Purpose, Structure and Function The overall purpose of the Research Core is to provide a structure that supports the work of the research projects, each of which requires recruitment of human subjects and acquisition of biological samples. Working with Core Investigators, the research Core staff identify potential research subjects, explain the study, assess inclusion and exclusion issues, obtain informed consent, and obtain samples when applicable. The Research Core staff collects and stores samples of DNA from mothers and fathers using buccal swabs, and samples of DNA from babies using sections of umbilical cords. The Core research staff will collect, process and store blood samples and samples of placentas, fetal membranes, decidua and umbilical cords. The Research Core will offer cost-effective approaches to subject recruitment for all three research projects, as well as assistance in methods that will be common to all in terms of tissue acquisition and processing, nucleic acid extraction and quantitation, and histological evaluation of tissues. The Research Core will also facilitate distribution of samples to other University research core services described below. The recruitment needs for each research project are detailed in the individual project descriptions. These recruitment and sample processing needs were developed in consultation with the Research Core Director. The resources of the Research Core were scaled to meet the collective needs of the projects. African Americans comprise 66% of the patients in the Labor and Delivery Unit of MCV Hospitals. In addition, collaborative arrangements have been made with other institutions. Maternal-fetal dyad samples were collected for DNA analysis for Project 1 in collaborative arrangements with the University of Pennsylvania. Hutzel Women's Hospital of Wayne State University and Sotero del Rio Hospital in Santiago, Chile as part of a database of samples from the Perinatology Research Branch, NICHD. The Research Core houses samples until they can be delivered to the investigators. Samples are labeled with the subject number as the only identifier. Investigators using samples will have completed the CITI human subjects research training, have a protocol approved by the VCU-IRB. and have a signed consent form indicating that subjects have agreed to provide samples for the study.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN)
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Virginia Commonwealth University
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