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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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national institutes of health - office of behaviorial and social sciences research
OBSSR Connector Monthly

June 12, 2018

Director's Voice

Celebrating the Behavioral and Social Sciences at the 11th NIH Matilda White Riley Honors. OBSSR recently held the 11th NIH Matilda White Riley (MWR) Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors. Dr. White Riley was the OBSSR before OBSSR was formed. She joined the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in 1979 and formed and led what is now the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at NIA. In the 1980s, she co-chaired the NIH Steering Committee for the Institute of Medicine’s Project on Health and Behavior, and subsequently chaired the trans-NIH Working Group on Health and Behavior.  

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Research Spotlights

Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research


brain 2

Weight loss success predicted by brain networks

Over 50% of Americans report that they want to lose weight. However, the success of lifestyle weight loss interventions varies considerably, indicating unique phenotypes associated with the ability to lose weight. A recent study by investigators funded by NHLBI, NIBIB, NIA, and NCATS examined if brain connectivity could predict successful weight loss.
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patient map

Identifying geographic hot spots of intentional injury may serve prevention efforts

Geographic information systems (GIS) are effective for studying intentional injury, which includes both assault and self-harm, in different communities, but trauma centers have not widely adopted their use. A recent NIGMS-funded study used patient data to map the distribution of incidents and correlated socioeconomic factors.
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june 2018 trial

Failing to report adverse events is not just about losing compensation

Losing out on financial incentives was thought to be the main driver deterring healthy volunteers from disclosing adverse events in clinical trials, but a recent NIGMS-funded study suggests that in addition to economic reasons, health risks and study integrity are also important factors in willingness to report adverse events.
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In the Know

Events and Announcements

Meeting Summary: Contributions of social and behavioral research in addressing the opioid crisis

OBSSR in collaboration with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), and the NIH Immediate Office of the Director (IMOD), hosted a meeting on March 5-6, 2018 to discuss social and behavioral contributions to address the opioid crisis. This meeting was part of the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative to help end the opioid crisis. This meeting agenda, participant list, video recording, and executive and full meeting summaries are now available.
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Webinar: Highlights from a journey linking basic and applied science in cognitive training

The June OBSSR Director’s Webinar will be held on Tuesday, June 19, at 2:00 p.m. ET and will feature guest speakers Greg Siegle, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Translational Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Arielle Baskin-Sommers, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor at Yale University. Dr. Siegle will discuss cognitive training to address obstacles to recovery, and Dr. Baskin-Sommers will present on an experimental therapeutics approach to target antisocial behaviors.
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BSSR Input: RFI on the development of the FY 2021-2023 trans-NIH strategic plan for HIV and HIV-related research

The NIH, through the Office of AIDS Research, has issued a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register. This RFI requests broad public input and feedback from interested constituents for the development of the fiscal year 2021-2023 Trans-NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related Research. The plan is designed to identify and articulate future directions to maximize the impact of the NIH investment in HIV/AIDS research. Your input is welcome, and you are encouraged to contribute feedback/input as it relates to relevant behavioral and social sciences research.
Comments must be received by Wednesday, June 20, 2018 to ensure consideration.
Submit Input

SOBC Webinar featuring Lisa Feldman Barrett, Ph.D.

The Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Program is hosting a Grand Round webinar on Tuesday, June 26, at 2:00 p.m. ET. Lisa Feldman Barrett, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory (IASLab) at Northeastern University, will present “Emotions inside out: From cartoon neuroscience to the predictive brain.” Dr. Barrett’s research focuses on the nature of emotion from both psychological and neuroscience perspectives.
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CRUK-NCI "Sandpit" Workshop on Implementation of Digital Health Interventions

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), in collaboration with Cancer Research U.K. (CRUK), will host a “Sandpit” workshop (i.e., ideas lab) on October 28-31, 2018, in Potomac, Maryland. This intensive residential workshop will bring together a broad, multidisciplinary group of participants to generate new insights on the contextual factors (e.g., social, cultural, and organizational) that influence the implementation and uptake of digital health interventions for cancer prevention. Early- and mid-career professionals based in the U.S. or U.K. who are interested in contributing their expertise, transformative ideas, and novel thinking are especially encouraged to apply. However, please note that Ph.D. students are not eligible for this opportunity. Application materials must be emailed to by July 18, 2018 at 5 p.m. EDT / 10 p.m. BST.
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2018 D&I Call for Abstracts

The call for abstracts for the 11th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health is now open. This conference, co-hosted by the NIH and AcademyHealth, helps realize the potential of evidence to optimize health and health care by bridging the gap between research, practice, and policy. Abstracts are encouraged for three types of scientific sessions: Individual Oral presentations, Panel presentations, and Poster presentations.
Abstract Submission Deadline: Tuesday, July 24 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
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August NIH BSSR Coordinating Committee Meeting

Please join us for the next NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Coordinating Committee (BSSR CC) open meeting on Friday, August 3, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on NIH’s campus (Rockledge II, room 9112/9116) or online (WebEx - access code: 628 548 199, password: gWZPDbr4). Representatives from NIH Institutes and Centers will meet to discuss behavioral and social sciences-relevant topics. Other partners from within and outside the federal government will also be present, to announce their upcoming activities initiatives in behavioral and social sciences research.
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Webinar Recording: OBSSR Director's Series on the Biopsychosocial effects of Qigong/Tai Chi on breast cancer survivors

On Tuesday, May 15, 2018, Linda K. Larkey, Ph.D., CRTT, reviewed the broader evidence on Meditative Movement (MM) effects on cancer survivorship, supporting the goals of her research underway in breast cancer survivors. Dr. Larkey discussed extended models proposing various biomolecular and neurophysiological markers as mechanisms of effects on physical and emotional symptoms, cognitive function and body composition outcomes. The webinar recording is now available.
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Video Recording: Screening and referral for social determinants of health meeting

OBSSR hosted the Screening and Referral for Social Determinants of Health: Innovative Health Care Applications and Future Directions meeting on Thursday, May 3, 2018. The presentation sessions were recorded and archived and are now available. Scroll down below the video to click and see a specific session.
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Funding Announcements

Predoctoral training in advanced data analytics for BSSR Institutional Research Training Program [T32]

OBSSR and participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) intend to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for new BSSR predoctoral training programs that focus on innovative computational and/or data science analytic approaches and their incorporation into training for the future BSSR health research workforce. This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful cross-disciplinary collaborations and responsive training programs. This FOA will utilize the T32 activity code. The FOA is expected to be published in October 2018 with an anticipated application due date in May 2019.
View Notice

Social and Behavioral Research eLearning Course

Good Clinical Practice in Social and Behavioral Research

Complete the free NIH Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training through the Society of Behavioral Medicine. In September 2016, the NIH issued a Policy on Good Clinical Practice Training for NIH awardees involved in NIH-funded clinical trials. The principles of GCP help assure the safety, integrity, and quality of clinical trials. Certificates will be given upon completion of the training. Take The Training

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