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Specific Aim One

To provide direction, administrative support and organizational structure to facilitate the function of the COOKS Center. This will involve interfacing with the appropriate arms of the administrations at UAB and UTSW on matters pertaining to human subject research, allocating, managing and reporting on use of financial resources, and maintaining an active educational component. The UAB investigators are members of the Nutrition and Obesity Center (NORC), and the UTSW group are major drivers in the CMMCR. Both centers provide synergistic energy and expertise that will be used to enhance goals of the AC. This interaction will result in the involvement of faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and medical students from both institutions in research activities. The AC will organize monthly research meetings with the ADs to monitor progress, interpret results, generate new hypotheses, draft publications and future grant applications and quarterly meetings with this group and the co-investigators to cover similar material.

Specific Aim Two

To maintain and expand a website that provides an up-to-date description of COOKS activities including its Educational Enrichment Program, and a portal for communication of results and access to data for the investigators. This website will highlight the research and educational activities of the Center. It will be linked to the website of the UAB School of Medicine, UAB and UTSW Departments of Urology, NORC, CMMCR, O’Brien Centers at UAB and UTSW, UAB CCTS, and other pertinent O’Brien Center, P20 Center and KURe programs. The website will provide video links to educational events, Center-generated publications, and information to the urologic and other medical specialties as well as the public.

Specific Aim Three

To maintain an educational enrichment program, which provides administrative and educational platforms to enhance expertise on this subject, attract others into this field of research, and promote intra/extra institutional collaboration. A broad-based educational approach will be implemented, which targets undergraduate students, medical students, graduate students, residents, fellows, and faculty from various departments and institutional centers, investigators from other institutions, the general urologic community, other pertinent medical specialties, and the public. Center members will participate in other UAB and UTSW Center educational events including the CCTS, NORC, the UAB O’Brien Center for Acute Kidney Injury, and the UTSW CMMCR and O’Brien Center. Each year of funding, a symposium pertaining to kidney stone formation and obesity will be held, the first year at UTSW and the following year at UAB. Investigators from other disciplines will be invited to participate as this will identify novel research directions. Through these administrative strategies, collaborations with other institutions will likely emerge, particularly as the prevalence of obesity and stone disease are high not only in Alabama and Texas, but in other Southern States as well. The UAB CCTS partner network which includes 11 centers within “Deep South” States provides a foundation for future studies requiring the recruitment of large numbers of subjects. The addition of UTSW investigators will broaden this networking.