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April 2024 COSSA Headlines: Behavioral and Social Science Priorities and Programs at the National Institutes of Health

  • April 23, 2024 | 1:00 pm-2:00 pm EDT

  • Virtual

April 23, 2024 | 1:00 pm 2:00 pm EDT

The 2024 Headlines series continues with a discussion about the research and data activities within the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health.


Dr. Jane M. Simoni, Ph.D.

Dr. Jane M. Simoni, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, NIH & Director, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)

Jane M. Simoni, Ph.D., is the Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). Dr. Simoni joined NIH on July 30, 2023, to lead OBSSR’s efforts to advance and coordinate behavioral and social sciences research at NIH, working closely with NIH Institutes and Centers.

Dr. Simoni brings more than 25 years of experience in research focused on health disparities and resilience among populations that have been socially marginalized, including persons with HIV and other chronic illnesses, Latinx, LGBT, and Indigenous peoples. Her intervention research has examined behavioral aspects of chronic illness, using mixed methods and clinical trials to evaluate strategies such as peer support, medical record alerts, provider training and counseling, and mHealth to promote treatment engagement and health outcomes. Her work has capitalized on cutting-edge behavioral and social science methods and theory to inform the development, efficacy, and implementation of health promotion and disease prevention programs.

A clinical psychologist, Dr. Simoni joined NIH from the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, where she was a Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology. She was the founding director of the UW Behavioral Research Center for HIV and co-directed the UW/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research, where she also served as the Associate Director of the Behavioral Science Core and Senior Advisor to the eHealth Scientific Working Group.

Dr. Simoni earned her B.A. at Princeton and her Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles. She also completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Southern California and Columbia University. A fellow in four divisions of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Simoni was a frequent grant reviewer and chair for NIH study sections.

Dr. Simoni has led over two dozen research projects, including NIH-funded studies in New York City, Seattle, the U.S.-Mexico border, Beijing, Shanghai, Haiti, and Kenya. She has authored more than 300 publications, and two of her medication adherence-promotion strategies (involving peer support and electronic reminders) are included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Compendium of Evidence-Based Interventions and Best Practices for HIV Prevention.

Dr. Simoni has collaborated on research and training awards on HIV, mental health, substance use, trauma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and pediatric overweight treatment in the United States and globally. She has also trained a diverse and interdisciplinary group of students and early career investigators. She has been a mentor on more than 50 training awards, including as a sponsor for individual trainees and as part of the leadership or mentoring faculty for NIH-funded research education programs.

Headlines webinars are offered as a benefit of COSSA membership. Not a COSSA member? Learn more about how your association or university can join here.

Watch for additional webinar announcements on the COSSA website.

Headlines: A monthly look at what’s new and noteworthy in social science policy is a monthly webinar exclusively for COSSA members to learn about the latest policy and funding developments impacting social science research. The COSSA team, joined by periodic special guests, will take you behind the headlines and explain what you need to know. We are excited to offer this interactive space where you can get the policy-related information you need when you need it. Not a member? Learn more about how your association or university can join COSSA here.