In this renewal proposal, the Core Center for Biobehavioral Sciences of Communication Disorders is comprised of 12 affiliated investigators with a total of 16 NIH R01 awards. The topics focus on speech and language impairments, with a new investigator of hearing/balance impairments. An overarching theme is change overtime, which bridges behavioral and molecular levels of investigation. The individual research projects involve studies of symptoms, genetic etiology, diagnosis of and intervention with language impairments in children, language growth trajectories, sensorimotor aspects of speech production in infants, children and adults, speech and lexical representations in children and adults, age-related communicative decline in elder adults, clinical trials of intervention to chang the communication style of care-givers of patients with dementia, infant visual neuroperceptual development as a predictor of later cognitive and language development, clinical trials with a viral vector to induce regeneration of vestibular hair cells for the treatment of tinnitus/balance disorders, and gene regulation of axon growth related to cortical development.
The specific aims are: 1) Increase the productivity and impact of research in R01 projects of the core users;2) Form a collaborative environment to increase scientific interactions;3) Make facilities available for research services;and 4) Provide relevant technical expertise to groups o investigators with common needs. A small Administrative Core manages the Center. Research support is provided by three cores: Participant Services (PARC), Digital and Electronic Engineering (DEEC) and Analytic Techniques and Technology (ATT). Core 1 Participant Recruitment and Management Core (PARC) Director: Holly Storkel DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The Participant Recruitment and Management Core, consisting of a full-time Coordinator and the Core Director, was designed from the ground up to provide services to assist Center investigators in the following ways: (1) The identification and recruitment of participants, (2) Management of contacts with participants in existing studies, and (3) Provide training in human subjects and act as a liaison between investigators, the local institutional review board (IRB) and human subject consortiums. PARC has established the necessary infrastructure to meet these aims. Specifically, PARC has designed a number of databases geared towards targeting households for recruitment and keeping track of individuals'participation in Center projects, as well as a database of regional organizations that can assist in participant recruitment either as recruitment sites or as resources for targeting likely participants. PARC also assists Center investigators'recruitment efforts by providing demography services to target specific geographical areas that would result in more efficient recruiting. Furthermore, PARC maintains regular contact with past participants through regular newsletter and birthday card mailings, and is able to employ a number of tracking methods to find "lost" households, thus maximizing participant retention. Finally, PARC brings together Center investigators and staff for workshops on current participant targeting and recruitment strategies and the latest developments in human subject policies. These specialized services are often not fundable through R01 mechanisms and are not provided elsewhere. For the future, PARC will expand the services provided under each aim during the next funding cycle to explore, implement, and provide guidelines to investigators on use of electronic outlets for recruitment and retention of participants as well as primary data collection and the human subjects protection issues associated with each of those uses. In addition, recruitment efforts during the next funding cycle will provide an increased focus on recruitment of populations with communication disorders, especially adult populations, to facilitate the pursuit of new research efforts by existing faculty. PARC works collaboratively with the DEEC and ATT cores in developing the data management systems for integrative science.
The Core Center for The Biobehavioral Sciences of Communication Disorders supports studies of the etiology, symptoms, growth trajectories, and treatment of speech, language, and hearing impairments. Three research Cores provide services for enhanced participant recruitment and retention, digital and electronic technology, and data analytic support. An over-arching initiative is the development of data integrative methods.
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