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Melissa GERALD

Dr. Melissa Gerald, smiling with short brown hair and a black shirt.
Title: Program Official
Office(s): Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR)
Phone Number: 301-451-4503
Email Address:


Dr. MELISSA GERALD is a program director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) at the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Gerald’s portfolio is focused on the role and impact of families and interpersonal relationships on health and well-being in midlife and older age, and she is developing a research program devoted to animal models of human sociality. She also manages aging-relevant research on sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations and on characterizing and reducing stigma to improve health, and she represents NIA on the trans-NIH SGM Research Coordinating Committee. Prior to joining BSR, Gerald served as a scientific review officer at the Center for Scientific Review, where she administered and oversaw the scientific review of applications for the Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning, and Ethology study section and special emphasis panels in the Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes Integrated Review Group. Before working at NIH, Gerald was an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus and had served as the Scientist-in-Charge of the free-ranging rhesus macaque colony on Cayo Santiago, where she led a biobehavioral research program devoted to natural and sexual selection in nonhuman primates and sources of individual differences in social behavior. Dr. Gerald obtained her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles and her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She received postdoctoral training in behavioral neuroendocrinology as an Intramural postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Studies’ Primate Section at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

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