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Core Methodologies & Activities of CHR Investigators  

The CHR harbors research capacity in several core methodologies and activities, as follows:

Epidemiology and Clinical Trials - Contact Dr. Marilyn Tseng or Dr. Suzanne Phelan

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This core supports development of sound research design and the recruitment and retention and tracking of study participants in longitudinal studies.  The CHR enrolls participants in large-scale studies via Research Match, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other sources and also maintains a database of thousands of participants interested in research participation. Retention strategies include management of financial incentives, home visits, and motivational campaigns. The CHR data management develop randomization protocols and tracking systems to support needs of diverse epidemiology and clinical trial studies.



Bio-behavioral Assessments - Contact Dr. Alison Ventura or Dr. Sarah Keadle.

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The core focuses on novel behavioral assessment of physical activity and eating behaviors using state-of the art direct observation systems and other technologies including wearable devices. The core includes RedCap and the NoldusTM behavioral assessment systems, GoPro cameras and additional activity monitors.  The laboratory space includes private workstations for coding of behaviors and has software necessary to store, edit and process video files. There is also a focus on nutritional assessment and analysis including a centralized lab space for certified staff and students to conduct 24-hour dietary interviews in English or Spanish via telephone; there is also a private clinical space for patients completing dietary recalls on site on laptop computers using the NCI Automated Self-Administered 24 hour recall (ASA24) http://riskfactor.cancer.gov/tools/instruments/asa24.html. Recalls are administered by trained and certified bilingual staff and graduate students.



Physiology and Biomechanics - For more information on physiology contact Dr. Todd Hagobian. For more information on biomechanics contact Dr. Steve Klisch.

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The physiology lab offers an extensive array of services with emphasis on the measurement of body composition, energy expenditure (resting and exercise), exercise capacity, muscle strength testing, spirometry, and anthropometrics.  The lab consists of 2 ParvoMedics online indirect calorimeters to assess oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production.  This is done to measure resting energy expenditure, exercise energy expenditure and/or VO2 max, and diet-induced thermogenesis.  



Nutrient and Metabolite Analysis (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) - Contact Dr. Michael LaFrano

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Nutrient and metabolite analysis (Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry; LC-MS  lab in the College of Agriculture Food and Environmental Sciences). LC-MS analysis is used to qualify hundreds of metabolites (including carbohydrates, complex lipids, and amino acids and their conversion products) in biological tissues and fluids, as well as food. 

To request an analysis or learn more please visit the Cal Poly's Metabolomic Service Center's website at https://www.metabolomics.cafes.calpoly.edu/



Body Composition (DXA, peapod, bodpod) - Contact Dr. Todd Hagobian

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The BCL houses air-displacement plethysmography devices (BodPod [with pediatric option]), and PeaPod, Life Measurements, CA) and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Bioelectrical impedance analysis (RJL) and skinfold calipers are also available. Anthropometrics measurements include height, weight and waist and hip circumference (Gulick Tape).  The lab is also equipped with all of the clinical equipment necessary for offsite studies (e.g., at affiliate clinics, home studies), including transportable scales, stadiometers, infantometers, and calipers.



Measurement Development and Evaluation - Contact Dr. Sarah Keadle or Dr. Christine Hackman

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This core is focused on qualitative and quantitative analysis to support the creation of valid and reliable self-report measurement tools. The CHR has a repository of empirically validated measurement tools.



Women's Mobile Health - Contact Dr. Suzanne Phelan, or Cristina Macedo

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Cal Poly Women and Infants’ Mobile Health is a multi-disciplinary mobile unit in service to improve the short and long-term health outcomes of disadvantaged women and children in California’s Central Coast region and beyond.  The unit takes a multi-pronged approach to tackling and solving major health issues facing low-income women and infants today, including lack of access to prenatal care, maternal obesity, and few providers trained in managing obesity in multicultural, disadvantaged populations. The Women and Infants’ Mobile Health - Clinical Services program is a collaboration between Cal Poly and the NOOR foundation and offers free access to high quality prenatal clinical care to underserved, low-income pregnant women and their infants in “prenatal care deserts” in the California Central Coast. The Women and Infants’ Mobile Health – Center for Health Research program is led by Cal Poly and conducts state of the art research developing and testing innovative methods to reduce weight and related morbidities and improve both short and long-term maternal and child health outcomes. Finally, the Women and Infants’ Mobile Health – Student Learning program is a collaboration between Cal Poly, NOOR, and the Dignity Health Residency program and aims to train the next generation of leaders in maternal and child health, providing undergraduate students, medical residents, and other learners with opportunities to discover the specific cultural, biological, behavioral, and environmental factors that shape maternal and child health and hands-on opportunities to work to improve the health of diverse, disadvantaged patient populations in the California Central Coast region.



Augmented and Virtual Reality - Contact Dr. Suzanne Phelan, Dr. Christine Hackman, or Dr. Brennan Davis

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This core supports both pre- and post-production services for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality projects.  For VR, high-resolution 360° spherical video content is captured with the GoPro Omni rig and six GoPro HERO4 cameras that record up to 8K spherical footage. The six 32GB memory cards read simultaneously. Kolor Autopano and Giga software programs are used for post processing. For AR studies, apple software and iPad support is available.



Submit your grant through Center for Health Research - IDC Policy  

Indirect Cost (IDC) Return Policy

Through the Grants Development Office, grant proposals can be routed through CHR during submission or, for ongoing grants, reassigned to CHR for a subsequent funding cycle.  To affiliate a grant with CHR, send an email to your college official in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and cc the CHR Director; indicate in the email that you would like your grant to be affiliated with CHR.  
On an annual basis, indirect cost revenue from CHR affiliated grants is transferred from the OSP to the CHR Center Account.  The OSP sends a distribution summary to PIs that indicates the amount of IDC coming to CHR from each CHR affiliated grant. The amounts from each grant will then be redistributed as follows:  
• 18% to the PI(s) professional development account(s)  
• 2% to the PI’s home department or college, as directed by the PI 
• 5% to Center 
The above percentages are guidelines and can be negotiated at the proposal stage for unique situations. The PI, Center Director, and Department Chair can decide to redirect portions of their IDCs, as desired (e.g., Department can redirect their portion to the Center; PI to the Department, etc.).  
CHR PIs may submit grants that are NOT affiliated with CHR and, in doing so, would receive the university approved rate, which is currently a 15% return to the PI.

Other Resources - Data and Coding

Physical Behavior Score

  • The physical behavior score (PBS) combines 8 different physical behaviors (e.g., exercise, television viewing) into a single score ranging from 0-100. 

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