The Methodology Core is a critical component of the proposed MCRC. It will aid the projects in attaining their goals;assist investigators comprising the research base;provide a wide range of educational and mentoring services;serve as a source of leadership within the MCRC;and function as the primary entity through which the MCRC functions as a hub, linking together various groups and individuals whose interests intersect with issues related to OA and other musculoskeletal diseases into a coherent entity. The Core will assure that the projects attain their aims effectively and efficiently. The Core will closely monitor the progress ofthe projects, establish benchmarks linked to specific dates, identify potential barriers to the attainment of those benchmarks, and work with project Pis to devise and implement means for overcoming those barriers. It will also offer a wide range of seminars and workshops of interest and relevance to arthritis researchers, as well as hands-on seminars on special topics that will enhance the capacity of arthritis investigators. Finally, the Core will play a critical role in a significant new initiative that the MCRC will undertake - serving as a coordinating hub for all campus-wide activities related to musculoskeletal disease, particulariy OA. Center faculty have forged linkages to multiple organizations (e.g., Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, Injury Prevention Research Center) whose primary foci intersect with issues critical to arthritis (e.g., obesity, traumatic joint injury) but that do not self-identify as having arthritis-related research missions. The success of our pair-wise interactions with these organizations demonstrates the feasibility of and opportunity for a wider collaborative network for issues related to OA and other musculoskeletal diseases. What has been lacking is an organizational structure helping these dispersed islets of interest and expertise coalesce into an active, collaborative whole. The MCRC, primarily through the activities of the Methodology Core, will fulfill that role. In so doing, it will amplify the impact of the MCRC as it seeks to fulfill the mission of NIAMS.
The Methodology Core will have a public health impact through supporting community-based, preventively focused research projects that are likely precursors to interventions, exposing a wide array of arthritis investigators to multidisciplinary public health approaches, and serving as a catalyst promoting collaborations across multiple disciplinary areas relating to musculoskeletal disease, thus improving the health of the public.
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