Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch (BBPSB)


The Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch supports research fundamental to understanding human behaviors, social context, decision-making, and clinical practices associated with cancer etiology, prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

We cultivate a portfolio of basic experimental studies involving humans or animals, observational studies, and mechanistic clinical trials.

We strive to ensure that fundamental knowledge arising from our portfolio has the potential to reduce the burden of cancer at the individual and population levels. Thus, we prioritize studies that engage individuals and segments of the U.S. population that have been typically underrepresented, underserved, and excluded from biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences research.

Lived experience and social identity shape how knowledge is generated, interpreted, and translated for public health benefit. We have a scientific and ethical imperative to nurture and sustain a diverse pool of talented researchers engaged in biobehavioral and psychological science research that informs cancer prevention and control.

Featured Funding Announcement

Understanding Expectancies in Cancer Symptom Management

PAR-23-273 (R01 Clinical Trial Required)

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Scientific Priorities

The branch supports the systematic analysis and investigation of the molecular, cellular, neural, psychological, and social processes underlying health-related behaviors and decisions identified as attributable risks for cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality. Research that employs observational or causal experimental designs in controlled or natural conditions with human or animal subjects is supported. Studies that combine diverse levels of analysis and examine reciprocal interactions among levels are encouraged.

Research domains cultivated by BBPSB:

  • Cognition, emotion, judgment, and decision-making
  • Sensation, attention, and perception
  • Biological pathways through which psychosocial stressors influence cancer biology and outcomes
  • Methodology and measurement of biobehavioral moderators and mediators
  • Identification and validation of psychological and biobehavioral mechanisms or processes hypothesized to be measurable, malleable, and implicated in behavior change
  • Short- and long-term effects of cancer and cancer treatment
  • Ethical issues in behavioral research
  • Psychological and behavioral aspects of cancer treatment adherence

Featured Grantees

Last Updated
December 21, 2023