In Brief

APA CEO Norman B. Anderson, PhD, outlined the early challenges of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health during a June celebration of its 10th anniversary.

In a keynote speech, Anderson, the office's first director, noted that OBSSR initially encountered resistance to its efforts to integrate behavioral research into all programs at NIH. Some biomedical scientists needed a lot of convincing that social and behavioral research was quality science, and could contribute to their missions. Since then, awareness of the importance of behavioral research has grown both within and outside of NIH, thanks in part to OBSSR, Anderson said.

"Then and today, behavioral factors contribute to health and illness, and behavioral factors represent important avenues for treatment and prevention," Anderson noted.

Other speakers included Elias Zerhouni, MD, the director of NIH; Raynard Kington, MD, PhD, NIH's deputy director; and David Abrams, OBSSR's current director.