The MHSR Core, by the nature of prevention and control research, will serve as a platform for promoting multidisciplinary research and training in diabetes research across the UAB campus. The core will offer advice and training to graduate students, fellows, and investigators on the specific measurements and technologies that pertain to their research and attract new investigators to prevention and control research in diabetes. The core will help students and investigators understand and apply core methods when appropriate, e.g., the appropriate use of validated quality of life measures, of data capture for research from electronic health records, or of culturally competent tailoring of diabetes prevention and control interventions. Core members also will proactively participate in the training and educational workshops provided by the DRC Enrichment Program, as in the lecture and seminar series.
Based on our experience, we anticipate a broad range of trainees, including high school honors students (e.g. interns attending the UAB Summer Science Institute); UAB Honors Program undergraduates; pre-health care professional students with summer fellowships funded by the federal Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program; students from junior colleges funded by the UAB Bridges Scholars Student Program; UAB medical students participating in the NIH T35-HL007473 UAB Summer Research Fellowship program or by GCRC summer fellows program; master's and doctoral students in several academic departments; graduate students working towards Ph.D.s; and internal medicine residents and fellows on research electives. For example, methodological enrichment activities such as lectures, seminars, and nascent works discussions that are currently held for health services research trainees will be open to DRC trainees and others, as appropriate. Conversely, health services research trainees in other areas will be encouraged to engage in DRC enrichment activities.
The MHSR Core also will provide training benefiting DRC faculty investigators across campus. First, access to core resources will enhance the quality of research studies. We will encounter investigators who are unaware of the techniques and/or the facilities that are available to them that would increase the project's sophistication and improve the scientific impact. New and established investigators will have the opportunity to consult with the core directors regarding approaches to enhance the scientific rigor of their experiments. The goal is to promote theoretical and practical competence in application of relevant techniques. As a very specific example, the MHSR Core will play key role in the career development of Dr. Brooks Vaughn, assistant professor in the Division of Endocrinology, as described under his listing in the DRC Investigator Base. As a medicine-pediatrics trained endocrinologist, he has established a new patient care model for adolescents with diabetes making the transition to the adult health-care system. This transition, problematic for many patients, can result in years of poor glycemic control. The MHSR Core will enable him, through training and core support, to evaluate the effectiveness of this care model in terms of meaningful outcome measures.
Metrics and Health Services Resources Co-director: Beth Lewis, M.D.
Co-director: Michelle Martin, Ph.D.