NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Tribute to Matilda White Riley

OBSSR Conference Honors Excellence In Research

Dr. Lerman
Dr. Caryn Lerman

“People don’t grow up and grow old in laboratories. They grow up and grow old in changing societies,” was a mantra of sorts for Dr. Matilda White Riley (1911-2004), a woman whose transformative work in the behavioral and social sciences across and beyond NIH is honored by the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research every year. 

In 2016, to better reflect Riley’s broad legacy, OBSSR’s tradition has blossomed into “Real Life, Labs, Research. The 9th Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Day” on Monday, June 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. 

Dr. Caryn Lerman of the University of Pennsylvania will give the Matilda White Riley Lecture for Excellence in Behavioral and Social Sciences. Lerman is the Mary W. Calkins professor in the department of psychiatry, co-director of the Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center and deputy director of the Abramson Cancer Center. 

“Dr. Lerman’s research integrates neuroscience and behavioral science to understand how the brain’s cognitive control system can be enhanced to improve self-control over health risk behaviors such as smoking and overeating,” said OBSSR director Dr. William Riley. “She epitomizes the values of the Matilda White Riley Lecture, including the recognition of the complexity and dynamic interplay among processes at multiple levels of explanation and the application of behavioral and social factors to physical health, clinical practice and health policy.” 

Also speaking will be winners of the first-ever Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator article competition: Dr. Stephanie Cook, University of Michigan; Dr. Christopher Marcum, NHGRI; and Dr. Ian McDonough, University of Alabama.

The day will include several career panels to provide advice and networking opportunities as well as a Women in Science: Tales and Trajectories panel. 

Dr. Yvonne Maddox, vice president for research at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, will offer closing remarks. 

The event is free, but registration is required. For more information or to register, visit—Isabel Estrada-Portales

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

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