NEW YORK, Dec. 5 (GenomeWeb News) - The National Human Genome Research Institute announced today that it is forming a new branch within its Division of Intramural Research called the Social and Behavioral Research Branch.
The new branch, which will be part of a new trans-NIH center called the Social and BehavioralScienceCenter, will work on translating genomics into interventions for health promotion and disease prevention, and on counseling patients with genetic disorders and their families. The larger center will also house staff from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, in addition to the entire NHGRI branch. Colleen McBride, director of the cancer prevention, detection and control research program at DukeUniversity, will head the new branch and the inter-institute center.
McBride listed four "conceptual domains" that the new division will cover: testing communications strategies aimed at relaying an individual's risk for developing a genetic condition; developing and evaluating interventions aimed at reducing genetically susceptible individuals' risk of acquiring a disease; translating genomic discoveries to clinical practice; and understanding the social, ethical, and policy implications of genomic research.
The inter-institute center is slated to open in January 2005, according to NHGRI director Francis Collins.