Leadership Changes at OBSSR

April 29, 2014

by Chris Cameron

The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research recently announced that as of May 5, 2014, Dr. Robert M. Kaplan, Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), will be moving to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Dr. Kaplan's new position as Chief Science Officer for the AHRQ comes after 35+ years of association with the AHRQ. 

Dr. Kaplan joined us as a speaker at the December 2013 FABBS Council meeting. He presented on activities at the OBSSR including the future of methods and measures, enhancing health and lengthening life in various populations, and training the next generation of research investigators.

In thanking Dr. Kaplan for his service, NIH announced that he "has made numerous contributions to behavioral and social sciences research (BSSR) at the NIH, including bringing together leaders in mobile technology, behavioral sciences, and clinical research to forge new partnerships in mHealth; leading a variety of activities in dissemination and implementation research in health; and providing support for training in systems science methodologies to facilitate the study of behavioral and social dimensions of health; and representing the NIH with stakeholders, including scientific societies, international organizations, and scientific leaders in the BSSR community."

The NIH reinforced its support of BSSR and a commitment to providing continued leadership.  Dr. William T. Riley, Chief of the Science of Research and Technology Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, at the NCI, will serve as Acting Director of OBSSR. According to the announcement, "Dr. Riley's research interests include behavioral assessment, psychosocial health risk factors, tobacco use/cessation, and the application of technology to preventive health behaviors and chronic disease management.  Dr. Riley earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Florida State University, and has experience in both academic medical centers and the private sector.  Prior to his current position at NCI, he has served at NIMH and NHLBI."

A nationwide search to fill the position will be announced at a later date.

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