On April 25, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) hosted its 10th annual celebration honoring Matilda White Riley’s influence in social and behavioral sciences conducted and supported by the NIH. In 2016, OBSSR renamed the celebration Real Life, Labs, Research: Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors. The ceremony honors a “who’s who of behavioral and social science research,” noted current OBSSR director Bill Riley (no relation).
Mark Hayward, Professor of Sociology, Centennial Commission Professor in the Liberal Arts, and director of the Population Health Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin, gave this year’s Matilda White Riley Excellence Lecture, entitled: “Reimagining the Dynamic Association between Education and U.S. Adult Mortality in a Fast Changing Policy Environment.” A common thread in Hayward’s work includes “understanding how socioeconomic status— especially education—as well as gender, marital status, and race/ethnicity shape health inequalities in later life. He has also explored the role of behavioral factors in health and health disparities including nutrition, body weight, and tobacco use.” The celebration was also expanded to include an early stage investigator paper competition. This year’s Early Stage Investigator awardees included Erika Fuchs, University of Texas Medical Branch; Emily Hohman, Pennsylvania State University; Frank Infurna, Arizona State University; and Jacqueline Torres, University of California, San Francisco. The winners of the paper competition also presented their research. A videocast of the 2017 celebration is available here.