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NIH Office of the Director (OD)

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Don Ralbovsky

David B. Abrams, Ph.D., To Lead Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., announced today that David B. Abrams, Ph.D., has been selected as Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). Dr. Abrams is expected to begin his appointment in January 2005.

“I am extremely pleased that a scientist and researcher of Dr. Abrams’ caliber is joining NIH at this time,” said Dr. Zerhouni. “His outstanding expertise and vision will provide the leadership we need to continue to strengthen our efforts in behavioral and social sciences research.”

Dr. Abrams is Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Professor of Community Health and co-director of Transdisciplinary Research at Butler Hospital, Brown Medical School. He has been at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island since 1978. Dr. Abrams is also the founding Director of Brown's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, at The Miriam Hospital.

Dr. Abrams received his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University, and completed his internship and postdoctoral training at Brown University. He has held leadership positions in national and international professional societies, including serving as President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. He has also been Chair of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Review Group Report on Cancer Control, and a member of the NCI’s Board of Scientific Advisors.

Dr. Abrams’ vast areas of expertise include integrating fundamental sciences with translational applications and policy research; addressing issues along the entire wellness-disease continuum; examining health needs and behaviors in a diversity of populations, including the underserved; and crossing life span transitions.

In his new role, Dr. Abrams will lead agency-wide initiatives in behavioral and social sciences research, and facilitate collaborations across socio-behavioral and biomedical disciplines. Dr. Abrams succeeds Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., as the third director of the OBSSR. Dr. Kington is currently serving as the Deputy Director, NIH.

The NIH comprises the Office of the Director and 27 Institutes and Centers. The Office of the Director is the central office at NIH, and is responsible for setting policy for NIH and for planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all the NIH components. The NIH, the Nation's medical research agency, is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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