Collaboratory

In 2013, the CRCPHP became a founding/lead partner of the UA “Collaboratory” on Metabolic Disease Prevention and Treatment (a unification of relevant research and operational components of the College of Public Health, College of Medicine-Department of Family and Community Medicine and Arizona Cancer Center, and the Department of Nutritional Sciences), and relocated from the Arizona Health Sciences Center to over 12,000 square feet of contiguous space in UA-leased floor in the Hebert K. Abrams Public Health Center, a Pima County-owned building adjacent to the UA Medical Center-South Campus. The CRCPHP’s conscious choice to relocate was, in part, based on the location of the Abrams Public Health Center in a high need, underserved area of Tucson whose residents suffer a disproportionate burden of chronic disease. South-side residents have been under-represented in university studies, in part because of difficulty getting to main campus, a reluctance to leave the community, and parking and navigation issues once on campus. The location of the Collaboratory on the UAMC-South Campus supports participation of the Kino area residents in research and education initiatives.

Furthermore, location of the Collaboratory in the Abrams Public Health Center will put clinicians and scientists together (and in close proximity to the hospital) fostering collaborative research and enhanced educational opportunities. Collaboratory faculty offer expertise and services important to patient care, student training, research and evidence-based community programs. As a lead partner in the Collaboratory, the CRCPHP benefits from access to research services and equipment include: phlebotomy services and biosample processing (centrifuge, - 80 freezer, refrigerator (urine)); integrated computer, web-based, multi-media counseling program; DXA, BodPod, REE and exercise assessment equipment; consenting rooms; validated questionnaires and related data capture software. It also includes training/meeting rooms and a demonstration kitchen.

The Collaboratory also oversees the Arizona Cancer Center’s Behavioral Measurement Shared Support Services. For over 25 years, the Behavioral Measurement Shared Service (BMSS) has provided services to support Arizona Cancer Center researchers investigating behaviors such as diet and food consumption, physical activity patterns, body composition, tobacco exposure, solar protection, sexual practices, cancer screening knowledge, lifestyle risk factors and emotional well-being in the context of cancer prevention or therapy. This research requires accurate and reliable questionnaires and research designs for assessing human behavior related to primary and secondary prevention of cancer and for identifying at-risk populations in community and clinical environments. Behavioral assessment instruments are available across a wide range of behaviors, with specialized instruments for culturally diversified groups such as Mexican Americans and Native Americans. The BMSS provides an accurate and reliable source of technical support for the use of these tools (optical scanning technology, nutrition assessment software, light pen entry system for developmental instruments). Consultation in research design development, measurement methodologies, and collection and analysis of data on human behavior remain important functions of the BMSS. Major equipment includes an optical scanner, six computers, two laser computer printers, two bioelectrical impedance machines and ten accelerometers. The local network is backed up both locally and at another campus location daily to ensure data file security. The BMSS holds a site license to use the University of Minnesota NDSR Dietary analysis software as well as site licenses for statistical packages such as SPSS, SAS and STATA.