NIH Hosts Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival

January 9, 2018

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) and the NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Coordinating Committee (BSSR-CC) held a research festival, Connecting People to Advance Health, on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, on December 8th. The festival featured NIH-funded research and provided the opportunity for NIH extramural and intramural behavioral and social scientists to network, exchange ideas, and consider potential strategies to advance these sciences.

NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak welcomed attendees and highlighted OBSSR’s important mission “to find and deepen the understanding of social and cultural factors that contribute to disease.” Tabak praised OBSSR’s success since its founding in 1993, and emphasized that OBSSR is an “integral” part of NIH. Tabak observed that “many interventions, therapies, and treatments would not have as nearly as much impact without consideration of research on the associated behaviors and social elements needed for implementation.” Behavioral science is once again “at the forefront of health research,” he declared.

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Director Eliseo Pérez-Stable provided the Festival’s keynote address. He described the constructs of discrimination/racism and the impact of the perception of unfair treatment on health. He stressed the need for additional research in this area. “This is real,” he emphasized.

The videocast of the NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival, including an update from the OBSSR Director Bill Riley and numerous excellent research presentations, is available for viewing on the NIH website.