Community-Based Research Facility
The CET has a demonstrated track record of carrying out community-based research (CBR) and community-based participatory research (CBPR). Community-based research facility works in close collaboration with the Biomarker and Analytical Diagnostics facility for assay development and sample diagnostics. The CBR facility also collaborates closely with the Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) to facilitate research partnerships and to disseminate environmental health information and research findings between the scientist and the community stakeholders. Establishment of the CBR facility as a central component of the IHSFC aligns the CET with ongoing translational science endeavors, community needs, and NIEHS priorities. The IHSFC streamlines processes necessary to establish and conduct population-based studies, clinical research, human exposure assessments, and biomarker development research. It also provides investigators with direct assistance with epidemiologic study design and methods, preparation of human subjects’ protection and clinical protocols, research navigation, and access to a unique resource—the Mobile Clinical Research Unit—to enable human subjects research in the field. The objectives of the CBR facility are to:
Facilitate interdisciplinary research by serving as liaison between CET basic science investigators, epidemiologists, clinician scientists, and health and public health practitioners to accelerate the understanding of environmental exposures on human health
Provide the infrastructure, facilities, education, and support to enable Center investigators and Pilot Project holders to initiate and carry out community-based and CBPR projects
Develop the research infrastructure to rapidly respond to emergent environmental threats to determine impact upon human health
Ensure CET is responsive to community priorities through significant multi-directional communication and partnership with the COEC to engage stakeholders in dialog about environmental health impacts and to inform and prime Center science
Resources: The CET acquied a Mobile Clinical Research Unit (MCRU) in 2013 to address a pressing need to facilitate human health field research in the absence of adequate clinical research space. The CET acquired a Recreational Vehicle and retrofitted it to include a phlebotomy lab that satisfies clinical laboratory facility regulations (CLIA compliant), including a regulation phlebotomy chair, countertop space sufficient for a mounted centrifuge to process drawn blood, fully functional freezer for storage of samples, multiple locking storage units for caching of supplies, and a full sized restroom for collection of urine samples, and a private clinical space complete with an examination table for physical assessments of research subjects. A propane unit provides hot water for hand-washing and clean-up activities. The MCRU provides facilities, equipment, and staff resources to support a variety of clinical studies at remote research sites. Through a single point of contact (Brittany Wallace, COEC Corrdinator), investigators may request use of MCRU, equipment and staff resources to support clinical research. The cost of the MCRU for CET members is subsidized through the Discount Management Program.