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.
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 began my career as a family doctor working in neighborhood health centers in underserved communities. The turning point in my career from clinician to clinician researcher occurred on a job interview in an internal medicine department at a teaching hospital caring for a large population of older individuals.Jeanne Mandelblatt, M.D., M.P.H. Other BBPSB Featured Grantees
The explosion of genetic information into the lives of patients and populations requires that we find tools that will translate genomics to better patient experiences in decision-making, treatment, quality of life, and outcomes. To achieve this goal, we must nucleate interdisciplinary teams that include geneticists, population scientists, behavioral scientists, oncologists, and others to develop and implement comprehensive and impactful patient tools.Timothy Rebbeck, Ph.D. Other BBPSB Featured Grantees
The most profound influence on my work was my mentor, Dr Jane Weeks, who taught me that doing research, and working with the smartest, most interesting, most fun people, can be one of the great joys of life.Jennifer Mack, M.D., M.P.H. 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