Initiated in the 2009-2014 funding cycle, the over-arching goal of the External Research Resources &Dissemination Core (RRDC) is to provide resources and expertise needed to address critical barriers to improved biodemographic research - namely, the field's growing awareness of the need for comprehensive information on validated protocols for collection, processing and analysis of biological specimens for use in large population survey studies. The USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health (CBPH)'s RRDC is uniquely well-positioned to support needed development of new protocols and validation of new and existing protocols as a consequence of the clinical and laboratory infrastructure and professional expertise we have in measurement and analysis of genetic/genomic and other indictors of health. The RRDC's primary goals are to: (1) support methodological/technical development and innovation along with validation work to extend the breadth of biomarker and other relevant protocols for use in population-based surveys;(2) disseminate resulting information on theoretical and practical aspects of biomarker measurement to the research community;and (3) increase knowledge about genetics/genomics through workshops offered at strategic professional meetings and training and technical support for genetic/genomic analysis. Over the past 4 years, the RRDC has made multiple, significant contributions to the field of biodemography as a whole.
Aims for the coming period will extend and expand the RRDC's methodological and technical innovations and its educational activities in response to the continuing need for well-validated protocols, strategic and technical support for a growing array of biomarkers, and for dissemination of that information to the broader population health research community. Building on our, past success, the RRDC will pursue its aims through two """"""""sub-cores"""""""" - one focusing on genetic markers and functional genomics and the other more generally on other biomarkers - and RRDC dissemination activities. Together, these subcores provide the unique expertise, equipment and methods needed for work on genetics/genomics while also maintaining infrastructure to support methodological and educational activities relating to a broader array of biomarkers. This dual focus allows the RRDC to maximize our ability to achieve the overarching goal of developing enhanced research resources and methods for research in biodemography and population health.
The research supported by our Center attempts to clarify the biological pathways through which social, economic, and psychological and experiences impact health and how such influences may vary across subgroups and settings. This knowledge will increase our ability to improve health and reduce health disparities.
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