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Vol. LVIII, No. 10
May 19, 2006

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Mechanic To Give First Riley Lecture

Dr. David Mechanic of Rutgers University will deliver the inaugural lecture named for noted NIH social scientist Matilda White Riley at 3 p.m., Monday, May 22 in Wilson Hall, Bldg. 1. His lecture on "Population Health: Challenges for Science and Society," is the first in a series established by the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research following the death of Riley in 2004 at age 93 to honor her extraordinary life and work in behavioral and social research.

  Dr. David Mechanic
Mechanic's research as Rene Dubos university professor of behavioral sciences and director of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers focuses on social aspects of health and health care, with an emphasis on the patient's perspective. He will discuss factors that influence population health, how such influences intersect in complex ways and the opportunities and constraints in addressing important health problems at many levels, from biology to social structures. Much of the lecture will examine health disparities, including black/white infant mortality differences over the past half century and the relationship between social class and benefits from medical advances. The lecture will conclude with a discussion on the non-medical factors involved in health and mortality.

A member of the Rutgers faculty since 1979, Mechanic served as dean of the faculty of arts and science, and he directs the NIMH Center at Rutgers for Research on the Organization and Financing of Care for the Severely Mentally Ill. He is also director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Awards Program in Health Policy Research. He is a past member of the National Advisory Council of the NIA. Honors include membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University.

The Matilda White Riley Award and lectureship honors a scholar whose research has contributed to behavioral and social scientific knowledge and/or the application of this knowledge to the NIH mission.