New SOBC Funding Opportunities

The NIH is now accepting revision applications to R01, U01, and R34 clinical trials as well as new R21 awards to accelerate the adaptation, validation, and translation of SOBC assays. Eligible assays can be found on the SOBC Measures Repository page. Applications are due December 5, 2017.

For more information, please visit our Funding Opportunities page.

Two informational webinars will be held for potential applicants.

  • Thursday, October 26, 2017 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM, EST (Register)
  • Monday, October 30, 2017 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM, EST (Register)

Each webinar will cover the same information and address all four funding opportunities.

Health Equity Institute Director

The Health Equity Institute (HEI) at San Francisco State University seeks a new Director.

HEI is a campus-wide multidisciplinary research unit that facilitates scientific research and community

related to health equity. The HEI Director directs administration of the unit; creates an intellectual home at SF State for health equity research and practice; mentors faculty and works collaboratively in the development and management of externally funded projects; and maximizes funders’ understandings of HEI’s capacities to address issues of health equity. The Director also works collaboratively to strengthen the university’s research environment, supporting faculty in their diverse health-related scholarly pursuits, and ensures the participation students in HEI’s work, bolstering the university’s overarching efforts to increase student success.

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SOBC Grand Rounds- MD2K Santosh Kumar, PhD, Professor of Computer Science, University of Memphis

Sensor-triggered Mobile Interventions Using Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K)

Monday September 25th, 2017

2:00-3:00pm(EST)

Santosh Kumar, Ph.D. is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Memphis where he holds the Lilian & Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence. His research focuses on mobile health (or mHealth). He and his student have developed computational models to infer human health and behavior such as stress, conversation, smoking, craving, and cocaine use from wearable sensor data. He leads several large multidisciplinary projects in mHealth funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and IARPA. He currently leads NIH-funded national Center of Excellence on Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K) that involves over 20 scientists in computing, engineering, behavioral science, and medicine from 12 universities. MD2K has developed and released open- source software platforms (mCerebrum and Cerebral Cortex) to support discovery and validation of new digital mHealth biomarkers and sensor-triggered interventions. Santosh was named one of America’s “Ten Most Brilliant Scientists Under The Age of 38” by Popular Science in 2010. In 2015, he was named Tennessee’s “First Chair of Excellence in Computer Science”.

Perceiving oneself as less physically active than peers is linked to a shorter lifespan

Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about equally active as other people your age? Your answer might be linked to your risk of premature death decades from now — no matter how physically active you actually are, according to research by Stanford scholars Octavia Zahrt and Alia Crum. The research, appearing July 20 in Health Psychology, finds that people who think they are less active than others in a similar age bracket die younger than those who believe they are more active — even if their actual activity levels are similar. “Our findings fall in line with a growing body of research suggesting that our mindsets — in this case, beliefs about how much exercise we are getting relative to others — can play a crucial role in our health,” Crum said.

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How mHealth Apps Drive Patient Behavior Change, Motivation

mHealth apps targeted toward weight loss must leverage strong educational features to help frame patient attitudes regarding healthy eating to drive patient behavior change and motivation, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Many healthcare professionals recommend mHealth apps for their overweight or obese patient populations working to adopt healthier eating habits. Research has suggested that these apps are effective in driving patient behavior change and motivating patients. However, little information exists about the mechanisms by which diet and nutrition apps drive patient behavior change.

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How to help social and behavioral research findings make their way into practice settings

Behavioral interventions are often complex, resource intensive and extend beyond healthcare settings. Combined with the lack a market driven, regulatory structure of medical interventions; behavioural interventions often fail to be adopted. Facilitating the adoption of these interventions is now the priority of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). Here to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with this priority is William T. Riley, author of a commentary on this topic published in Translational Behavioral Medicine.

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SOBC Workshop in May 2017 at the Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science in Boston

A dynamic workshop featuring the Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) was held at the Association for Psychological Science (APS) on May 25, 2017, in Boston. This pre-conference workshop was entitled “Bringing an Experimental Medicine Approach to Behavior Change Research: A Hands-On Introduction to the NIH Science of Behavior Change Program and Its Method.” The half-day event was organized by the Research Coordinating Center of SOBC with presentations and hands-on guidance provided by Dr. Donald Edmondson, the Director of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Jennifer Sumner, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the same institute.

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UB’s Epstein receives lifetime achievement award

Leonard H. Epstein, an internationally recognized expert on childhood weight control, has been awarded the Hoebel Prize for Creativity by the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior.

The award honors a member of the society for an exceptional level of creativity and excellence in research on ingestive behavior.

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A new show features ‘Biggest Loser’ winners who regained weight — reveals a deeper truth about weight loss

The truth hit Ryan Benson when he couldn’t fit into a seat on his son’s favorite roller coaster: He’d regained the weight he’d fought so hard to lose as a contestant on “The Biggest Loser.”

In 2005, Benson was crowned the first winner of the popular TV show, which ran for 12 years and has since ballooned into a multi-million-dollar franchise. Benson lost 122 pounds and won $250,000, but he’s since returned to his pre-show weight.

That problem wasn’t unique to Benson — a 2016 study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) followed more than a dozen former “Biggest Losers” and  found that of the 14 people studied, 13 regained a significant portion of the weight they lost on the show. Four were heavier in 2016 than they were before they set foot on the set. read more »

How Behavioral Economics Can Produce Better Health Care

Consider the following.

I’m a physician at the end of more than a decade of training. I’ve dissected cadavers in anatomy lab. I’ve pored over tomes on the physiology of disease. I’ve treated thousands of patients with ailments as varied as hemorrhoids and cancer.

And yet the way I care for patients often has less to do with the medical science I’ve spent my career absorbing than with habits, environmental cues and other subtle nudges that I think little about. read more »