Neuroscientist Ira B. Black: "So many of the diseases facing us involve behavioral patterns."
A search committee will stop accepting applications for the directorship of the newly chartered Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health this week. The deadline's passing sets the stage for the appointment, by year's end, of a leader whose task will be to effective- ly integrate behavioral and social sciences research into the traditional biomedical investigations for which NIH is better known.

Advocates who have long struggled to raise the stature of these disciplines at NIH succeeded through pressure and persuasion in getting Congress to write the new office into the health agency's fiscal 1994 authorization. Now, they say that if a strong first director is named, OBSSR should be able to promote in-novative, interdisciplinary re- search that will significantly extend understandings of basic processes in disease and health....

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