o b s s r connector monthly

October 17, 2017

Director's Voice

Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the NIH Intramural Research Festival. Some may be surprised to learn that there is a small but thriving cadre of behavioral and social sciences researchers in the NIH intramural program. At this year’s NIH Intramural Research Festival, held September 13-15, 2017, a social and behavioral sciences category poster session included 17 presentations by intramural researchers across a range of NIH Institutes and Centers.

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Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research

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High-fat diet increases pain behaviors in rats regardless of obesity status

Poor diet, not obesity, appears to increase pain behavior in rats according to a new study funded by NINDS, NIAMS, and NIDDK.  The study revealed a high-fat diet increased pain behavior in two rat models of local inflammation regardless of obesity induced changes in weight and body fat. Long-Evans and Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either a low-fat or high-fat diet for 6 weeks, after which one of two pain models, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) inflammation or complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) paw inflammation, was implemented.
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Income, not healthy food access, drives cardiovascular risk in food desert residents 

A new study funded by NHLBI reveals that increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk is related to a person’s individual income over and above the income level of their neighborhood or the availability of healthy foods in their neighborhood. The study included 1,421 metropolitan Atlanta residents who participated in the Eliminate Health Disparities study or the Predictive Health study. Researchers analyzed participants’ demographic data, metabolic profiles, oxidative stress markers, arterial stiffness, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels.
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Adolescent victimization exacerbates the influence of loneliness on sleep quality in young adults

Lack of social connectedness predicts poor health outcomes in a dose-response manner. Consequently, people who endure chronic loneliness early in life may endure poorer health over time. This is the focus of a new NICHD-funded study suggesting that self-reported loneliness or childhood maltreatment is associated with overall poorer sleep quality and daytime dysfunction in young adults. Researchers used data from the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study, a cohort of 2,232 twins born in England and Wales in 1994 -1995.
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In the Know

Events and Announcements

Register: NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival

OBSSR and the NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Coordinating Committee invite you to attend the “NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival: Connecting People to Advance Health,” on Friday, December 8, 2017 at the NIH main campus in Bethesda, MD. This annual festival brings together behavioral and social scientists within the NIH extramural and intramural communities to network and collaborate with each other and share scientific ideas; highlight recently funded behavioral and social sciences research that the NIH supports; and explore ways to advance behavioral and social sciences research. The festival is free and open to the public. This meeting will not be live webcast. In-person attendance is strongly recommended.
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NIH Clinical Trials Involving Human Subjects 

The NIH is launching a series of policies to improve the accountability and transparency of clinical research. These upcoming changes will impact all applications involving clinical trials. Learn more about the new requirements, and determine if your study meets the NIH definition of a clinical trial.
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Trials that Randomize Groups or Clusters or that Deliver Interventions to Groups

Experiments, including clinical trials, differ in the methods used to assign participants to study conditions or arms and to deliver interventions. The NIH has a new website that provides resources on research methods related to experiments that randomize groups or clusters or that deliver interventions to groups. The information is relevant for human and animal studies and for basic and applied research. The website includes a calculator to estimate sample size requirements for group- or cluster-randomized trials.
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NHGRI Social and Behavioral Research Branch Seminar Series

The Social and Behavioral Research Branch Seminar Series is a semi-annual lecture. Its purpose is to bring distinguished researchers whose work sits at the interaction of genomics and the social and behavioral sciences to speak to the NIH community. On Tuesday, October 23, 2017 at 10am ET, Jeremy Freese, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at Stanford University, will present on "Integrating Genetics and Social Science: The Promises of Polygenic Scores."
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OBSSR Director's Series Webinar featuring Vitaly Napadow, Ph.D.

On Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 2pm ET, Vitaly Napadow, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, will present on "Is brain concordance linked with therapeutic alliance & pain relief? Hyperscan fMRI applied to decipher the brain circuitry of patient/clinician interactions." The goal of this webinar is to provide a background in prior attempts to understand the physiological correlates of therapeutic alliance and present some of the preliminary results from his ongoing research study.
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Workshop on Achieving Behavioral Health Equity for All 

The Forum on Promoting Children's Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health, in collaboration with the Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity, is hosting a workshop on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 that will explore initiatives and policies across domains that have an impact on the cognitive, affective, and behavioral health for all children, youth, and families. This workshop will use an eco-developmental model to explore health equity of children and families, including those with complex needs and chronic conditions.
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Funding Announcements

Short-term Mentored Career Enhancement Awards for Mid-Career Investigators to Integrate Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences
(K18 Clinical Trial Required)

This FOA encourages applications for short-term mentored career development (K18) awards that improve synergies among researchers in basic and applied behavioral-social sciences, human subjects and model animals settings; and biomedical and behavioral-social sciences.
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BRAIN Initiative: Exploratory Research Opportunities Using Invasive Neural Recording and Stimulating Technologies in the Human Brain (U01) 

Invasive surgical procedures provide the unique ability to record and stimulate neurons within precisely localized brain structures in humans. Human studies using invasive technology are often constrained by a limited number of patients and resources available to implement complex experimental protocols and are rarely aggregated in a manner that addresses research questions with appropriate statistical power.  Therefore, this FOA seeks applications to assemble integrated, multi-disciplinary teams to overcome these fundamental barriers. Projects should investigate high-impact questions in human neuroscience.
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Request for Information: Next-Generation Data Science Challenges in Health 

The National Library of Medicine seeks community input on new data science research initiatives that could address key challenges currently faced by researchers, clinicians, administrators, and others, in all areas of biomedical, social/behavioral and health-related research.
View RFI

NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00)  

The purpose of the NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award is to support a defined pathway across career stages for outstanding graduate students who are from backgrounds that are nationally underrepresented in neuroscience research. This two-phase award will facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation and transition of talented graduate students to strong neuroscience research postdoctoral positions, and will provide career development opportunities relevant to their long-term career goal of becoming independent neuroscience researchers.
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NIH's Common Fund for Science of Behavior Change 

NIH’s Common Fund for Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) promotes basic research across disciplines on the initiation, personalization, and maintenance of behavior change. SOBC focuses on mechanisms of experimental medicine to identify an intervention target; develop assays (measures) to permit verification of the target; engage the target through experimentation or intervention; and test the degree to which engagement produces the desired behavior change.

Current Funding Opportunities:
SOBC: Revision Applications for Use-inspired Research to Optimize Adherence, Behavior Change Interventions, and Outcomes (R01) (RFA-RM-17-022)

SOBC: Revision Applications for Use-inspired Research to Optimize Adherence, Behavior Change Interventions, and Outcomes (U01) (RFA-RM-17-023)

SOBC: Revision Applications for Use-inspired Research to Optimize Adherence, Behavior Change Interventions, and Outcomes (R34) (RFA-RM-17-024)

SOBC: Use-inspired Research to Optimize Adherence, Behavior Change Interventions, and Outcomes (R21) (RFA-RM-17-028)

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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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