Background. To address our increasing and broad spectrum of clinical research activities, we present aMethodology Core built upon statistical and epidemiological expertise and extensive experience in outcomesresearch and economic evaluations. Objectives. The continued long-term goal of the Methodology Coreis to be the focal point for state-of-the-art clinical and translational research in arthritis and musculoskeletaldisease (MSD) locally, regionally, and nationally. Towards this vision, the Methodology Core has fourprimary objectives: (1) to conduct cutting-edge research in arthritis and MSD by providing statistical,epidemiological, outcomes, and health service expertise and leadership; (2) to support data collection,management, and analytic efforts of the four MCRC projects; (3) to develop original research in methodologyapplicable to clinical research in arthritis and MSD; and (4) to nurture and support new investigators inarthritis and MSD. Methods. We have recruited key personnel with expertise in statistics, statisticalgenetics, epidemiology, quality of life assessment, quality of care measurement, and economic evaluation.The four MCRC projects, designed by their Pis and collaborating Methodology Core faculty, will draw uponthe vast expertise contained within the Methodology Core in the conducting of their research. While 80% ofrequested resources are devoted to directly meeting the design, analysis, and data management needs ofthe four projects, we will also play a key role in the scientific development program of the MCRC throughstructured teaching activities, pro-active consultation with research base scientists in the development ofnew projects, and original contributions to the methods applicable to clinical research in MSD. We providetwo new examples of innovative future projects that will be feasible because of the existing synergismbetween content and methodological expertise made possible through the Methodology Core. Included inour application are mechanisms for prioritization and cost reimbursement for future projects. We havemaximized use of existing Centers and scientific capabilities at UAB, thus drawing on a pool ofmethodologists, which would be impossible to assemble if only MCRC resources were available.Significance. By virtue of its interdisciplinary and dynamic infrastructure, the Methodology Core'scontribution will exceed the benefits received by the four MCRC projects and will reach throughout theMCRC research base.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAR1-CHW-G (J2))
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University of Alabama Birmingham
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