research

 Diego García-Huidobro Munita, MD, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Public Health and Family Medicine (División de Salúd Publica y Medicina Familiar)
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
Adjunct Assistant Professor
University of Minnesota

Do multiple health events reduce resilience when compared with single events?

Ruth Morin

Ruth T. Morin, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center
San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center



Dynamic stress-related epigenetic regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene promoter during early development: The role of child maltreatment

Justin ParentJustin Parent, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Florida International University



Are cocaine-seeking habits necessary for the development of addiction-like behavior in rats?

Bryan SingerBryan F. Singer, Ph.D.
Lecturer in Psychology
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
The Open University, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK



About the Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors

Matilda White Riley, Ph.D. (1911-2004) was a celebrated scientist and member of the National Academy of Sciences whose transformative work and leadership in the behavioral and social sciences at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is honored annually by the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR).

Each year, NIH honors the research trajectory and continuing influence of Dr. Matilda White Riley in the behavioral and social sciences across and beyond the NIH. Initiated as an annual distinguished scholar lecture, OBSSR expanded the event in 2016 to recognize emerging scientists with a competition for peer-reviewed articles by Early Stage Investigators.