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Core Center for Clinical Research at Northwestern University

Research Team

Pamela Semanik, Co-investigator, Rush University College of Nursing
Leena Sharma, Principal Investigator, Northwestern University

Funding Source

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Award Period

9/19/17- 7/31/22


The overarching goal of the proposed Northwestern University (NU) Core Center for Clinical Research (CCCR) is to promote cutting-edge clinical research aimed at prevention or control of rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions and poor outcomes associated with them. While we will provide broad support, we will particularly seek to drive this theme: prevention strategy and intervention development to create lifestyle, behavioral, medical, and rehabilitative solutions. Overall aims are: 1) accelerate and enhance funded research, by improving efficiency, rigor, collaboration, cost-effectiveness, productivity, and impact; 2) catalyze and add value to all NU research relevant to our mission; and 3) promote new research, by expanding the community working in the areas of our mission and by expanding research fields within the mission.

This CCCR is organized into Administrative, Methodologic, and Resource Cores. Methodologic Core aims include, to provide: data management support; expertise pertaining to research design, study conduct, outcome assessment, and data analysis; an enhanced training environment through focused services, collaboration, team science training; cutting-edge capabilities to meet ongoing and evolving needs of the Research Community regarding: a) statistical analysis, b) epidemiology, c) behavioral science, d) nutritional science, e) implementation science, f) economic evaluation, g) genomics/bioinformatics, and h) clinical informatics.

The Resource Core, Assessment & Intervention Science & Technology in Daily Life, will integrate Sub-Cores (Person-Centered Outcomes Assessment and Technology; Accelerometer Measurement of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and Sleep; and Behavioral Intervention Technologies), with these aims: design tailored multi-modal assessment and health interventions, incorporating real-world: a) self-report of social, physical, and mental health, symptoms, and life satisfaction, and performance-based assessment of motor, sensory, and cognitive function; b) accelerometry to assess physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep; and c) mobile, web, tablet, and sensor-based applications that identify real-world behavioral markers using GPS, activity logs, and wearable biosensors, to predict physiological and psychological states; and implement technology platforms that can deploy interventions and administer multi-modal assessment, integrating into the platform self-report, performance-based, and accelerometer assessment.

Through our relationships with Preventive Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical Social Sciences, Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, the Institute for Public Health and Medicine, and the NU Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSA) this CCCR will draw on a diverse university community. In turn, our CCCR will create powerful and innovative resources. Because this CCCR a) is centered on the goal to improve how persons feel and function in their daily lives, b) builds upon the wearable and portable technology revolution, and c) integrates outstanding programs, it is well-positioned to have substantial impact within and beyond our institution.