Melissa Riddle, Ph.D.

Chief, Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Branch, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health

Melissa Riddle is Chief of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Branch at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, she earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona. Her doctoral research combined family therapy and health psychology, asking questions related to how patients and their families cope with chronic or serious illness. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research and clinical care focused on the psychosocial impact of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer for women and their families, she joined the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. Here, she oversaw a grants program on behavioral treatments for drug addiction and HIV risk behavior. She joined the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in 2007, as chief of a new branch on behavioral and social sciences research. In 2008, she became the coordinator of 9 large, trans-NIH research consortia whose purpose was to bring an interdisciplinary approach to solving complex health problems. In 2009 Melissa began working with colleagues on the NIH Common Fund program called the Science of Behavior Change, or SOBC. The SOBC program is now in its second phase, supporting the use of an experimental medicine approach to behavior change research, and Melissa serves as co-coordinator of that effort with colleague Jonathan King of the National Institute on Aging..

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