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Vol. LXIII, No. 2
January 21, 2011

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Kaplan Joins NIH as OBSSR Director

On the front page...

Dr. Robert M. Kaplan will join NIH Feb. 1 as director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) and NIH associate director for behavioral and social sciences research.

“NIH will benefit from Dr. Kaplan’s longstanding proven expertise in high priority behavioral health areas such as tobacco-induced lung disease,” said NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, who announced the appointment last July.

OBSSR focuses on how behavioral and social factors often influence illness and health. The office stimulates and integrates behavioral and social sciences research across the institutes and centers to improve the understanding, treatment and prevention of disease.


  Dr. Robert M. Kaplan  
  Dr. Robert M. Kaplan  

Kaplan comes to NIH from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was distinguished professor in the department of health services at the School of Public Health and the department of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine. He has also served as principal investigator of the UCLA/RAND CDC Prevention Research Center and director of the UCLA/RAND Health Services Research training program.

Prior to his UCLA appointment, Kaplan was professor and chair of the department of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Kaplan earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology at the University of California, Riverside. His research interests include behavioral medicine, health services research, health outcome measurement and multivariate data analysis. In December 2010, he completed his term as editor- in-chief of the journal Health Psychology.

He received the American Psychological Association division of health psychology’s annual award for outstanding scientific contribution as a junior scholar in 1987 and as a senior scholar in 2001. He also received the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s National Leadership Award in 2004 and Distinguished Research Mentor Award in 2006. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Kaplan becomes the first permanent OBSSR director since Dr. David Abrams left NIH in 2008 after 3 years in the post. The office had been under the acting directorship of Dr. Christine Bachrach and then Dr. Deborah Olster. NIHRecord Icon

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