In a Nature Human Behaviour published letter, Dr. Karina Davidson describes a plan to foster discovery in behavioral research

MANHASSET, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In the field of behavioral medicine, progress has been seen as fragmented, often occurring by accident. In a letter to the editor published today in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, Karina W. Davidson, PhD, MASc, The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research director of the Institute of Health System Science and national leader in behavioral change research, outlined how the Behavioral Medicine Research Council (BMRC) will progress the field of science.

The BMRC was formed in 2018 with members across the field of behavioral science’s four main professional societies: Academy of Behavioral Medicine, American Psychosomatic Society, Society of Behavioral Medicine Research and Society for Health Psychology. Its mission is to develop a plan to foster scientific discovery in behavioral research by optimizing research practices, scaling and implanting programs and developing new interventions. It also addresses issues like funding, length of research projects and developing novel studies.

“We must bring together a far-reaching, comprehensive behavioral research community to effectively progress the field and significantly help patients,” said Dr. Davidson, Northwell Health’s senior vice president of research. “Through the BMRC, scientists from across the globe will work together to implement unique initiatives, inform policies and foster a new generation of forward-thinking investigators.”

In the letter, Dr. Davidson described three main points:

  • Use the right process: Taking a page from the United States Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Gates Foundation, the science community needs to tackle and fund research for large-scale, systemic issues aggressively.
  • Incentivize the right behavior: National and international recognition, awards, along with collaborative competitions among scientists will help foster innovation.
  • Forge a path forward: Create a transparent public process and work in a joint effort between researchers and funding partners that will help bolster the field of science.

“As a respected leader in behavioral medicine, Dr. Davidson’s strategy will position the BMRC to have a significant impact on the future of behavioral research and health,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes.

About the Feinstein Institutes

The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest health care provider and private employer in New York State. Home to 50 research labs, 3,000 clinical research studies and 5,000 researchers and staff, the Feinstein Institutes raises the standard of medical innovation through its five institutes of behavioral science, bioelectronic medicine, cancer, health innovations and outcomes, and molecular medicine. We make breakthroughs in genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and are the global scientific leader in bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we produce knowledge to cure disease, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.


Matthew Libassi



Subscribe to Our Newsletter (coming soon)

We keep your data private and share your data only with third parties that make this service possible. See our Privacy Policy for more information.