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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

March 12, 2019

Director's Voice

Implementation Science Underpins the HHS Initiative on Ending the HIV Epidemic. In the State of the Union Address, the President announced the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) initiative on Ending the HIV Epidemic. The goals are bold, to reduce new infections by 75% in 5 years and by 90% in 10 years, but are possible due to advances in two areas of research supported by the NIH. First, extensive research on HIV has produced an armamentarium of testing strategies and treatments that have extended the lives and quality of life of people infected with HIV and provided effective prevention strategies. Second, for over a decade, NIH has supported implementation science research for a range of medical conditions and treatments, including HIV.

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Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research


Photo of young male boy resting head on desk, associated with March 2019 research spotlight article on physiological indicators for personalized medicine: towards optimal behavioral interventions for at-risk children.

Physiological indicators for personalized medicine: towards optimal behavioral interventions for at-risk children

Personalized healthcare has the potential to optimize the effectiveness of behavioral interventions. Recent research supported by NICHD, NIDA, and co-funded by OBSSR looked at how certain biological factors may influence how youth respond to different formats (group verses individual) of a proven intervention for aggression. Coping Power, a school-based intervention program used to address behavior problems in at-risk youth, has been associated with reductions in the rates of substance use, delinquency, aggression, and improved behavior and social competence. Read More

Photo of sneakers on street with words above written in chalk for 'right' and 'wrong', associated with March 2019 research spotlight article on 'To be or not to be virtuous; is it in our genes?'.

To be or not to be virtuous; is it in our genes?

Developing a virtuous character (contentiousness and responsibility) in adolescence directly influences well-being, prosocial behavior, and civic engagement in adulthood. In a recent research publication supported by the NIMH, NICHD, Institute of Education Sciences, William T. Grant Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation, researchers sought to disentangle the underlying mechanisms driving adolescence character development by using a behavioral genetics approach to determine whether associations among parenting, adolescent responsibility, and young adult conscientiousness have unique and common heritable and/or environmental influences. Learn More

Photo of person sitting at table using a device to take blood reading, associated with March 2019 research spotlight article on 'Emotional control may be key to managing type 1 diabetes in adolescents'.

Emotional control may be key to managing type 1 diabetes in adolescents

More than 75% of adolescents with type 1 diabetes do not meet the American Diabetes Association clinical guidelines for glycemic control. Previously, a randomized controlled trial of a novel web-delivered multicomponent intervention for adolescents with type 1 diabetes had positive results, with improved SMBG and improved glycemic control at the 6- and 12-month follow-ups, however, it was not known what mediated these improvements and if the intervention benefited any subgroup of adolescents. In a secondary analysis supported by NICHD, NIDA, and co-funded by OBSSR, these researchers investigated both a key mediator (changes in SMBG) and moderator (problems with emotional control) of the previously established benefits. Go There Now

In the Know

Events and Announcements


Webinar: Social and Population Health Science Approaches to Understanding the Human Gut Microbiome

Pamela Herd, Ph.D., Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and Principal Investigator of Wisconsin Longitudinal Study will present on March 18, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. ET on “Social and population health science approaches to understanding the human gut microbiome.” Dr. Herd will outline key substantive and methodological advances that can be made if collaborations between social and population health scientists and life scientists are strategically pursued, as will provide a recent example of a collaboration. Registration for this webinar is required.
Register Today


Early Stage Investigator Paper Competition

The submission period is now open for the Early Stage Investigators (ESI, within 10 years of their terminal degree) paper competition. OBSSR will pay the travel expenses for up to four ESI honorees to present the findings from their accepted paper and participate in a moderated discussion of future research possibilities at the 12th NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors on June 6, 2019. More information about the paper competition can be found at the link below. OBSSR encourages you to share this information with your grantees. The submission deadline is Sunday, March 31, 2019.
Submit a Paper


Registration Open: 12th NIH Matilda White Riley Honors

Register for the 12th NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors, to be held on Thursday, June 6, from 8:00 am to 12 noon on NIH's Main Campus - Wilson Hall, Building 1. The 2019 Distinguished Lecturer is Mark J. VanLandingham, Ph.D. Thomas C. Keller Professor Director, Center for Studies of Displaced Populations at Tulane University. Dr. Keller will present “Culture and Resilience: Insights from the Vietnamese American community in post-Katrina New Orleans.”
Register Now


RFI: Action on Interoperability of Medical Devices, Data, and Platforms To Enhance Patient Care

The NITRD Health Information Technology Research and Development Interagency Working Group (HITRD IWG) requests input to collect information on new approaches from industry, academia, and non-governmental organizations, to solve the interoperability issues between medical devices, data, and platforms. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 11:59 p.m. (ET) on March 15, 2019. Comments submitted in response to this notice may be sent to:
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NCI Fireside Chat on Implementation Science and Systems Science

On Wednesday, March 20, 3:00-4:00pm ET, Dr. David Chambers will be joined by Drs. Stephanie Wheeler, UNC Gillings School of Public Health, and Lindsey Zimmerman, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, for a discussion on systems science methods and systems-based approaches at the intersection of implementation science. Drs. Wheeler and Zimmerman will kick off a broader follow up discussion and welcome questions from participants. Registration is required.
Register Today


RFI: NIH HIV/AIDS Research Priorities and Guidelines for Determining AIDS Funding

The NIH Office of AIDS Research is soliciting feedback from its stakeholder communities on the NIH HIV Research Priorities and Guidelines for Determining HIV Funding as a flexible, dynamic, comprehensive framework to guide the use of HIV-designated funding for fiscal years 2021 through 2025. Stakeholder comments about the NIH HIV Research Priorities will provide valuable information for use in advancing the NIH HIV research agenda and for developing the NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-related Research for fiscal years 2021 through 2025. The public comment period closes on April 13, 2019.
Submit Feedback


NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Workshop

The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research is hosting a workshop titled The Science of Interoception and Its Roles in Nervous Systems Disorders on April 16-17 in the Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A. The objective of this workshop is to identify gaps in research related to the science of interoception and its roles in nervous system disorders as well as to develop strategies and recommendations to facilitate the advancement of this area of research. The workshop will bring together expertise from diverse fields in basic neuroscience and clinical research to address two major connections – the connections between brain and body and the connections between basic research and human/clinical research. Areas of focus include neural circuitry underlying the dynamic interactions between the central and peripheral nervous systems; Interoceptive processes in associated diseases and disorders; effect of modulating interoceptive processes and potential interventions/therapies; and development of technologies and methodologies to enhance interoceptive research.
Register Now

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Funding Announcements

Secondary Data Analysis to Examine Long-Term and/or Potential Cross-Over Effects of Prevention Interventions: What are the Benefits for Preventing Mental Health Disorders? (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to encourage research to integrate/harmonize existing data sets from preventive intervention trials implemented early in life to: 1) examine risk and protective factors relevant to later mental health outcomes in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood; and 2) determine whether preventive interventions delivered earlier in life have long-term effects, and/or cross-over effects (e.g., unanticipated beneficial effects), on important mental health outcomes, including serious mental illness (e.g., depression, anxiety, suicide ideation and behaviors, psychosis behaviors).
View Funding Announcement

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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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