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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 7, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 21
New Hopkins Center to Focus on Collaborative Intervention Research

By Lynn Schultz-Writsel
School of Nursing

The Center for Collaborative Intervention Research, designed to be a national model for interdisciplinary research teams in the development, testing and dissemination of innovative interventions to improve health outcomes, is the newest Johns Hopkins School of Nursing initiative to advance knowledge that promotes health and improves health services.

The center is funded by a five-year $1.59 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research at the NIH. Through start-up funding — $20,000 to three pilot studies each year — and the provision of centralized resources, the new center will act as a catalyst to stimulate research alliances among health care disciplines, including nursing, public health and medicine, and between health care organizations and institutions.

The pilot project funds are available to faculty from disciplines across JHU who incorporate SON faculty as members of their team.

The CCIR is the second ongoing SON center now funded by NIH, joining the Center on Health Disparities Research.

"The new center is consistent with the recent National Institutes of Health Roadmap initiative focusing on interdisciplinary research and direct clinical applications to improve health," said Vicki Mock, the CCIR's director and principal investigator. "All funded center studies will have an interdisciplinary team and ultimately will demonstrate that science moves forward more rapidly when research integrates knowledge from several disciplines to solve specific health problems." The CCIR, she added, "will generate a collective energy for solving methodological and theoretical problems in intervention research."

Jerilyn Allen, associate dean for research at the School of Nursing and associate director for the CCIR, said, "The JHU SON currently has a strong, internationally recognized group of faculty who address many conceptually similar issues but too often pursue separate but parallel courses toward a similar goal. The center structure and mechanisms will facilitate consistent sharing of knowledge, resources, skills and experiences so that all researchers might benefit from the cumulative group knowledge."

In addition to an administrative core, which will manage the overall activities, the CCIR features an intervention core, directed by Linda Pugh, an associate professor and director of the Baccalaureate Program; and an evaluation core, directed by Miyong Kim, an associate professor.

Mock and Allen predict the CCIR will strengthen research initiatives, promote the development of knowledge by fostering greater collaboration among investigators from various disciplines and create an environment for established scientists to mentor developing investigators. Mock added, "The center will encourage research faculty who have previously worked independently in individual research programs to bridge new paradigms through interdisciplinary research. As a result, the studies facilitated by the center will improve the rigor, depth, breadth and cross-disciplinary nature of intervention research, and research findings can be more readily applied in clinical practice to improve health."

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