The Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch (BBPSB) advances research in biobehavioral mechanisms and psychological processes to reduce cancer risk and improve outcomes. BBPSB is within the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Behavioral Research Program (BRP), in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS).
BBPSB cultivates an extramural portfolio that generates basic behavioral, biobehavioral, and psychological science knowledge with translational relevance to cancer prevention and control.
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
Initiatives and Measures
BBPSB Grant Portfolio and Funding Opportunities
I dedicated my career to addressing cancer health disparities through a transdisciplinary research program in minority health. The inequality that still exists in cancer outcomes continues to reinforce my dedication.”Chanita Hughes-Halbert Ph.D. Other BBPSB Featured Grantees
The Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA has discovered that sleep and health are intimately inter-connected: insomnia induces adverse trajectories of disease risk, activates inflammatory biology, and accelerates cellular aging. In turn, interventional strategies from behavioral to mind-body treatments effectively target sleep problems and reverse the course of biological mechanisms of disease risk, aging, and possibly cancer, which together optimize healthspan.”Michael Irwin, M.D. Other BBPSB Featured Grantees
After 3 years on androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, one of my patients - a highly functional individual who was working in the development of medical devices and a Vietnam Veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange - had the courage to tell me that he felt the hormone shots were "frying" his brain. However, he scored well on commonly used neuropsychological tests. This patient's experience made me realize that we needed better tools to assess the cognitive impact of cancer treatment.”Herta Chao, M.D., Ph.D. Other BBPSB Featured Grantees
Read peer-reviewed manuscripts, funding analyses, and reports on behavioral research issues in cancer prevention and control.
Career and Training Announcements
View our scientific, administrative, and fellowship opportunities.
Data and Tools
Get information about data collection and analysis tools, cancer control publications, and other resources to support behavioral researchers.
Meet Our Staff
Our team of accomplished scientists and research associates, fellows, and administrators is dedicated to advancing behavioral science research in cancer prevention and control.BBPSB Staff